Inequalities Worsen in Recession, but Economist Sees Opportunities for Change

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Photo courtesy of Donnie Maclurcan

Gov. Gavin Newsom has outlined a few requirements for the state to emerge from its shelter-in-place order and for parts of the economy to restart: The state has to develop the ability to test anyone who is sick and track and isolate them when needed. It needs to ensure hospitals can manage potential new outbreaks. Businesses must be able to operate under social distancing. And the state will have to be able to monitor new cases.
With millions filing for unemployment benefits across the state, a projected unemployment rate of more than 18% and whole industries out of business, the state is also facing dire needs and stark inequalities. Donnie Maclurcan, executive director of the Post Growth Institute and an affiliate professor of economics at Southern Oregon University, says the economy was already fragile, and that there may be an opportunity now to advance campaigns for equity.

“We had $87 trillion more debt in the global system at the beginning of COVID-19 than we did at the beginning of the 2008 crash. That is why our system is so fragile, that and the associated defunding of health care, associated with austerity measures” — Donnie Maclurcan

 


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