To provide for the issuance of emergency monthly payments to every American throughout the duration of the coronavirus crisis to be provided by the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with other Federal and State agencies.
To be sure, while the reaction to 9/11 was transformative for millions of Americans, it didn’t have the same economic repercussions as the coronavirus pandemic, but the differing attitudes to terrorism and pandemics were obvious well before the stay-at-home orders were issued.
Researchers on how anxiety impacts our politics argue that our different responses to terrorism and disease are the result of the politicization of anxiety, an emotional reaction to a perceived threat.
In their book, they looked at four different policy areas — public health, terrorism, climate change, and immigration — and divided them between “framed threats” and “unframed threats.” In short, a “framed threat” is a partisan one, where the “threat” level depends on your political perspective (some people are very anxious about climate change; others are very anxious about immigration levels).
While the world’s attention appropriately focuses on the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the threat of violent extremism remains, and has in some circumstances been exacerbated during the crisis. The moment demands new and renewed attention so that the gains made to date do not face setbacks.
Headlines over the past few weeks have suggested that violent extremist and terrorist groups ranging from Colombian hit squads to ISIS affiliates in sub-Saharan Africa to far-right extremists in the United States are watching the disruption caused by COVID-19. Many are at least aware of the potential to benefit from that disruption, and in some cases they are already taking advantage.
As with so much reporting on and analysis of the pandemic, however, there is a shortage of data and evidence to support the headlines.
China’s rapid technological advances are playing a leading role in contemporary geopolitical competition. The United States, and many of its partners and allies, have a range of concerns about how Beijing may deploy or exploit technology in ways that challenge many of their core interests and values. While the U.S. has maintained its position as the technologically dominant power for decades, China has made enormous investments and implemented policies that have contributed significantly to its economic growth, military capability, and global influence.
In some areas, China has eclipsed, or is on the verge of eclipsing, the United States — particularly in the rapid deployment of certain technologies.
These dynamics are enmeshed in a broader context of U.S.-China tensions; U.S. alliance management challenges; complex and shifting global supply chains; debates over economic and technology “decoupling”; tensions between norms of research openness and concerns about technology transfer; a contest for global technology standard-setting; rapid technological development in other countries, particularly in East Asia; and transnational debate about the regulation of large technology firms.
Surging unemployment claims show that our labor market, built for efficiency, can crumble in times of crisis at huge human and economic costs. The pandemic has exposed a weak point in the country’s economy: the precarity of low-wage workers. Many have adapted to unimaginable circumstances, risking their own well-being, implementing public health protocols, and keeping the essential bits of the economy, like access to food, running.
A lack of labor market protections exacerbates these workers’ insecurity and leaves the whole system fragile. Fifty-three million Americans, 44 percent of the labor force, earn low wages.
In the best of times, these workers cycle more frequently from one job to the next without wage advancement.
This lack of job stability causes financial volatility for households even when the economy is growing.
Uganda has stepped up restrictions on trucks passing through its territory – limiting them to one driver and banning them from stopping over in hotels – in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
The landlocked country sits on some of east Africa’s busiest road cargo routes that funnel goods from ports in Kenya and Tanzania further inland to Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Still the U.S. job count stood at more than 152 million as of February. Paychecks are arriving for tens of millions of government workers, hospital, sanitation, utility and other employees deemed to be doing essential jobs; an army of employees working from home; and even chefs cooking for carry-out. For roughly 42 million retirees, and millions more with disabilities, monthly Social Security payments continue.
While described as a “lockdown,” the restrictions recommended or put in place around the country have just as often amounted to a rearrangement. For tens of millions of Americans, work has shifted from office to home and moved online. Other businesses may have been ordered to close, but have hunted for ways to cope and maintain some revenue.
For some companies, the pandemic could even bring a bumper year.
Millions of India’s migrant labourers say they are in limbo, struggling to access aid to survive the six-week lockdown in the states where they work and appealing for help from officials back home.
In the southern state of Kerala, Nath has tasked a team of volunteers with finding the names and bank details of 400,000 migrant labourers living in temporary shelters to make sure they get assistance.
“They’ve collected the information of about 300,000 workers already,” Nath, Kerala’s labour commissioner, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
“The lockdown may be lifted, but this (data) is relevant for coming months. Policy-making is not possible without the numbers,” he added.
Hong Kong has so far been successful in containing the Covid-19 outbreak. The government is supporting consumers and companies, though its biggest support package only came earlier this month.
And Hong Kong banks started raising bad debt charges last year, as violent protests kept visitors away from the financial hub. The global slump will squeeze its economy, which is dependent on tourism and finance.
So far, however, Hong Kong’s financial system is holding up. (By Peter Thal Larsen)