I remember my first big negotiation at US Foods. It was for foam. Carry-out containers, cups, plates, the whole thing. I saved the company $14 million. I was giddy. What a big win! What a huge success! We were keeping it with the current supplier so there wasn’t any risk of losing business. It was just big money to the bottom line.

My boss wasn’t happy. “They just gave us $14 million. That means they could have done that all along. I’m not happy they’re giving us $14. I’m pissed we had to do this for them to give us what was fair.”

Did you know:

· Ford is now offering 6 month deferrals on new car purchases. You can delay 3 months and they’ll pay the other 3 months.

· Michigan is ordering all utility companies not to shut off basic services like water, gas and electricity

· California, and others, have negotiated with banks to allow mortgage relief for 90 days

· Many states have suspended evictions for non-payment of rent

· The federal government has forced insurance companies to provide COVID-19 testing without cost. They’re still negotiating to waive treatment too.

· Federal student loans don’t have to be paid for the next 6 months

Those were stories I’ve seen in just the last few days. I’m not even doing research. I’m sure there are dozens of others.

You could have done this all along?

If you don’t need my student loan money until October you really don’t need it.

If you can make utilities a necessity right now why aren’t they a public good? Why am I paying every month for access to clean water and electricity?

If you could work with banks and landlords to keep people in their homes, why did it take a health emergency?

If you can cover my COVID test and treatment, why not cancer? Why not diabetes?

We hear so often about how America is the richest nation in the world. Nah. That’s not true. It hasn’t been true for a long time. The average American has $430k in wealth. That’s 3rd in the world, right between Hong Kong and Australia. That’s the America people think of.

The median American, not the average but the dude right in the middle, has $65k in wealth. That’s 22nd right between Denmark and Qatar. That’s America. It’s a top 25 country that mortgaged its infrastructure and public goods to make it so that me, Mark Zuckerberg and a homeless person have an average wealth of $18 million.

America has the wealth and resources to treat its citizens fairly. It has the wealth and resources to keep its citizens healthy. It has the wealth and resources to provide innovation and advancement in new energy resources and health care. It has the wealth and resources to do basically whatever it wants. Unfortunately, what it appears to want is to provide the basic level of service necessary to keep workers from dying in the streets while lining the pockets of its richest citizens. I appreciate the little bit you’re doing now to help us stay afloat, but I’m pissed this had to happen for you to give us what’s fair.