The Washington Post reports, “Janet L. Yellen, one of the world’s top economists, said U.S. unemployment rate has jumped to at least 12 or 13 percent already, the worst level of joblessness the nation has seen since the Great Depression” and the article reports mass layoffs (over 17 million unemployment insurance applications have been filed in the last four weeks despite still-overwhelmed state unemployment systems) across multiple industries; a failure of programs enacted with the $2 trillion stimulus package to stem those losses with a decimated social safety net; and “[m]odern day ‘bread lines.’” Even successfully implemented, the stimulus would have fallen far short of what is needed, but we are, so far anyway, failing even at this. Take a step back and it looks a lot like collapse. And it does indeed look a lot like the Great Depression.
- Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam, “6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the pandemic total to over 17 million,” Washington Post, April 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/09/66-million-americans-filed-unemployed-last-week-bringing-pandemic-total-over-17-million/↩
- John Cassidy, “What Would a Proper Coronavirus Stimulus Plan Look Like?” New Yorker, March 14, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/what-would-a-proper-coronavirus-stimulus-plan-look-like; James Hamblin, “What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?” Atlantic, March 11, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/where-do-you-go-if-you-get-coronavirus/607759/; Michael Hirsh, “Is $2 Trillion Too Little, Too Late?” Foreign Policy, March 25, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/24/us-congress-2-trillion-rescue-package-too-little-too-late/; Michael Hudson, “A debt jubilee is the only way to avoid a depression,” Washington Post, March 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/21/debt-jubilee-is-only-way-avoid-depression/↩
- David Blanchflower, “Pandemic Economics: ‘Much Worse, Very Quickly,” New York Review of Books, March 26, 2020, https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/03/26/pandemic-economics-much-worse-very-quickly/↩