In recent years, governments have been demonstrating their subservience to their billionaire masters in Big Finance, the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, BlackRock and the entire gamut of forces in the military-financial-industrial complex behind the ‘Great Reset’, ‘New Normal’ or whichever other benign-sounding term is used to disguise the crisis and current restructuring of capitalism and the brutal impacts on ordinary people.
In late 2019 and early 2020 (due to collapsing financial markets immediately prior to COVID) and during COVID (via COVID-relief packages), trillions of dollars were handed over to elite interests while lockdowns and restrictions were imposed on ordinary people and small businesses. The winners were the likes of Amazon, Big Pharma and the tech giants. The losers were small enterprises and the bulk of the population, deprived of their right to work and the entire panoply of civil rights their ancestors struggled for.
In August 2020, a report by the International Labour Organization stated that COVID policies had severely disrupted economies across the world with estimated losses of working hours equivalent to nearly 400 million full-time jobs in the second quarter of 2020.
The restrictions and closure of the global economy impacted the most vulnerable – the 1.6 billion informal (low-income) economy workers, representing half the global workforce.
In India, lockdown pushed around 230 million into poverty. A May 2021 report by Azim Premji University highlights how – to survive lockdown – the poorest 25% of households borrowed 3.8 times their median income, as against 1.4 times for the top 25%.