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Will The Pandemic Shore Up Inequality Or Bring Change?

As the world struggles against the current coronavirus crisis, could social and economic transformations follow as before? Below, Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel takes on this question, looking at how disease outbreaks in the past disrupted the status quo and catalyzed change. For example, the Black Death, the bubonic plague that tore through Europe and the Middle

How the Pandemic Is Making the Retirement Crisis Worse — and What to Do About It

The coronavirus crisis has torn the Band-Aid off the financial fragility of many Americans. With an unemployment rate between 15% and 20%, bank accounts draining, and the Dow down 23% in the first quarter, things are dreadful for millions of people. But Americans in their 50s and 60s nearing retirement may be among the most

Past pandemics redistributed income between the rich and poor, according to Stanford historian

Throughout history, pandemics and plagues have been powerful changemakers: redistributing income and reducing inequality, according to research by Stanford historian Walter Scheidel. As the world struggles against the current coronavirus crisis, could social and economic transformations follow as before? Here, Scheidel takes on this question, looking at how disease outbreaks in the past disrupted the status

Employees Cite Financial Health as Biggest Concern Amidst the Pandemic

More than half (52 percent) of U.S. employees are most concerned with their financial health in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MetLife’s 18th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS) found. Employees are more concerned about their finances than any other aspect of their well-being, including physical (44 percent), mental (44 percent) and social health

Job or Health? Restarting the Economy Threatens to Worsen Economic Inequality

Efforts to quickly restart economic activity risk further dividing Americans into two major groups along socioeconomic lines: one that has the power to control its exposure to the coronavirus outbreak and another that is forced to choose between potential sickness or financial devastation. It is a pick-your-poison fact of the crisis: The pandemic recession has knocked millions

We Are Living in a Failed State

When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms. It took the scale and intimacy of a pandemic

Guide To Financial Resources And Relief For Those Affected By COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all in ways never imagined. Not only does constant danger lurk of contracting COVID-19, but our daily routines have been turned upside down. It certainly doesn’t help that the virus has also placed enormous financial pressure on workers and businesses owners. If your income has been affected by the crisis, it

Inequality Is Immune to the Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to recognize, once again and with fresh eyes, that the American project has been living paycheck to paycheck. If that money suddenly stops flowing, in particular, to small businesses, manufacturers, and the service and hospitality industries, the entire country would go into arrest. And as is the nature of capitalism, economic inequality would

How to deal with coronavirus-related money stress, according to financial psychologists

Over 22 million people have filed for unemployment, thrusting the United States into the worst crisis since the Great Depression, while other Americans worry that pay cuts and layoffs are on the horizon. “Job loss can feel like a threat to our stability and survival,” Amanda Clayman, a psychotherapist and financial wellness advocate at Prudential tells TODAY.

Pandemic Exposed Health Inequality and Flaws of Market Economy

The economic destruction brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic has brought up many comparisons to the Great Recession of 2008-09. While that crisis started in the financial sector and bled through the entire economy, this one was brought on by a global health crisis that caused the worldwide economy to come to a sudden stop,

Pandemic Reveals Overwhelming Need for Financial Wellness Programs

The need for employee financial wellness programs has increasingly gained attention in the past decade, and what began as general education initiatives have morphed into more actionable programs. Offering a financial wellness program to employees was considered a value-added benefit, but the novel coronavirus pandemic suggests it is an urgent necessity. “This outbreak has just

Climate action and poverty alleviation must go hand-in-hand

For the first time since its inception 50 years ago, this year’s Earth Day, on 22 April, will coincide with the fleeting prospect of a lower carbon footprint, as the fastest economic slowdown the world has ever seen has grounded transport and closed workplaces. The ‘new normal’ — as some are calling it — also

Inequality and the Coronavirus

My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature

Study Highlights Connections Between Money Missteps and Financial Literacy

While 75% of Americans consider themselves financially savvy, 36% don't know how, or prefer not, to answer basic financial literacy questions, according to KeyBank's 2020 Financial Wellness Survey. This Financial Capability Month, Americans are facing new and unprecedented wellness challenges—both financial and health related—due to the spread of COVID-19. With temporary businesses closures and the loss

Forecasts from World Bank project first global poverty increase since 1998

As the novel coronavirus sprawls across the globe, wreaking havoc on human lives and economic health, the World Bank on Monday predicted that 2020 would see the first increase in global poverty in more than two decades. Economists at the international financial institution calculate that the pandemic will push 40 million to 60 million people

Inequality doesn’t just make pandemics worse – it could cause them

A lot has been written about how this pandemic is exacerbating social inequalities. But what if it’s because our societies are so unequal that this pandemic happened? There is a school of thought that, historically, pandemics have been more likely to occur at times of social inequality and discord. As the poor get poorer, the

Why financial literacy matters in an economic crisis

A new survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education finds that nearly 9 in 10 (88%) Americans say the COVID-19 crisis is causing stress on their personal finances. Financial literacy cannot predict or remedy a crisis, but financial education will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of our country. Throughout April we

Financial Advice And The Moments That Matter

When do employees most need financial advice? In moments that matter, like what we’ve been experiencing with the global COVID-19 outbreak and recent market volatility. The market swings of the past month have created anxiety for all investors. With financial concerns being the No. 1 workplace stressor, the decline in 401(k) balances and company stock prices have

Financial wellness programs show your employees you have their back

Employees working in essential jobs are in a tough place during this pandemic. While grateful to be employed, they surely didn't sign up to be on the front lines of this crisis. Recently, we've witnessed strikes at Instacart, Amazon, and Whole Foods over coronavirus health concerns. Their demands? More safety precautions and higher pay for

Don’t Let This Crisis Go To Waste When It Comes To Your Financial Wellness

With unemployment on the rise and many businesses unable to operate, this is a tough financial time for many people. But if you’re fortunate enough to not have your family income reduced during this pandemic, there are some opportunities to protect yourself from a future loss of income and grow your long-term wealth. As former