The Main Street Manifesto (Project Syndicate, 6 min read) Current protests in the US are not only a response to systemic racism and police brutality but also represents an uprising against plutocracy, according to Nouriel Roubini. Trump came to power as people thought he would help reduce wealth inequality. But he failed his promise and ‘governed like a plutocrat’. [Bearish Trump]
The US has outspent France on job retention and other support for SMEs but had less success (PIIE, 2 min read) US PPP allowed 33 cents on nonpayroll expenses for every $1 spent on payroll giving a free lunch for firms that had no intention of laying off workers to take up the scheme. Additionally, ‘size exemptions’ and strong banking relations played its part to crowd out firms that were in most need of these funds.
How Inequality Fuels COVID-19 Deaths (Project Syndicate, 8 min read) Countries with high levels of inequality, including Mexico, Brazil and US account for half of global deaths due to COVID. Jeffrey Sachs believes this is primarily because inequality amplifies political polarisation and limits public trust making an effective response to the crisis more difficult.
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