Giving Man a Fish Spurs Record Increase in Eating for a Day
There is nothing so permanent as the temporary, so it is no surprise that the mainstream center-left has found, in the supposed emergency economic response to the pandemic, a model for a permanent solution to poverty: Just shower trillions of dollars of government cash on the poor.
How come no one has ever thought of that before? They have, of course, but part of the excitement on the left right now stems from a firm resolution not to remember any of the lessons of the past. Hence the New York Times proclaims, “Pandemic Aid Programs Spur a Record Drop in Poverty.”
The Times goes on to tell us:
The huge increase in government aid prompted by the coronavirus pandemic will cut poverty nearly in half this year from pre-pandemic levels and push the share of Americans in poverty to the lowest level on record, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of a vast but temporary expansion of the safety net.
The number of poor Americans is expected to fall by nearly 20 million from 2018 levels, a decline of almost 45 percent. The country has never cut poverty so much in such a short period of time, and the development is especially notable since it defies economic headwinds—the economy has nearly seven million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.
The extraordinary reduction in poverty has come at extraordinary cost, with annual spending on major programs projected to rise fourfold to more than $1 trillion. Yet without further expensive new measures, millions of families may find the escape from poverty brief. The three programs that cut poverty most—stimulus checks, increased food stamps and expanded unemployment insurance—have ended or are scheduled to soon revert to their pre-pandemic size.
In other headlines: Giving Man a Fish Spurs Record Increase in Eating for a Day.