Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Residents are seen wearing a mask as they walk through a street on December 8, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province,China. With no recorded cases of community transmissions since May, life for residents is gradually returning to normal. (Photo by Getty Images)

Residents are seen wearing a mask as they walk through a street on December 8, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province,China. With no recorded cases of community transmissions since May, life for residents is gradually returning to normal. (Photo by Getty Images)

New York Times Joins Trump's Anti-China Crusade

There is evidence that the pandemic was already present in Europe before the end of 2019, at a point where no one in China had any clear idea what they were dealing with.

There is no doubt that bureaucratic bungling and authoritarian practices slowed China’s response to the coronavirus. A New York Times piece documents many of these failings. But, it is a big step to go from the evidence presented in the article to the assertion in the first paragraph:

“Beijing acted against the coronavirus with stunning force, as its official narratives recount. But not before a political logjam had allowed a local outbreak to kindle a global pandemic.”

If the pandemic was already present in Europe by December of 2019 then China’s actions in January 2020 could not have prevented its spread to the rest of the world.

The clear implication of the second sentence is that if China’s leadership had responded effectively to the pandemic, it could have been quickly contained in Wuhan and not spread around the world. The biggest problem with this assertion is that there is evidence that the pandemic was already present in Europe before the end of 2019, at a point where no one in China had any clear idea what they were dealing with.

study released in June find evidence in sewage that the coronavirus had been present in Italy in December of 2019. A more recent study found that a child in Italy may have been infected with the coronavirus in November of last year. There has been other evidence that people in Europe may have already been infected with the disease in late 2019.

If the pandemic was already present in Europe by December of 2019 then China’s actions in January 2020 could not have prevented its spread to the rest of the world. This doesn’t excuse the government’s efforts to suppress information about the pandemic, but it does mean that these efforts did not have the dire consequences claimed by the New York Times.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·


'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo