The Cruelty of Ending Unemployment as the Pandemic Rages

Joseph Stiglitz says it’s “disturbing” federal aid was allowed to lapse. “This is going to feed into the problems posed by the Delta variant.”
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Well, this is extraordinarily disturbing. You know, we should have passed a law that said so long as the unemployment rate remained elevated, in particular places it’s very, very serious, and — we should have continued those unemployment benefits. The numbers, three-fourths of those on unemployment are going to see their benefits cut or, most of those, eliminated. And we aren’t back to, really, normal. So, this is going to feed into the problems posed by the Delta variant, because that itself has slowed the economy down. As you mentioned, the unemployment — the employment numbers were not that good the last month. And now on top of that, we’re going to have the problem of insufficiency of aggregate demand, because these people who are going to lose their benefits won’t be able to spend. - Joseph Stiglitz