The trade-off has never been between lives and ‘the economy’. It has always been a trade-off between lives and the opportunity to boost profits.
Biden has abandoned 40 years of US neo-liberalism. He is attempting the greatest change in US economic policy since Reagan. This change in economic policy will make the US a more formidable economic competitor to China.
The rise in unemployment, the attack on pay and conditions represent a qualitative sharpening of the ruling class offensive that began in the 1980s. The latest policies are not an aberration, mysteriously afflicting all the major capitalist powers simultaneously. They are a deepening of previous attacks.
The Tories have no real plan to get out of the current economic crisis, but they are determined that the working class will foot the bill.
In that way, their hope is that the end result of this economic slump will be much lower wages across the board and that profits for the remaining companies will significantly increase as a result.
There is no ‘trade-off’ between combatting the virus and protecting the economy, as ministers and others frequently claim.
There should be proper compensation for workers, who should receive 100% of their pay. This is easily affordable.
Already reeling from job losses and pay cuts, workers and those on fixed incomes will see their living standards fall even further, if central bankers’ policy to increase inflation is successful.