Walter Almendares suspects he has some gifts under his artificial Christmas tree – not for his daughter, his nephews or anyone else.
In March, Almenderes read an email again and again, trying to implement the message he had been working on for more than two decades from Sato Mormont, Los Angeles. He was one of more than 200 people shot by the Swanky Hotel.
“It’s scary, the way they did it,” he said.
Widespread local strikes made it practically impossible to find a new job, and soon, he tried to pay the bills using his 401 (k) pension savings.
Like Almenderas, tens of thousands of people across the United States are suffering from the effects of efforts to control the corona virus epidemic in a catastrophic economy. Nevertheless, millions of other Americans spend at the end of the year. The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will rise 3.6 to 5.2% this year In comparison 2019, consumers spend collectively b More than 750 billion.
Those startling contradictions reflect a clear example of how the epidemic has exacerbated America’s already long-standing imbalances, amid widespread awareness of the country’s deep-rooted problems with economic and racial injustices.
“It has certainly increased inequality between whites and blacks, between the good and the poor – higher wages, lower wages. All of that goes away completely,” said Ellis Gold, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
During the epidemics, 651 billionaires earned more than t 1tn of extra wealth – enough to send every American $ 3,000 check And then some. But so far, that prosperity has not diminished 26.1 million U.S. workers engaged in wrestling with the direct impacts from the economic downturn in November, including unemployment and falling wages.
Those hardships fell proportionately on black and brown people, and they were minimal You can work from home even before the infection. In the third quarter of 2020, The unemployment rate for blacks and Latinos was 13.2% and 11.2%, respectively, compared to 7.9% for whites.
As Americans struggle to pay rent or buy food, Amanda Fischer, the Washington Center’s policy director for equitable development, warned that “by the end of this year, people will be experiencing” the worst suffering. “ Providing a research and grant is non-profit.
At the outset of the epidemic, Congress’s Cares Act, which provided 2 2.2 tons of aid to the corona virus, was “one of the most anti – poverty tools we’ve ever seen in American history,” Fischer said. But those rules are temporary, and once they disappear, vehicles line up outside Food banks When Tenants fell several months behind on their bills.
Later, as the US economy began to recover, it did so through a “K-shaped” recovery, benefiting the rich and exiting Behind Almost everyone. Stock Market – Where About 80% The first 10% of wealth historically belongs to families – continues Rise, And widely predicted by CEOs Confidence in the economy, Many of them reduce their employees and expect wages to stagnate.
High-income earners were also doing well, with the employment rate of those earning more than $ 60,000 finally reaching an eclipse higher than it was in early 2020. Nonprofit Organization Opportunity Intelligence.
Meanwhile, in mid-October, the employment rate among workers earning less than $ 27,000 fell by 19% compared to January. Also, when shoppers browse online, job seekers expecting a holiday boom will instead be affected by seasonal adjustments. ”Significant losses in retail employment”, According to the EPI December post.
Now, while millions of Americans are still suffering despite being forced into a new lock-up, critics are exploding Congress’ relatively modest proposed aid package, which includes the $ 300 sub-weekly unemployment benefit and $ 600 stimulus checks.
“It’s not enough. People are hungry. People are homeless,” said Anna Kifty, co-founder of the Saadi Co-op. Increase diversity in the economy and related sectors.
In the 11th hour reversal against his own party, Donald Trump called on Congress to issue $ 2,000 stimulus checks instead. He declared the law a “disgrace” and long argued that it was a great aid package to the delight of Democrats.
“House Democrats have been fighting for months to provide relief to the American people, and Republicans have rejected it at every turn,” said House majority leader Steny Hoyer. “Now that the president has agreed to pay $ 2,000, we will ask for unanimous approval to pass a bill this week to provide this assistance to Americans.”
But while Capitol Hill is fighting it, Almendares is one of the many miserable foodies who endure their inaction, and he wants the government to help further.
With unemployment benefits worth about 0,270 a week, his family can no longer afford home allowances, and their favorite holiday food items are in short supply.
“We are in pain,” he said. “Of course it hurts the country too, because people have no money.”