Mammon category archive
Der Spiegel interviews two economists, Angus Deaton and Anne Case, in an attempt to figure out what the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed about health care in the United States.
They are not optimistic.
Here’s a bit:
Deaton: One great question to ask is: Why doesn’t America have a strong federal welfare state with health care like other European countries do? One answer is the issue of race. In the middle of the 20th century, it was the southern senators of the Democratic party who blocked any consideration of publicly funded health care. People don’t like to pay for services that go to people that don’t look like them, especially when they are black.
It’s a tough read, but a worthwhile one.
Thom and his guest discuss how the slaughter of farm animals is not simply the result of the coronavirus. Rather, they posit that the pandemic has revealed deep flaws in the existing system for getting meat to market.
At the Inky, Robert I. Field explains that the notion that you can somehow choose between the economy and public health is–er–misguided. An excerpt:
Disease mitigation and economic revival are both, of course, desperately needed, but they are inseparable. Just as a house can’t be solid if the foundation isn’t, an economy can’t be healthy if the population isn’t. A house with a weak foundation may seem substantial but only until a storm hits. An economy without a robust public health infrastructure may seem prosperous but only until widespread illness strikes.
Meanwhile, PoliticalProf takes a look at the stock market.
Donald Trump, seeking to appease the evangelical “Christians” in his base, has declared that churches are essential services.
E. J. Montini disagrees, because the Bible tells him so. A nugget (emphasis in the original):
But I recall a priest delivering a sermon on the subject of churches, talking about the Bible verse (Matthew 18:20) where Jesus says, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
The priest made a joke with the congregation, saying something along the lines of, “While I’m glad you’re all here, and I really do need this job, it doesn’t even take two or three of us to have the Lord with us. We’re able to have that on our own, any time we want.”
Susan Estrich is less than optimistic about the effects of Donald Trump’s push to “reopen” the country. Here’s a bit from her article (emphasis added):
I know what the president will say to people reopening their stores, wisely or not. He’ll tell them he hopes they get great business, tremendous business, the best business in the world. Really, can you imagine him saying anything else? What I don’t know is what he will say to the tens of thousands who will lose their loved ones because in Trumpland, making money, more and sooner, means more.