|'Definitely progress'||2020-12-02T19:00:00||[COVID-19 Public policy]||[December 2020]||||Definitely not progress||While the Democrats 'back off demands' for an adequate COVID-19 aid bill, both the United States and Canada have a billionaire problem.|
In 1999, for example, Canada’s twenty-three billionaires possessed a combined wealth of $72 billion. By 2018, their ranks had more than quadrupled to one hundred — their wealth totaling a whopping $339 billion, a nearly fivefold increase and more than that held by the poorest 12 million Canadians combined.
Maybe the country’s wealthiest individuals deserved to rake in an additional trillion dollars over the course of the pandemic, goes a common line of thinking, because they rendered useful service to society in this difficult time. What this presumption of innocence neglects is that the business models of most of the companies owned and invested in by these elites are predicated on suppressing labor costs, avoiding taxes, dodging regulations, and otherwise weaseling out of the social contract.
GOP Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, asked about the top Democrats' shift on the issue, said it was "definitely progress [...] and I think hopefully it'll be helpful in us getting a deal done."
The statement was a significant concession by Pelosi and Schumer, who played hardball this fall during failed preelection discussions with the administration on a costlier bill. They wanted a more generous unemployment benefit and far more for state and local government. Their embrace of the $908 billion measure was a retreat from a secret $1.3 trillion offer the two Democrats gave McConnell just on Monday.