A Look At That Great Economy – In Saner Thought

Trump keeps telling the people of the US that this economy is great and that we all will be on easy street soon enough

New unemployment data came out Thursday morning, and the numbers are not sitting well with Wall Street investors. The Labor Department says 898,000 people applied for jobless benefits last week, exceeding estimates by about 70,000, reports CNBC. The figure is up more than 50,000 from the previous week and is the highest since August. The stock market opened an hour after the report came out, with the Dow down about 300 points in the early going, or roughly 1%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were down similar percentages.

The world’s poor have been hit the hardest by the pandemic—and in the US, that group includes 6 million to 8 million more people than it did a few months ago, according to two studies released this week. Columbia University researchers found that the number of poor people in the US actually fell in the early months of the crisis, when the $2 trillion Cares Act provided $1,200 stimulus checks and an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits, but the gains were reversed as aid dried up, causing 8 million people to fall into poverty since May, reports the New York Times. Researchers from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, who measured income by year instead of by month, put the number at 6 million, including 2.5 million children.

“These numbers are very concerning,” University of Chicago economist Bruce D. Meyer tells the Times. “They tell us people are having a lot more trouble paying their bills, paying their rent, putting food on the table.” The studies found that Black and Latino Americans are around twice as likely to be in poverty as white Americans. Authors of both studies found that the Cares Act had been extremely successful in keeping people out of poverty and urged Congress to consider their research when crafting future stimulus programs, the Guardian reports. “The Cares Act was very successful,” says Columbia researcher Christopher Wimer. “But one of its shortcomings was its temporary nature.”

A Look At That Great Economy – In Saner Thought

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