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Traders, some in medical masks, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 20, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

AOC Offers Hint on Why Wall Street Surges as Workers Suffer and Die From Covid-19: 'It Starts With a C and Ends With -apitalism'

"This is what happens when Wall Street captures Congress and writes themselves bailout check after bailout check as working people die."

Jake Johnson

Why is Wall Street thriving as the coronavirus pandemic causes mass suffering and sends unemployment levels soaring to Great Depression levels?

The answer, according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), is not a difficult puzzle to solve.

"Hint: it starts with a C and ends with -apitalism," she tweeted Wednesday in response to a Vox  article exploring why the stock market is "divorced from what's happening" to ordinary people.

"This is what happens when Wall Street captures Congress and writes themselves bailout check after bailout check as working people die," Ocasio-Cortez added.

After briefly tanking in March as the coronavirus outbreak panicked investors, the stock market rebounded quickly in April, which closed as the best month for U.S. stocks since 1987.

Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 30 million Americans have filed jobless claims since mid-March as Covid-19 keeps large segments of the U.S. economy shuttered.

"The mystifying government response that allows a crisis of unemployment and sudden poverty to happen and then refuses to solve it even while doling out trillions of dollars to business is in fact just American capitalism working as we have designed it to."
—Hamilton Nolan, In These Times

In These Times labor reporter Hamilton Nolan wrote Tuesday that "the glaring disconnect between the real economy, of working humans with jobs and bills to pay, and the investor class economy, embodied by the stock market, is one of the most brutal and devious political issues of this age of crisis in which we're living."

Nolan argued that the stock market's gains amid mass layoffs and unprecedented economic disruption are the result of a "political choice" by the federal government to protect Wall Street profits over workers and the unemployed.

"Instead of choosing to support everyone during this temporary shutdown—guaranteeing the incomes of workers, instituting widespread debt relief, and pouring stimulus money directly into the base of the wealth pyramid, which supports everything else—the government has instead done what it is built to do: protect the biggest businesses and the accumulated wealth of the richest people, herding society's most powerful into an economic fortress," Nolan wrote.

"The mystifying government response that allows a crisis of unemployment and sudden poverty to happen and then refuses to solve it even while doling out trillions of dollars to business," Nolan added, "is in fact just American capitalism working as we have designed it to."


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