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The coronavirus pandemic has the potential to lead to an increase in inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began. The virus has exposed, fed off and increased existing inequalities of wealth, gender and race. Over two million people have died, and hundreds of millions of people are being forced into poverty while many of the richest – individuals and corporations – are thriving. Billionaire fortunes returned to their pre-pandemic highs in just nine months, while recovery for the world’s poorest people could take over a decade.
The crisis has exposed our collective frailty and the inability of our deeply unequal economy to work for all. Yet it has also shown us the vital importance of government action to protect our health and livelihoods. Transformative policies that seemed unthinkable before the crisis have suddenly been shown to be possible. There can be no return to where we were before. Instead, citizens and governments must act on the urgency to create a more equal and sustainable world.
PAUL O’BRIEN: Precisely, Amy. The data around the world, I’m not sure it’s even worse, but it is terrible in terms of how it has discriminatorily impacted women. A lot of it is because in the informal economy, you’ve seen two billion workers go out of work. Women are often on the front lines of under-secured labor. In the Middle East and North Africa, many of them have been forced to give up their jobs at 40% higher rates of job loss even though they were already discriminated against to start with, in terms of getting jobs. And we’ve seen this in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, too. So without specific protections designed to make our economic system more gender-just, to provide basic social protection, when you have a pandemic like this, it’s going to hurt women more. Everywhere.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the ten richest men in the world according to your report have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began?
PAUL O’BRIEN: Yep! And just to put that in context, that’s enough to vaccinate everybody on the planet Earth to get rid of this pandemic. And that’s just the profits they’ve made during the pandemic, the additional monies they’ve made. And of course, yes, it would be a good thing if they all sat around the dinner table and said, “You know, we’ve made this extra money, we had enough to start with. Let’s get rid of this pandemic.” But of course, our economic system can’t rely exclusively on their largess. What we are not doing is articulating and then passing the legislations that turns that from a voluntary philanthropic exercise into something they are required to do.
Prior to the shut downs and endless lockdowns, the poor were making huge economic strides in this country.
Rich and poor is the issue here, not race and gender.
5. A world of climate safety
Climate breakdown is the biggest threat ever to human existence. It is already destroying the livelihoods and taking the lives of the poorest, economically excluded and historically oppressed communities. Women
in these communities are among the most affected.
To prevent this, we need to build a green economy that prevents further degradation of our planet and preserves it for our children. We need an end to all subsidies for fossil fuels, and an end to fossil fuel corporations
and their rich shareholders making profits from government bailouts. The fight against inequality and the fight for climate justice are the same fight. The pandemic has shown us that massive action by governments is possible in the face of a crisis; we must see the same level of action to prevent climate breakdown.
The future depends on the choices we make now.
We are at a pivotal point in human history, a moment that will be written about in history books. We cannot return to the brutal, unequal and unsustainable world that the virus found us in. Humanity has incredible talent, huge wealth and infinite imagination. We must put these assets to work to build a more equal human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.
originally posted by: PublicOpinion
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
What was supposed to happen?
From the top of my head:
- Free Healthcare
- Suspended Patent Rights on COVID-19 Vaccines