Politics

Rethinking the Social Safety Net

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The COVID-19 epidemic wreaked havoc on the majority of American households. The USC Dornsife poll reported on April 17th that 15% of previously employed people in the country have lost their jobs because of the virus. That translates into close to 26 million newly unemployed. While many of those jobs will come back once we get through this, I do not think all of them will. Future social distancing rules will, for instance, limit the number of patrons a restaurant or a bar can serve. Fewer customers means fewer employees to serve them.  read more »

The Pandemic Road to Serfdom

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Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, America, like most higher-income countries, was already heading toward a neo-feudal future: massive inequality, ever-greater concentrations of power, and increasingly widespread embrace of a uniform (albeit secular) religion. The pandemic, all too reminiscent of the great plagues of the Middle Ages, seems destined to accelerate this process.  read more »

Americans Are Not As Divided About the Pandemic As It Seems

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As COVID-19 ravages varied regions of the United States at different levels of intensity, news reports have repeatedly shown an ideological split in public opinion over how President Trump is handling this pandemic.  read more »

Triumph of the Woke Oligarchs

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Like the rest of the country, although far less than New York, California is suffering through the Covid-19 crisis. But in California, the pandemic seems likely to give the state’s political and corporate elites a new license to increase their dominion while continuing to keep the middle and working classes down.  read more »

California's Post-Corona Challenges

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California has, at least to date, escaped the worst effects of Covid-19.  read more »

Viral Politics

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Long after the pandemic has receded, its long-term impact on our society and political life will continue. Just as plagues past have reshaped the trajectory of cities and civilizations, sometimes with fearsome morbidity, COVID-19 is already having a profoundly disruptive impact on our political future.  read more »

Who Will Prosper After the Plague?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to widen even further the growing class divides now found in virtually every major country. By disrupting smaller grassroots businesses while expanding the power of technologies used in the enforcement of government edicts, the virus could further empower both the tech oligarchs and the “expert” class leading the national response to the crisis.  read more »

The Pandemic and the Strengths of Our Networked Government

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America's system of federalism provides plenty of opportunity for fighting and recriminations among various levels of government. But as the coronavirus response is showing, this system also has underappreciated strengths that we should take care not to overlook. As we reassess the world post-coronavirus, we should make sure we don't damage those strengths.  read more »

Subjects:

Oligarchy and Pestilence

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It’s January 21, 2021 and President Biden’s first full day in the White House.  read more »

Subjects:

Coronavirus Regional Economic Impacts and Policy Responses

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Most regions were beginning to see an acceleration in economic growth during January and February 2020. The 20-state Heartland was poised to see a notable improvement in economic performance that will now be tested due to public health measures implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The additional $200 billion in purchases of grain, industrial supplies and manufactured products over the next two years that China agreed to in the Phase I trade deal will benefit the Heartland greater than any other region of the nation.  read more »