Thanks in large part to pandemic social spending, employment recovered from the 2020 recession in record time (Chart: Apricitas Economics, 4/8/23).
A ban on evictions. Required paid leave. Continuous Medicaid coverage. Free school meals. Emergency SNAP allotments. An extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits. Child tax credit expansion. Thousands in stimulus checks.
These measures were part of a suite of policies the US government passed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallout it precipitated. They were meant to blunt the damage, to protect the population from a much darker alternative.
And they were remarkably successful. The government boosted incomes of the worst-off in a way that would have appeared totally alien in 2001 or 2008….