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Is the covid crisis produce greater economic inequality?

I think it is, certainly in Britain but also in other countries too.

Whenever a crisis hits, it's the forces best positioned to take advantage which does so. In Britain, it's the political right and financial institutions which will further re-make the economy in its own image.

This is a really excellent article by economist Grace Blakely:

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2021/01/covid-19-is-widening-britains-economic-inequality

The tldr is that our economy is structured in a way that prioritises the rich over the poor and financial institutions over individuals. The has reached new heights during the pandemic as our government (much like the US Feb) has pretty much imposed unlimited quantitative easing to keep the stock market ticking over and share prices stable.

Whilst our government has spent huge amounts of money to protect jobs, it's an employer-centric for of state intervention. The furlough scheme involves the government paying workers through their companies and the companies still have the power to lay off staff.

Obviously, this will be cut at some point and our chancellor (finance minister) Rishi Sunak has been pushing to do this for a long time. When that happens, even more businesses will go under and more people will lose their jobs. The affluent have assets to fall back on but the poor do not. The British state sees protecting individuals as desirable but protecting share-holders as essential. When tough choices have to be made, it's obvious who will be favoured and who will take the hit, just as with the aftermath of the 2007/8 crisis.

The massive quantitative easing (effectively government borrowing money to buy financial assets) means a further decoupling of the finance sector from the real economy. The free market was always a myth but now we've moved beyond the pretence. Neo-liberalism has warped into monopoly state capitalism. Socialised risk and privatised profit.

I predicted a lot of this about a year ago when the crisis first hit:

https://similarworlds.com/18-Politics/3243173-What-will-the-long-term-political-consequences-be

Sorry for the long and nerdy post but these are huge issues which impact people's lives massively but don't get enough media attention. Thanks for reading.
Northwest · M
Stock market above 30K. Yes the financial markets decoupled from the real economy.

Check out how much Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, Musk and a few others made in 2020, while people were waiting for their stimulus checks. Income inequality is widening.
QuixoticSoul · 36-40, M
In the US, this period has been an absolutely massive wealth transfer to the ultra-wealthy.
Picklebobble2 · 56-60, M
You sit and listen to all this cobblers about 'quantative easing' and 'borrowing money against the deficit for business' and you think.🤔 What good is that to the working poor if you never raise the minimum wage ? 🤷‍♂️

ALL those PRIVATISED former National Assets......NONE of whom cutting the poor a break in their gas or electricity or phone call prices during the last year !

All of that you could roll your eyes at and say 🙄 "Yeah typical Tory policymaking" But it will get to the point where ALL of it is unsustainable UNLESS you can raise the standard of living for the poorest, because ultimately, there'll be MORE of THEM than anybody else !

Trust me, as soon as the 🩺🔊ALL CLEAR is sounded and travel is once again possible, those who have done well during the crisis will disappear quicker than a fart in the wind !
CountScrofula · 36-40, M
This is about pro-wrestling but relevant.

WWE does a touring live show. The money from doing the live shows is a significant part of the pay for their wrestlers. When covid hit, they had to cancel the shows. This was a huge panic, and WWE laid off a lot of people.

Turns out that the live shows didn't make a lot of profit for the company.

So WWE's wrestlers make less, they hire less staff, and they are now making more money than ever. This is despite their TV shows being pretty awful by the standards of wrestling fans.

Now extrapolate that to countless other industries. Their costs have gone down drastically but their profits have gone up and there are fewer workers making less money.
Burnley123 · 36-40, M
[@624254,CountScrofula] Some businesses are doing well and some a genuinely struggling. But yeah, the nature of government intervention means that they get free money to stay afloat but can still lay off staff. It's what free-market libertarians call crony capitalism but is in fact actual capitalism when there is a crisis. All this anti-big government rhetoric for a state which nakedly supports class interests
Yes, massively so. And this will become more evident in the years that follow.

I am also massively concerned that poorer countries will not be given the same access to vaccines and will suffer more for it.

 
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