Nobel Prize Winner: Republican Policies Are Ensuring A Second Great Depression

Joseph StiglitzGreg Salibian / CC-BY-2.0 / Flickr

William James

Top economist Joseph Stiglitz warns that conservative policies would launch the U.S. into another depression.

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Peace Prize winner and top economist, said recently that conservative policies in the U.S. are setting the stage for a second Great Depression, reports The Guardian. Stiglitz is a long-term critic of President Donald Trump and states that the nation’s social safety net is not strong enough for any crisis, much less one the scale of COVID-19. Stiglitz points out that 14% of the U.S. population is on food stamps, and that the projected 30% unemployment rate the country will soon see will be catastrophic.

“The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply. It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working.”

“We have a safety net that is inadequate. The inequality in the US is so large. This disease has targeted those with the poorest health. In the advanced world, the US is one of the countries with the poorest health overall and the greatest health inequality.”

Stiglitz blames Republicans for the speed in which the virus spread, saying that they shot down a proposal to give all employees 10 days sick leave. If people didn’t have sick leave, they would continue to go into work and transmit the virus to others. “The Republicans said no because they said it would set a bad precedent. It is literally unbelievable.” He criticized. Stiglitz fears an impending second Great Depression. When asked if Americans should worry about another depression at an event where he was promoting his new book, he said:

“Yes is the answer in short,” he said. “If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell [the Republican Senate majority leader] we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.”

He continued by pointing out Trump’s obvious mismanagement of the pandemic. The U.S. went into the fray with a shuttered pandemic program, a defunded CDC, and an insufficient amount of tests and PPE.“We were unprepared but, even given the degree of unpreparedness, Trump’s decision to make this about politics rather than about science has meant we have responded far more poorly.” He said.Like many, he sees a tiny glimmer of hope in November, when the nation will have a chance to vote Trump out of office. But he warns that Republicans will play dirty and rely on voter suppression tactics and gerrymandering. Read the Full Report.

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