Photo: Angela Weiss Agence France-Presse
Less-skilled workers are generally more exposed, or are at risk of losing their jobs.
For the British Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at Princeton University, the United States, the pandemic of sars coronavirus has acted as a developer of glaring inequalities which are likely to worsen still. He explains that he is according to him the urgent need for action to reform the health system in the United States and curb the monopoly of the “big tech ” in the world post-COVID.
That revealed the pandemic of sars coronavirus on inequality ?
Pandemics have been compared to X-rays which make it even more visible pre-existing inequalities. The most skilled people have jobs that they can continue to exercise almost the same way. We can talk to the people on Zoom and be paid the same.
Conversely, among less-skilled workers, those who are so-called essential workers (delivery men, drivers, cashiers, medical personnel…) are risking their lives because of the COVID-19, the other could lose their jobs.
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The mortality rate has also risen for people who do not have a graduate degree — including essential workers exposed because non-confined, while it is decreasing for college graduates. And it’s going to get worse.
There is also an aspect of race in these inequalities. […] The COVID also there are worse things : death rates are much higher for African Americans than for Whites.
And when we put all this together, even if nobody could have predicted the riot [which occurred in the United States following the death of George Floyd], we cannot say that it has nothing to do with the COVID.
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What are the necessary changes according to you in the world post-COVID ?
We have some hope that the american medical system in its current form will be a victim, that people will understand that he can no longer last, since people who lose their jobs also lose their medical insurance when they need it the most.
There are a lot of people that have recovered from the COVID and find themselves with medical bills enormous that they cannot pay, and many people died of the COVID, leaving their families with medical bills enormous that they cannot pay. Even people insured, because more and more, insurance deductibles and reduce coverages.
There are plenty of different systems. But everything is better than to pretend that the market can provide a health system, because this is not the case. And it leads to a […] large transfer of money from the ordinary people to other much more wealthy.
And it has been a vehicle of destruction and inequalities major. […] One of the stumbling blocks to America for a better welfare State was the racial question, and it may be that the current movement of events is going to change that.
But the most likely is that nothing will change and, in this case, the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities.
Less-skilled workers, those who are so-called essential workers (delivery men, drivers, cashiers, medical personnel…), risk their life because of the COVID-19, the other could lose their jobs.
— Angus Deaton
What other measures to attempt to correct inequality ?
I’m afraid that unemployment lasts a very long time and that this reinforces the share of capital [in relation to the work] in the GDP.
I’m afraid that the large technology companies thrive while other smaller companies are going bankrupt, and that an industrial consolidation even more extensive in the United States and in Europe only aggravates the inequalities.
When there are more and more companies are monopolistic, it is the path marked out for that GDP is redistributed to the capitalists. And unless the system collapses and there is a major reform, the indicators are moving towards a worsening of inequality.