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04/19/2020

Comments

Kit Lombard

The article by Bouie made me recall a recent message Trevor Noah had on a study found that African Americans are not less likely to get the disease and that "even in times of crisis, racism is still prevalent." However, I think he may have misunderstood and presented the information not in the best manner. The second article made evident that African Americans are more likely to die from the virus, but rather since society is so stacked against them that nothing else could transpire. It pertains nothing to their genes but rather the abandonment of them in our society. The transition to the first article is interesting because debt accumulated would easily hang over the individuals head. This is why when more Conservative politicians talk about overspending on impacting debt, average citizens believe them because debt to us is substantially different to national debt. The article by Krugman was interesting because it is evident in other countries beyond the US. China invested heavily into building mega cities throughout their country, all with metro systems, apartments, and public accommodations. The nation's debt spiked tremendously but the country's GDP is still growing faster. In contrast, it makes me wonder about Japan. Japan has a lot of debt and unfortunately due to their population crisis, the GDP cannot be expected to continually grow about the debt. In this case, what would happen when the rate of debt grows beyond the GDP? Would the country's economy technically collapse?

Cate

I thought the first article about debt and the second article about the impact of COVID-19 on African Americans made some interesting connections. The debt article stated "what we should probably be worrying about instead is public investment in infrastructure, which has been neglected and suffers from obvious deficiencies." The importance of urban revitilization and rebuilding communities that are falling apart is immediately what came to my mind. The second article stated "Who will live in crowded, segregated neighborhoods? Who will be exposed to lead-poisoned pipes and toxic waste?" I think the ultimate question we should be asking is who is going to fix this. Then we look at how one should go about it, and ways in which people that have a steady income and job can help. It is sickening to me that people are still facing the repercussions of early discrimination in our country. The most vulnerable groups of society appear to be targeted by pandemics (AIDS, Ebola, Swine Flu, now this). We can do better.

Savannah Corey

I am a little confused about the discussion of debt scolds and "how high public debt feeds current consumption at the expense of investment for the future" in the Krugman article. I understand that if the GDP grows at a faster rate than the debt accumulates, the high levels of debt will ultimately melt. However, I am wondering how this correlates with current consumption? In the second article, I think the point about the racial hierarchy persisting after the Civil War due to the lack of socioeconomic restructuring programs was very insightful. Bouie reiterates throughout his piece that racism is still embedded in the political, social, and economic fabric of today, which raises the vulnerability of minority groups in the face of global pandemics, like COVID-19. I hope that the disproportionate effects of coronavirus on African Americans has raised awareness of the bigger issues of inequality that Bouie illustrates like the increased exposure of certain groups to polluted air, toxic waste, and overcrowded neighborhoods.

Sam Herndon

In the first reading it was mentioned that it is the norm for interest rates to be higher than the economy's growth rate but there was a short period in the 1980s when that was not the case. Why was that the case and what would the effects be if it had lasted for longer? In the second article, there were some very thoughtful points made to reason why the black population is dying at a higher rate from COVID. I've spent my time at my mothers house in rural Crozet, Virginia since we've been sent home. Yesterday, I drove to my dads house, which is in the city of Richmond. I drive by homeless people or just people who like to hangout at bus stops etc on the way to his house. Usually mainly black people with some white people doing the same. Yesterday, it was a STRONG majority of black people in that crowd. This shows that they don't have the resources to stay safe and the article highlighted that it's society's fault. The article mentioned "At the same time, policies like state-subsidized education, low-interest home loans and the interstate highway system helped turn a working class of ethnic Europeans into a middle class of whites." Why did this help ethnic Europeans not African-Americans?

Matthew Todd

I find myself a bit confused about the debt article. I don't understand why debt has been such a point of contention politically if the solution is just to sit back and let it melt. I'm curious of what will happen as we, along with the rest of the world, need money for stimulus due to the virus. Where will the money come from, when everyone needs the money for their own domestic purposes, and won't our GDP growth falter significantly as our need for money rises?

In regards to the other article, I found it interesting to see the author's thoughts, as I'd been hearing a lot about the Hispanic and African American vulnerability to COVID. It's something for us to be mindful of, our past, and should hopefully inspire sympathy and generosity when dealing with those who're in bad situations that are exasperbated by COVID.

Harper Darden

I agree with many of the points above and have a lot of the same questions. I think Bouie's article ties in well with the first New York Times article we read about the healthcare inequalities. If these communities have been receiving poor healthcare, only have access to unhealthy foods, and developing diseases that turn out to be pre-existing conditions, they will suffer more from COVID. That is devastating. Bouie also talked about how the nature of capitalism is inherently discriminatory because of the foundation it was built on. How do we as a country change that system to foster equality instead when that economic system is so woven into the fabric of American life? Where would we start? I also thought that him talking a lot about the New Deal was very interesting. News reporters and politicians talk about a New "New Deal" to help pull America out of the recession, and maybe that could be a good place to start enacting truly equitable policies. I think that Krugman's piece really speaks to the struggle between principle and reality. I think that principles could definitely cloud what is actually happening which, as we discussed in class, would explain the fear of rising debt. Hypothetically speaking, if to counterbalance the debt the interest rate sinks too low, would that ever discourage lenders from coming to the banks and lending money to small business and individuals?

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