The capitalist libertarian solution to the COVID-19 pandemic: Kill the poor

Pennsylvania state representative Jim Cox, of Berks, thinks it’s time to get government out of the business of keeping us all safe, but of course, he thinks the military and the police are just fine. It’s just diseases the government shouldn’t protect us from.[1]

This is just the latest in a battle between the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor Tom Wolf over just how rapidly[2] we should offer human sacrifices to the capitalist god.[3] So far, one might say the latter has not received the sacrifices well: Despite a death toll from COVID-19 likely exceeding 200,000, as indicated by excess deaths,[4] up to 40 percent of job losses in the U.S. are expected to be permanent.[5]

So what’s the plan here, Cox? We already know the military is principally about settling differences between elites over which of them will control which people and territories[6] and that the police are for protecting the rich from the poor.[7] So obviously you want to go on protecting the rich.

And we know that the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging communities where people can’t work from home and can’t afford to take time off.[8] Are you hoping the disease will kill enough workers to reduce unemployment? Is that it?

  1. [1]Stephen Caruso, “Pa. Lawmaker: It’s not government’s responsibility to ‘try to keep us safe,’” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, August 12, 2020,
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Pennsylvania GOP seeks to dismantle Wolf’s shutdown,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 9, 2020,; Associated Press, “Pennsylvania Republicans Mount New Challenge To Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pandemic Power,” KDKA, July 14, 2020,; Stephen Caruso, “Pa. Lawmaker: It’s not government’s responsibility to ‘try to keep us safe,’” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, August 12, 2020,; Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf, GOP critic spar over social media post parroting health secretary’s LGBQT comments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020,; Elizabeth Hardison and Stephen Caruso, “Pa. Supreme Court throws out GOP challenge to Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency order,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 1, 2020,; Nick Matoney, “‘We can’t do this for another 90 days’: Pa. General Assembly votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration,” WTAE, June 10, 2020,; John L. Micek, “W. Pa. Rep. Metcalfe files impeachment articles to ‘remove dictator Wolf’ over pandemic response,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, June 16, 2020,
  3. [3]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, March 27, 2020,; David Benfell, “An impatient capitalist god demands human sacrifice. Now,” Not Housebroken, April 17, 2020,; David Benfell, “Surprise! Surprise! The capitalist god is greedy!” Not Housebroken, May 25, 2020,
  4. [4]Denise Lu, “The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000,” New York Times, August 13, 2020,
  5. [5]Christopher Rugaber, “Gone for good? Evidence signals many jobs aren’t coming back,” Associated Press, August 5, 2020, copy in possession of author
  6. [6]David Benfell, “We ‘need to know how it works,’” Not Housebroken, March 19, 2012,
  7. [7]David Benfell, “On police,” Not Housebroken, August 12, 2020,
  8. [8]Antonio Olivo, Marissa J. Lang, and John D. Harden, “Crowded housing and essential jobs: Why so many Latinos are getting coronavirus,” Washington Post, May 25, 2020,; Michael Sainato, “The collapse of coal: pandemic accelerates Appalachia job losses,” Guardian, May 29, 2020,; Eugene Scott, “4 reasons coronavirus is hitting black communities so hard,” Washington Post, April 10, 2020,; Reis Thebault and Abigail Hauslohner, “A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America,” Washington Post, May 24, 2020,; Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Denise Lu, and Gabriel J.X. Dance, “Location Data Says It All: Staying at Home During Coronavirus Is a Luxury,” New York Times, April 3, 2020,