This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy
From an economic point of view, it is almost as if the last year was just a bad dream.
As recently as October, the IMF was warning that coronavirus will cause “lasting damage” to living standards across the world with any recovery likely to be “long, uneven and uncertain”.
Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.
Beyond Pandemic’s Upheaval, a Racial Wealth Gap Endures
Billions in aid has been dispensed, and the social safety net has been reinforced. Will there be more ambitious steps to address longtime inequities?
Not since Lyndon Baines Johnson’s momentous civil rights and anti-poverty legislation has an American president so pointedly put racial and economic equity at the center of his agenda.
President Biden’s multitrillion-dollar initiatives to rebuild infrastructure in neglected and segregated neighborhoods, increase wages for health care workers, expand the safety net and make pre-K and college more accessible are all shot through with attention to the particular economic disadvantages that face racial minorities. So were his sweeping pandemic relief bill and Inauguration Day executive orders.
The Politics of Post-Pandemic Education
Spring break usually means a giddy escape from the classroom for children across America. This year, however, the millions of students who have not set foot in a classroom since last spring are celebrating by closing their laptops for a few days. Many of these students have no prospect of returning to class anytime soon — and their pandemic-shuttered schools have become the focus of an ugly battle among teachers’ unions, school boards, parents, and elected officials about how, and when, they should reopen.
As the politics of reopening have grown increasingly antagonistic and personal, the pandemic is blurring partisan and racial cleavages around public education and creating new coalitions that could remain powerful players in local education politics. At stake is the fate of our public education system itself.
‘Justice for All’ Requires Access to Justice
Starting from day one, the Biden-Harris administration launched an ambitious agenda to help vulnerable and underserved communities across the country with a volley of executive actions designed to course-correct and tackle the nation’s most urgent crises. These swift and bold steps will help communities that have far too often been harmed, marginalized, and overlooked by government policies. In the months ahead, the administration can bolster many of its priorities through strong federal leadership and the incorporation of access to justice strategies that aim to strengthen both the civil and criminal legal systems.
The Center for American Progress has previously called for reestablishing the Obama-era Office for Access to Justice (ATJ) within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a key step to accomplishing its justice priorities.
The U.S. Water and Wastewater Crisis – How Many Wake-up Calls Are Enough?
In February, much of Texas plunged into darkness when the state’s electricity grid failed due to extreme cold weather conditions. What started as a foreseeable blackout quickly became a life-threatening calamity. The frigid temperatures cracked pipes and froze wells. To escape the frigid cold, have drinking water, and flush toilets, Texans were forced to boil snow and icicles. The extreme weather conditions and lack of basic amenities resulted in several fatal cases of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
More than 14 million people in Texas were affected, and lost access to clean water at the height of the crisis. At the beginning of March, there were still nearly 390,000 people who did not have water safe enough to drink in their homes
The global economy’s uneven recovery
The chances for a swift, uniform rebound from the COVID-19 crisis have dimmed, and the world economy now faces sharply divergent growth prospects. Although the latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) offers some grounds for optimism, it also raises renewed concerns.
Vaccination euphoria has been tempered by slow vaccine rollouts in most countries, while fresh waves of COVID-19 infections are threatening many economies’ growth trajectories.
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‘Sacrifice zones’: How people of color are targets of environmental racism
The Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how systemic racism disproportionately places danger and harm on low-income and minority populations.
One harsh reality of this systemic racism is the existence of “sacrifice zones,” which are communities located near pollution hot spots that have been permanently impaired by intensive and concentrated industrial activity, such as factories, chemical plants, power plants, oil and gas refineries, landfills and factory farms.
A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains
An emerging branch of neuroscience asks a question long on the minds of researchers. Recent stimulus payments make the study more relevant.
New monthly payments in the pandemic relief package have the potential to lift millions of American children out of poverty. Some scientists believe the payments could change children’s lives even more fundamentally — via their brains. It’s well established that growing up in poverty correlates with disparities in educational achievement, health and employment. But an emerging branch of neuroscience asks how poverty affects the developing brain.
Cold War 2.0 isn’t about nuclear weapons
THE so-called ‘Cold War 2.0’ brewing between the United States and China/Russia bears little resemblance to the post-World War II scenario. The present scenario is different in two fundamental ways: it does not have roots in two opposing ideologies of communism and capitalism, with one trying to overwhelm the other, and it is least about establishing military superiority in terms of achieving a permanent nuclear edge over the rival bloc.
The current phase of rivalry between the US and China/Russia is more about preserving US unilateral hegemony over economy, technology and global sphere of influence than about military’s offensive and defensive capabilities. The rise of China and Russia challenges the US more in terms of the latter’s unilateral domination in essentially non-military fields, although both economy and technology have military implications as well.
America’s Next Insurgency
Bleeding Kansas began with an eviction attempt. In late 1854, Jacob Branson, an abolitionist from Ohio, started trying to kick Franklin Coleman, a slavery proponent, off his property. Roughly a year later, Coleman ran into a friend of Branson’s at a local blacksmith’s shop. The friend berated Coleman for continuing to squat on the land and demanded that he desist. It’s not clear what, if anything, Coleman said in response. But it is clear what he did. As the friend walked away, Coleman took out a gun and killed him.
Fearing reprisal in what was a largely antislavery community, Coleman fled to a nearby town and turned himself in to a proslavery sheriff. That sheriff promptly freed him and then arrested Branson.
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