How to Vaccinate the World, Part 2

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 2

In a previous post, one of us described why we need global cooperation to achieve massively scaled up production of COVID vaccines. The United States must play a key role in this process, because it has the ability to mobilize resources, and powerful leverage over companies that have so far resisted serious participation in global efforts – especially Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J. Some commentators question whether the US has the power to compel this cooperation. Others have doubted the relevance of the demand coming from developing countries to temporarily waive the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement to facilitate more manufacturing. In this post, we explain why existing US law gives the Biden Administration the power to mandate sharing and overcome IP barriers, and how the TRIPS waiver can contribute importantly to efforts to scale up production at a global scale.

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 1

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 1

The shortage of vaccines is a manmade problem, brought on by the false promise of innovation-by-monopoly and by reproduction of colonial dynamics. Our global R&D system layers privatized control and profits for huge firms based in rich countries atop a vast regime of open science and public subsidy. We can scale up production if we force pharma to share.

Not an “Achievement Gap”, a Racial Capitalist Chasm

Not an “Achievement Gap”, a Racial Capitalist Chasm

Throughout this pandemic, transnational corporations and white parents alike have been sounding the “achievement gap” alarm under the guise of concern for “voiceless” Black and Brown children, but in service of their own neoliberal agendas. The students they speak of, however, can speak for themselves — and as they struggle through this time, with a fierce resilience that no young person should be forced to cultivate, their realities and their words call for more radical solutions.

Rent Cancellation: Social Protection in Uncertain Times

Rent Cancellation: Social Protection in Uncertain Times

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, interlocking structural inequities in health, employment, and racial justice have buffeted vulnerable populations. The looming “eviction apocalypse” sits at the nexus of these three ills. Black and Latinx people have the highest COVID infection, death, and unemployment rates nationwide. Mass evictions would only worsen this situation, preventing these households from sheltering in…

Where Is the Care in the CARES Act?

Where Is the Care in the CARES Act?

Two pandemic policy stories have been coming to a head: (1) the push for another relief bill as a key CARES Act unemployment insurance benefit expires on July 31, and (2) the ongoing national child-care crisis as school closures for the fall are announced amidst the virus’ resurgence. What connects them is kids’ needs for care and families’ needs for economic support when they—predominantly mothers, of course—perform that caring labor. A little-noticed feature of the CARES Act supports care for children who must stay home due to school closures.

The “New Normal” Privatization of the Workplace

The “New Normal” Privatization of the Workplace

As the COVID-19 crisis rages on, individuals around the world are now thrown into a work-from-home, digitally-enabled “new normal” of the workplace. For most white-collar workers, homes have become offices, and boundaries between work and domestic life are being reshuffled. This shift, however, is just an acceleration of prior developments well under way since the beginning…

We Cannot Prosecute Our Way to Making Black Lives Matter

We Cannot Prosecute Our Way to Making Black Lives Matter

Cities across the country are in turmoil after the cold-blooded killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. While the protests are motivated by and calling for a range of solutions to the ongoing problem of police brutality, the loudest call is for accountability in the form of criminal charges against the officers involved…

Don’t Reform Policing, Transform It

Don’t Reform Policing, Transform It

A version of this post appeared on the Boston Review’s website yesterday. There is a distressing disconnect between the ringing demands for justice on the streets and the suite of “police reform” proposals that many experts say satisfy these demands. Protesters and social movements talk about divesting from policing and investing in black communities. They talk about ensuring that “the most impacted in our communities…

The Many Forms of Police Violence

The Many Forms of Police Violence

Over the past week, there has been unprecedented acknowledgment of the physical violence that Black people in America have faced, for generations, at the hands of police. While this is an important development, the work to eradicate police violence will not be complete if the public remains concerned only with the most visually and viscerally…

Flattening the Curve and Closing the Gap: The Civil Rights of Health During a Global Pandemic

Flattening the Curve and Closing the Gap: The Civil Rights of Health During a Global Pandemic

“We’re all in this together” has become a familiar call for strengthening our sense of community and social responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this phrase can obscure deep social inequities, this recognition of our interdependence presents an opportunity to connect economic justice and public health. COVID-19 has instilled a new public understanding that our…

The Economics of Shortages

The Economics of Shortages

The price of food increased 2.6% in April, the largest single-month increase since 1974, but food industry executives are insisting that the country has enough food. So why are prices going up? The explanation provided by the industry is that consumers are buying more than they need, creating shortages. But a shortage is not a…