Sunday, November 8, 2020

Dean Baker: The Biden 8.1 Million Vote 'Landslide!' (corrected post) [feedly]

good points by Baker: but the fascist vote was still way to large. divisions must be sharply reduced to make way for real progress. That's a river which, currently, no bridge to cross is in sight. Knights will not save us. It will have to be managed by hand and swimming. Old Arabic saying: "Hold hands and we can survive the current. In the Middle East, Dive in, or stay away". True in Texas, for sure.

he Biden 8.1 Million Vote Landslide! (corrected post)

Some folks are seeing this election as a squeaker for Biden since we saw close races in key states. This has concealed the fact that Biden actually is winning the popular vote by a large margin. Since many votes are still not counted across the country I thought I would do a simple exercise where I projected margins for the votes outstanding in each state.

Much of this is naturally guess work, but hopefully not too nutty. I applied some simple rules. As we have seen, the vast majority of mail-in ballots are for Biden, even in pro-Trump areas. This means that I assumed in most states that the remaining vote was more pro-Biden than the vote already recorded.

In the pro-Trump states I assumed there was no margin for the outstanding votes. This would not have made a huge difference since in most of these states 98 percent of the vote was already in, but it seems plausible that Biden would have come close in the votes outstanding in these states. (I used the NYT data from 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, November 7th.) For other states I assumed more of a pro-Biden tilt. As we saw, in Pennsylvania the mail-in votes went to Biden by a margin of around 50 percentage points. I assumed margins of 40 pp in a number of states (a 70-30 margin) and somewhat smaller margins in other states. In CA I assumed the remaining votes would follow the same pattern as the votes reported to date.

Here's the story:

 Current   Percent Assumed AdjustmentAdj Margin
 BidenTrumpMargin reported Margin    
AK56.6108.2-31.3% 56.0% -31.3% -41 -92
AL843.51434.1-25.9% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -591
Ark421761.3-28.8% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -340
AZ 1626.91606.40.6% 97.0% 0.6% 1 21
CA8180415232.7% 77.0% 40.0% 1,473 5,501
CO1753.41335.313.5% 95.0% 13.5% 22 440
CT1058.8698.720.5% 97.0% 40.0% 22 382
DC258.614.489.5% 80.0% 89.5% 61 305
DE295.4199.919.3% 98.0% 30.0% 3 99
FL5269.95646.9-3.5% 96.0% 3.5% 16 -361
Georgia2461.52454.20.1% 98.0% 40.0% 40 47
HI365.8196.630.1% 98.0% 30.1% 3 173
Idaho287554-31.7% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -267
IL3016.82330.712.8% 89.0% 30.0% 198 884
IN1239.51727.1-16.4% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -488
Iowa757.8865.5-6.6% 92.0% 30.0% 42 -65
Kan542.6748.6-16.0% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -206
Ken777.81342.5-26.6% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -565
Louis855.61255.5-18.9% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -400
Maine419.3340.510.4% 91.0% 30.0% 23 101
Mass2246.31117.333.6% 92.0% 40.0% 117 1,246
MD1367.176028.5% 70.0% 40.0% 365 972
MI 2794.926472.7% 98.0% 40.0% 44 192
Minn1717.91485.67.3% 96.0% 40.0% 53 286
Miss447.2683.5-20.9% 86.0% 0.0% 0 -236
MO1242.91711.8-15.9% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -469
MT243.7341.8-16.8% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -98
NC2656.32732.8-1.4% 98.0% 30.0% 33 -44
ND114.7235-34.4% 91.0% 0.0% 0 -120
NE367.9550.2-19.9% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -182
Nev642.6616.92.0% 94.0% 2.0% 2 27
NH 422.3365.27.3% 98.0% 30.0% 5 62
NJ2057.61414.118.5% 78.0% 40.0% 392 1,035
NM497.8400.810.8% 98.0% 30.0% 6 103
NY42362934.118.2% 84.0% 40.0% 546 1,848
OH2576.63038.2-8.2% 90.0% 40.0% 250 -212
OK503.91020.3-33.9% 96.0% 0.0% 0 -516
OR1318.5942.716.6% 97.0% 16.6% 12 387
PA3345.73311.30.5% 98.0% 40.0% 54 89
RI300.3197.720.6% 97.0% 40.0% 6 109
SC1092.51386.2-11.8% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -294
SD150.5260.1-26.7% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -110
TN1139.41849.8-23.8% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -710
TX5215.85872.1-5.9% 97.0% 30.0% 103 -553
UT444.5701.1-22.4% 88.0% -22.4% -35 -292
VA2380.91953.89.9% 98.0% 30.0% 27 454
VT227.2111.134.3% 95.0% 40.0% 7 123
WA2286.31498.320.8% 95.0% 20.8% 41 829
WI1630.616100.6% 98.0% 40.0% 26 47
WV259.2589.8-38.9% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -331
WY73.4193.5-45.0% 98.0% 0.0% 0 -120


I get a bottom line for a final adjusted margin of 8,101,000 votes. If anyone sees an obvious problem with my calculations, I welcome corrections.

(Note: I had originally had the margin at 9.7 million, but had two errors pointed out to me on Twitter.)

 -- via my feedly newsfeed

News from EPI › The Biden administration must strongly advocate for working people

Amen to EPI's Thea Lee on the election.

However, I find myself reviewing the roadblocks to -- and opportunities for -- realizing the hopes of the progressive majority.

1. The working class remains too divided. While the principal symptom of division is racism, both the chief causes and the priority fixes, are economic. Higher wages, full employment, affordable health, big investments in education and public works.will put a big dent in the fascist trump base. But that will not happen without a structural shift in class relations in the US, toward a just distribution of wealth, based on the principle of To Each According To Their Work. Without swelling mass movements and action however, no president or vice president will be able to cross that river. And many billionaire prerogatives, including liberal ones, will not survive the crossing, if it is to be made. Bloombergs and Gates may hate Trump, but they will not lead the charge that substantially taxes their wealth, or imposes public supervision over the investments (and their social or environmental costs/benefits) that their monopolistic enterprises make. Nor are Joe and Kamala Knights of myth and romance, who are coming to save us. They are, or will be, elected leaders, not Kings or Queens. Their destiny rests more in our hands, from  which their power and authority derive, than theirs.

2. The international situation will determine a lot: immigration, defense budgets, the decline of US power relative to China's model of socialist-led market economics, and its impact on global health, climate change damage, and economic growth. The irrefutable fact that most of our challenges are global will increase calls for global PUBLIC supervision of economic, population, environmental forces and security. This will require a measured loss of sovereignty by most nations, and abandonment of imperial domination aspirations by all. The bridge to internationalism is the other river that must be crossed -- and that demands a global reckoning with racism, and ultra-nationalism. 


Now that the 2020 presidential election is finally decided, working people can look forward to a moment of hope and opportunity. In January, Americans will have a president and vice president who have pledged to prioritize the needs of working families. Despite extraordinary and unconscionable efforts to silence voters, the democratic process has prevailed in the most important election of our lifetime.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won on a platform that addresses the urgent needs of working people. EPI has long called for policies that would shift bargaining power back toward workers, curb accelerating income inequality, shore up the nation's infrastructure and educational systems, protect and expand social insurance programs, and help close gender and racial wage gaps. We look forward to working closely with the incoming administration to systematically undo the harm caused by the Trump administration—and to build an economy that works for everyone in America, elevates the contributions of working people, and is committed to addressing and reversing systemic racism.

Many elections across the country demonstrated that progressive, pro-worker policies are not just good economics, but also can be electoral winners. By overwhelming margins, Florida residents voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, and Colorado residents voted for a 12-week paid family and medical leave program. As EPI's work has shown, the progressive agenda is both popular and necessary for a robust and fair economic recovery at this precarious moment in history.

We encourage the incoming administration and Congress to focus on building worker power, fighting for racial justice, and making the transformational changes we need to invest in America, including through clean energy and other forms of climate crisis mitigation, public health, the care economy, the immigration system, and public education. This is not a time for timidity or austerity. This is a time for courage and ambition, and we are ready to work with Congress and the incoming administration to achieve the changes our country needs.

Friday, November 6, 2020

China is awash with schadenfreude over U.S. election tumult

China is awash with schadenfreude over U.S. election tumult

Gerry Shih
November 5, 2020 at 6:08 a.m. EST
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TAIPEI, Taiwan ­— "Hopeless America," a columnist at China's official Xinhua News Agency thundered.

"U.S. democracy now a joke," the Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao broadsheet pronounced.

Follow the latest on Election 2020

"A bit like a developing country," the Global Times sniffed as it contemplated the possibility of post-election violence erupting in the world's most powerful democracy.

As the United States tallied votes in a presidential election that appears headed for a court battle and fractious final phase, Chinese commentators and state mouthpieces this week lined up to portray the cross-Pacific superpower — viewed with awe and envy by generations of Chinese — as a politically crumbling edifice in 2020.

The Chinese criticisms, while pointed, mirrored broad concerns among both U.S. allies and rivals as the United States wrestled with unfounded allegations of electoral fraud from President Trump on Wednesday, an emerging legal showdown and the prospect of internal divisions that could endure well beyond Inauguration Day. Sizing up the situation, newspapers in South Korea and Japan this week questioned the "intrinsic value of democracy" while Britain's former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt warned about a potential "catastrophe for the worldwide reputation of democracy."

Contested U.S. election batters America's global image

We asked people around the world if they would vote for Biden or Trump and why
Washington Post reporters asked people around the world who would be better for their country, Joe Biden or President Trump. (Alexa Juliana Ard, Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

But in China, state media and the commentariat followed the unprecedented scenes from the United States not with anxiety but schadenfreude. The country had been locked in an increasingly ideological confrontation with the Trump administration and has doubled down in recent years on promoting the legitimacy of Communist Party rule to its citizens.


In a piece in Xinhua's China Comment magazine, Wang Pengquan, a state socialism researcher, chastised his compatriots for reflexively "kowtowing" to U.S. superiority and urged them to build a "modern socialist country."

"America-worshippers exaggerate its political system's ability to self-correct and tout its so-called freedom," Wang wrote. "Facts speak louder than words. The vast majority of Chinese can see through the reality of U.S. political division, economic stagnation and social turmoil."

No matter the outcome of the election, there is little hope for the United States to regain the global leadership it inherited at the end of World War II, wrote Xinhua editor Wang Jinwei in another piece as he described a country racked by racial tensions, economic inequality and unchecked coronavirus cases.

Protesters wear masks of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Trump during an Oct. 27 demonstration in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Criticisms of liberal democracy, to be sure, are nothing new from Beijing, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds power with an iron grip. China has rapped neighboring Taiwan and South Korea, for instance, when brawls have broken out in their parliaments. When the presidential election in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore descended into controversy before being settled by the Supreme Court, state media noted mildly that the U.S. electoral system "is in fact not perfect."


The tone was harsher this time.

"Democracy has not made America great again, nor has it saved Americans from the pandemic," said Wang Wen, an executive dean at Renmin University in Beijing who wrote an essay earlier this year titled "the End of the American Century."

"This is no longer the United States we knew in the past," Wang told The Washington Post.

Taiwan frets over how a Biden administration would deal with China

Freedom House, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., released a report this year that included the United States among countries where democratic institutions have weakened.

But Sarah Cook, a China researcher at Freedom House, said the Chinese criticisms of democracies were "ironic" and a "typical part of the playbook" from its state media. Cartoons and memes mocking Trump and U.S. politicians have been widespread in China, but "any user posting anything even remotely irreverent of Xi Jinping faces severe punishment, including possible imprisonment," she said, referring to the Chinese president.


"Those kinds of actions speak louder than words in terms of the deep level of insecurity behind the CCP and state media's boasting of their own system."

As vote totals climbed, many independent outlets on Chinese social media, which represent the most popular way for many Chinese to consume news, scrambled to provide readers detailed explanations on matters such as the U.S. electoral college, why absentee ballots could dramatically shift vote totals after polls closed, and the implications of Trump declaring an early victory.

Badges are displayed Wednesday at an election watch event held by Democrats Abroad at a restaurant in Beijing. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

Government censors, for the most part, stayed at arm's length from discussions about U.S. politics as the topic racked up nearly 7 billion views on Weibo.

In Hong Kong, where Beijing has accused Washington of political interference, the Communist Party-controlled Ta Kung Pao newspaper seized on the election turmoil as an example of Washington's "double standards."


The U.S. government sided last year with Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters who demanded the right to choose the city's leader rather than selecting from candidates prescreened by Beijing. Yet the U.S. president is also not selected simply by popular vote, the newspaper argued, while pointing out that the U.S. election could be mired in a legal challenge and that the White House is barricaded behind steel bars.

"What is infuriating is that Americans themselves reject so-called true universal suffrage but ask Hong Kong to promote it," Ta Kung Pao opined. "The U.S. election is not a model of democracy, but an ugly demonstration of democracy. It's a worldwide laughingstock."

When the U.S. Embassy in Beijing also sought to explain the electoral college on Weibo as part of the State Department's public diplomacy, it was also greeted with skepticism.


One Chinese user derided the state of democracy in the United States as "slipping to the level of Belarus or Venezuela."

Another joked that America is so divided it should adopt China's "one country, two systems" framework for governing Hong Kong: "You can have two governments and two presidents!"

John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV
Enlighten Radio
Socialist Economics

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Many companies pay nothing in taxes. The public has a right to know how they pull it off. [feedly]

Many companies pay nothing in taxes. The public has a right to know how they pull it off.

By Lawrence Summers and Natasha Sarin

Oct. 22, 2020

Corporations are increasingly recognizing the importance of being responsive not just to their shareholders but also to the interests of stakeholders, such as customers, employees and their communities. The corporate leaders of the Business Roundtable issued an announcement to that effect last year.
Supreme Court jurisprudence over the past two centuries, including with Citizens United in 2010, has affirmed the doctrine of "corporate personhood" — the notion that corporations enjoy many of the protections afforded to individual Americans by the Constitution.

If corporations are, in effect, U.S. citizens, surely their country is a stakeholder to whom they owe an obligation.

Yet it is striking how little U.S. corporations pay in taxes: Based on public reporting, we calculate that in 2019, nearly 20 percent of large corporations that reported profits to shareholders of $100 million (or more) paid zero (or even negative) federal income taxes. Some nonpayment of taxes reflects corporations that make extensive use of tax benefits directed at spurring investment or research and development. But there are valid concerns about companies' tactics to avoid bearing their fair tax burden, including domestic tax-sheltering, international profit-shifting and deceptive accounting around activities such as leasing and debt forgiveness.

Transparency is the route to accountability; that is why charities' tax returns are public and why corporations disclose their financial conditions to investors. Yet there is no requirement for corporations to make public their taxable profits, or the ways in which they are avoided. All that companies report is the total taxes they pay. This despite the fact that the IRS, in its own efforts to increase corporate accountability, has since 2004 required the annual filing of Schedule M-3, which reconciles the differences between income reported to shareholders and income taxed by the IRS. The M-3 has been celebrated as a "Rosetta Stone," providing clarity about exactly how large profits avoid the IRS's reach and helping to focus limited enforcement resources on the most egregious avoiders. But this road map is available to the IRS alone, not to the public, who can hold companies accountable, nor to policymakers with the power to foreclose the gaming opportunities they exploit.

For individual taxpayers, there are many reasons their returns should be private. There may well be reasons the entirety of the corporate tax return should be private, to preserve competitive secrets and limit confusion, since large corporations' returns are tens of thousands of pages long. But corporations should be required to publicly account for the gap between the income they report to the IRS and the income that they report to their shareholders.

Yes, there are reasons the gap exists, given that "book" income and taxable income follow different accounting standards, with different objectives. But firms should be required to publicly reconcile this discrepancy. Today, companies are incentivized to exaggerate their income reported to shareholders and to understate their income for tax purposes. Being forced into a transparent reconciliation would push more honesty in both directions. And since the M-3 is a concise, three-page report, it would deliver clarity, not confusion.

Two solutions present themselves. One, long advocated by tax experts, including Ed Kleinbard, former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, is for the IRS to release the M-3 directly. But that would require new legislation, since the 1976 Tax Reform Act creates a default of privacy for taxpayer information (the Tax and Trade Relief Extension Act of 1998 reversed this default for nonprofits only). The idea has substantial merit — it ought to be included in the next significant piece of tax legislation.

An alternative way of reaching the same objective, absent congressional action, would be for the Securities and Exchange Commission to compel disclosure. The agency has, in recent years, particularly under Democratic administrations, used reporting requirements as a tool to promote corporate accountability in areas such as diversity in leadership selection and cybersecurity threats. Clearly, if reporting requirements hold firms accountable for their exposure to climate risk, they should also be held to account about the extent to which they engage in potentially dubious tax avoidance.

It would be inappropriate for the SEC to mandate disclosure of tax-return documents, but it would be entirely reasonable for the SEC to require that a reconciliation of book and taxable income be included in regular financial reporting. This would be a low-cost rule for firms, since the information is already produced for tax purposes. And it would be beneficial to investors.

What would be the ultimate effect of publicizing this information? We cannot know precisely, since there is no way to know what drives the wedge between book and taxable income today. Instead, the public hears competing claims that a firm's low tax payments are either a consequence of following the rules and nurturing growth through investment, or of simply exploiting badly drafted tax laws to shelter income. What we do know: In this area, as in so many, tax transparency will lead to accountability and ultimately wiser policy.

 -- via my feedly newsfeed

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Heading into election day, at least 30 million workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession [feedly]

Heading into election day, at least 30 million workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession

One of the most frequent questions I've gotten in the last few months is, "How many workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession?" There is a huge amount of confusion about this because two major, completely separate, government data sets that address this question are reporting very different numbers. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the official number of unemployed workers in September, from the Current Population Survey, was 12.6 million (September is the latest data available; October numbers will be released this Friday). But during the reference week for the September monthly unemployment figure—the week ending September 12—the Department of Labor (DOL) reported that there were a total of 26.5 million people claiming unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The UI number is compiled by DOL from reports it receives from state unemployment insurance agencies.

What is going on? In a nutshell: The BLS official number of unemployed workers vastly understates the number of workers who have faced the negative consequences of the coronavirus recession, and DOL's UI number overstates the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits.

Let's first look at UI. An important way the numbers coming out of DOL are overstating the number of people receiving UI benefits right now has to do with delays in the processing of applications (delays caused by the overwhelming number of applications UI agencies have received during the COVID-19 crisis). When a worker's benefits are delayed, they are paid retroactively. This is as it should be, but it causes reporting problems. Say a worker claims UI benefits not just for their most recent week of unemployment, but also for the six prior weeks. That worker will show up in the data not as one person who claimed seven weeks of benefits, but as seven claims. Nobody knows how extensive that problem is, but this New York Timesarticle has good information on it. Another issue is that state UI agencies have been the target of fraud—not individuals filing one or two fraudulent claims, but sophisticated cyberattacksinvolving extensive identity theft and the overriding of security systems. Note: None of this negates the fact that the expansions of unemployment insurance in the CARES Act were an enormous success! These expansions have been a lifeline to millions and a crucial boost to the economy.

It is worth noting that both of the issues described above (double-counting of claims and vulnerability to fraud) are problems precisely because we have profoundly disinvested in our UI systems for decades, and agencies are often working on computer systems that are decades old. We entered this recession with a rickety system that was nowhere near agile enough nor sound enough to handle what has been expected of it during this time, and we are now paying the price. We must not make this mistake again; we must shore up our systems so that we enter the next recession with the world-class system U.S. workers deserve.

Given the problems with the UI data, I estimate the number of workers affected by the coronavirus recession using the monthly unemployment data from BLS. As mentioned above, the official number of unemployed in September—12.6 million—is a vast undercount of the number of workers being harmed. Here are the missing factors:

  • Some workers are being misclassified as "employed, not at work" instead of unemployed. BLS has discussed at length that there have been many workers who have been misclassified as "employed, not at work" during this pandemic who should be classified as "temporarily unemployed." In August, there were 0.8 million such workers. (Wonky note: Some of these workers may not have had the option of being classified as "temporarily unemployed," meaning they weren't technically misclassified, but all of them were out at work because of the virus.)
  • Some workers who are out of work as a result of the virus are being counted as having dropped out of the labor force instead of as unemployed. In order for a person without a job to be counted as unemployed, they must be available to work and actively seeking work. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, many people who are out of work as a result of the crisis do not meet those criteria. For example, many workers are out of work because of care responsibilities as a result of COVID-19 (e.g., a young child's school being remote, or an elderly parent's day care closing). These workers would not be counted as officially unemployed but are nevertheless out of work because of the virus. To calculate how many there are, I simply calculate what the labor force level would be if the labor force participation rate had not dropped since February—the month before the pandemic hit the U.S. labor market—by multiplying the February labor force participation rate by the August population level. I then subtract this "counterfactual" labor force from the actual labor force. This yields an additional 5.1 million people out of the labor force as a result of the virus.
  • The number of officially unemployed is undercounted, even in normal times (and is probably worse now).Rigorous research that addresses issues like the fact that survey nonresponse is nonrandom—and that missing individuals are more likely than the general population to be unemployed—find that the official unemployment rate was understating the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points at the start of 2020. Accounting for that undercount yields an additional 2.5 million unemployed workers. (This is conservative, given that there is good evidence that this problem is likely substantially worse in the coronavirus era.)
  • Millions of employed workers have seen a drop in hours and pay because of the pandemic. BLS reports that 9.1 million people who were working in August had been unable to work at some point in the last four weeks because their employer closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they did not receive pay for the hours they didn't work. These workers have clearly been hurt by the coronavirus recession. (It's worth noting that these workers represent a portion of the gap between the official unemployment numbers and the UI claims numbers, since many workers who are employed but have seen a drop in hours and pay are eligible for partial UI benefits but are not unemployed.)

Adding up all but the last one, that is 12.6 million + 0.8 million + 5.1 million + 2.5 million = 21.0 million workers who are either officially unemployed or otherwise out of the labor force as a result of the virus. Also adding in the 9.1 million who are employed but have seen a drop in hours and pay because of the pandemic brings the number of workers directly harmed in September by the coronavirus downturn to 30.1 million.

This means that even though I noted above that the number of workers that DOL reported were on UI during the reference week—26.5 million—is an overstatement, it is nevertheless substantially lower than the number of workers being harmed by the coronavirus downturn. That is due to the fact that not everyone who is officially unemployed, otherwise out of work as a result of the virus, or has had their hours and pay cut as a result of the virus, applies for UI.

Finally, even the 30.1 million is an undercount. For one, it doesn't count those who lost a job or hours earlier in the pandemic but are back to work now. The cumulative impact would be much higher. But perhaps more importantly, the 30.1 million is a drastic undercount because it ignores the fact that even workers who have remained employed and have not seen a cut in hours are being hurt by the recession. How? Essentially the only source of power nonunionized workers have vis-à-vis their employers is the implicit threat that they could quit their job and take another job elsewhere. Case in point: One of the most common ways nonunionized workers get a wage increase is by getting another job offer for higher pay—they either accept the job, or their current employer gives them a raise in response to their outside offer. When job openings are scarce, as they are now, workers' leverage dissolves. Employers simply don't have to pay as well when they know workers don't have outside options.

All this means that stimulating the economy to create jobs is crucial—both to the 30.1 million workers who are being directly harmed by the recession because they are either out of work or have had their hours and pay cut, and to the millions more who saw their bargaining power disappear as the recession took hold. This is a preventable disaster for the workers of this country. Extending the unemployment insurance provisions of the CARES Act and providing fiscal aid to state and local governments could alone create or save millions of jobs over the next year (see here and here). It is both cruel and terrible economics that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate last Tuesday with no COVID relief. Let's hope that the 117th Congress does better—the working people of this country are depending on it.

 -- via my feedly newsfeed