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LPE on COVID-19 (vol. 5)


Dear Readers, 

Today we’re bringing you a special Saturday edition of our ongoing covid-19 series.

Take care,

LPE Blog

Your first stop after reading this post should be here, to listen to Amy Kapczynski and Gregg Gonsalves on The Dig podcast. They talk about how to survive this plague – the politics of public health and what we can learn from ACT UP.

Over at Demos, Sabeel Rahman posted this analysis of the pandemic as a crisis of racial capitalism. (Racial capitalism is one of our analytical keystones here at LPE – you can read more about it on the blog.) The post comes from a longer report, available here, that makes clear how the crisis “is revealing the deeper inequities for Black and brown people that have always been present in our economy and democracy but that are often papered over in ordinary times.”

This week Mehrsa Baradaran also posted a report on financial inclusion and building an equitable financial system in the wake of COVID-19:

As part of Congress’s financial stimulus response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act included $1,200 stimulus checks to all qualifying Americans—but there was no clear plan for delivering these checks to unbanked and underbanked Americans. Unfortunately, financial inclusion—access to payment systems, credit products, and financial services of all kinds—is an afterthought in politics and policymaking debates, but it’s wholly necessary to build an equitable economy.

Along with Julius Krein, and E. Glen Weyl, Ganesh Sitaraman suggested this week that the US create a war production board to ramp up “production, coordination, and deployment” of COVID-19 testing.

As cities and states report desperate shortfalls, Robert Hockett is promoting ‘Community QE,” to give them a lifeline. You can read about it in these two forbes posts, and in his longer piece up on SSRN.

In case you’re left wanting more, a few recommendations from around the internet:

First, LPE folks can learn a lot from this op-ed by Melissa L. St. Hilaire, a domestic worker in Florida who was fired when the pandemic hit. Next, the Boston Review has been publishing a wave of great pieces on class and inequality in the crisis – in no particular order, here’s one on the politics of disposability, another about a Brazilian town building a successful solidarity economy, and a look at the figure of the welfare queen in policy debates about COVID relief.