The pandemic divide

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IslamNews – The pandemic lockdown radically reshaped the American economy, devastating those who were already struggling. But for the 50 percent or so of the population that make up the middle class — defined by Pew Research Center as having an income ranging from around $45,000 to $135,000 for a household of three — the toll has been wildly uneven.
There are “millions of friends who were on a relatively equal financial footing before last March — people who would have thought nothing of splitting the check on a night out — and now find themselves on vastly different trajectories,” wrote my colleague Nelson Schwartz, who covers economics. “Like a tornado, the pandemic can devastate one household and leave neighboring ones unscathed.”

Silver lining for states. New data shows that for many states, who were forced to revise their revenue forecasts because of the pandemic, the worst didn’t come. By some measures, the states ended up collecting nearly as much revenue in 2020 as they did in 2019. One big reason: $600-a-week federal supplements that allowed people to keep spending — and states to keep collecting sales tax revenue — even when they were jobless.
Stimulus watch. The House passed a $1.9 trillion virus relief bill on Saturday, which includes $1,400 checks for many Americans and billions of dollars for unemployment benefits and small businesses. Now it’s heading to the Senate, which could pick it up as early as Wednesday, and the White House is hopeful that President Biden will be able to sign it into law in the next two weeks.

Source: The New York Times

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