End the duopoly

Michael Hicks: COVID-19 and economic inequality

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Michael Hicks Submitted photo The recession that began formally in February continues to weaken the economy. While the early burst of layoffs has passed, a more permanent loss of jobs and businesses is settling into a record pace. The call-back of those temporary layoffs is welcomed, but it masks the fact that continuing job losses remain at a pace not seen since the Great Depression.

Despite the cheerful claims of the Trump administration and its supporters, just last week we lost jobs at twice the rate of the worst period of the Great Recession. The pandemic continues to exert a historic effect on our economy, and we must confront it with honesty, facts and determination.

The uneven experiences of many families during this downturn may prove a more lasting effect of this downturn. Over the past six months, cumulative job losses tell a stark story of this recession. Cumulative employment for college graduates is down 1.7%. This is horrendous and is more than twice the cumulative loss of jobs for college-educated workers we experienced during the 2007-09 downturn. Despite this, they are the lucky ones.

Job losses for less well-educated workers are far worse. Among those adults who have been to college […]

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