The Coronavirus has exposed America’s lack of economic strength…
While I do not agree with the Orange Man Bad tone of the article, which is rare for this particular media outlet, it does bring up a number of valid criticisms about United States’ economy. Namely, it points out how poorly our immense wealth is distributed.
The US puts a lot of effort into maintaining its image as the world’s richest country, but while it may have the world’s highest GDP, near-record levels of income inequality mean that the “American dream” is out of reach for much of the population. Aside from an upper-crust of fantastically wealthy families and the professional class that supports them, much of the US population struggles to make ends meet even in the best of times. And clearly, the coronavirus epidemic does not represent the best of times.
After all, what is the purpose of having the highest GDP if that economic power is only accessibly to the upper echelon’s of our people. Without some government intervention, and assuming our oligarchs would not be charitable, because after all, they are oligarchs, most of our full-time working class could not maintain a sustainable lifestyle for even a few weeks as a consequence of this pandemic. Consider how public schools closing, which should be a matter of kids not attending to receive an education, has dire effects for the poor.
More than 22 million American children – over two thirds of students who eat lunch at their public schools – receive free or reduced-price lunches, a figure that is as shocking as it is ubiquitous. The 14.6 million who eat breakfast at school – and 1.3 million who eat dinner there – are proof these institutions have become de-facto daycare facilities for parents forced to work ever-longer hours or multiple jobs just to keep a roof over their families’ heads.
Consequentially, these schools had to setup routines to bring these children back to schools on highly structured schedules, in order to not facilitate the spread of the virus, so that these children could eat a meal.
Then, there is the bigger problem of how the federal government is attempting to avoid a massive economic collapse.
The lights have come up on the myths of rugged individualism, and the vision is grim. Rather than promise its citizens a financial rescue package, like the bill, proposed earlier this month by Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, to adopt a form of Universal Basic Income to tide Americans through the coronavirus emergency, the Trump administration has focused its energies on bailing out the financial sector. The Fed dumped a breathtaking $1.5 trillion onto the cratering markets in a single day last week, and traders could barely catch their breath before the red arrows reappeared.
This is the most astonishing part. We are once again not bailing out the EveryMan, but the super wealthy. Trickle-down economics is a lie and we all know it. This massive dump of funds will not reach the hands of the middle or lower-classes, and yet it will have an inflationary impact. Thank you, Federal Reserve.
While it still remains to be seen if any relief packages will be put into play for American workers, notably the service industry that is essentially going to be shutdown, the proposed figures are a fraction of this $1.5 trillion figure.