The Semi-Stimulus and Widening Income Inequality
We begin with the stimulus package that emerged from negotiations over the weekend which were many months late and resulted in less than half of the $2.2 trillion allocated in the Cares Act when we had the first wave of the pandemic. But now that we are in a far worse condition with a pandemic out of control and an economy teetering on freefall, the $900 billion will clearly help even if it is too little too late. Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley who has co-authored several editions of The State of Working Americans, joins us to discuss her article at Berkeley Blog “The U.S. wealth gap was appalling before the the pandemic. Now it’s worse.” We discuss how the pandemic is worsening the already outrageous income inequality in the country as billionaires like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the Walton family have become much, much richer than ever, and the extent to which this Band-Aid from the Congress to help Americans in pain in the short term until Biden gets into office and will try to do more for middle class and working Americans as he has promised.