Open thread June 12, 2020 Dan Crawford | June 12, 2020 7:34 am Tags: open thread Comments (23) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
June 11, 2020
Reactionaries Are Having a Bad Month
But they’ll be dangerous in the months ahead.
By Paul Krugman
What is Braxton Bragg to Donald Trump, or Trump to Braxton Bragg?
It was always strange (and outrageous) to have U.S. military bases named for traitors — for Confederate generals who rebelled against the Union to defend slavery. And military leaders seem willing to change those bases’ names. But Trump says no.
Why would he take that position at a time when white Americans finally seem to be acknowledging the injustice African-Americans routinely face, leading to surging public support for Black Lives Matter? The smart thing, surely, would be to emulate much of corporate America: Make a few cheap gestures on behalf of social justice while changing nothing fundamental. I mean, even NASCAR has announced that it will ban the Confederate flag at events. And renaming military bases would be very cheap.
But Trump evidently can’t bring himself to make even a symbolic show of sympathy. And trying to understand his incapacity helps explain what Trumpism — and, indeed, modern conservatism as a whole — is all about.
Trump himself says that it’s about honoring “a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” Really?
These bases honor men who stood for slavery, the opposite of freedom; and as it happens, two of the biggest bases are named for generals famed not for victories but for defeats. Bragg, whose army suffered an epic rout at Chattanooga, was one of the Civil War’s worst-regarded generals. John Bell Hood squandered his men’s lives in futile attacks at Atlanta and Franklin, then led what was left of his army to annihilation at Nashville.
Trump obviously doesn’t know about any of that. But why should a guy who grew up in Queens care about Confederate tradition in the first place?
The answer is that Trump, and most of his party, are reactionaries. That is, as the political theorist Corey Robin puts it, they are motivated above all by “a desire to resist the liberation of marginal or powerless people.” And Confederate iconography has become a symbol of reaction in America.
That’s why some Republicans in Maine objected to making a song about the 20th Maine — the volunteer regiment whose heroic defense of Little Round Top played a crucial role in the battle of Gettysburg — the state ballad. It was offensive, they said, to “say that we’re any better than the South was.” Um, the South was defending slavery.
The reactionary impulse also explains, I believe, why some privileged white men, from the editor of the influential Journal of Political Economy to the (now former) C.E.O. of CrossFit, have been unable to control self-destructive outbursts attacking the Black Lives Matter protests.
After all, from a reactionary’s point of view the past three weeks have been a nightmare. Not only are marginal people who are supposed to know their place standing up for justice, they’re overwhelmingly winning the battle for public opinion. That’s not how things are supposed to work!
One response to this reactionary’s nightmare has been denial. Trump keeps tweeting “LAW & ORDER!” as if saying the magic phrase enough times will turn the clock back to 1968. The Trump campaign responded to an unfavorable CNN poll, not by reconsidering its message, but by demanding that the network retract the poll and apologize.
Another response has been wild conspiracy theorizing. On the right, it’s a given that mass popular demonstrations have been orchestrated by antifa radicals, though there’s not a shred of evidence to that effect. And Trump, famously, suggested that a 75-year-old man knocked over by the police — we’ve all seen the video of him bleeding out on the sidewalk — was an antifa provocateur who somehow engineered his own assault.
Most frightening, however, has been the palpable desire of powerful figures on the right — not just Trump — to find a way to meet Black Lives Matter protests with state violence.
On any rational assessment, it never made any sense to demand a military response to overwhelmingly peaceful protests marred by only a small amount of opportunistic looting. Do right-wingers believe their own claims that we’re beset by “mobs of violent cretins”? I doubt it.
For reactionaries, however, the horror of the situation isn’t the possibility that protests might turn violent. It’s the fact that the protests are happening at all.
And that’s why people like Trump and Tom Cotton have been so eager to send in the military. They aren’t concerned about keeping the peace; if that mattered to them, they would have reacted harshly to the spectacle of armed right-wingers threatening Michigan’s State Legislature. Instead, Trump tweeted his support.
No, America’s reactionaries don’t want law and order; they want an excuse to crush social justice protests with a mailed fist.
For the moment, at least, America’s reactionaries aren’t getting their wish. Governors, mayors and, not least, the military have made it clear that they want no part of a brutal crackdown.
But don’t count the reactionaries out. They remain extremely dangerous and will become more dangerous if, as seems increasingly likely, Trump finds himself staring at the prospect of electoral defeat.
June 10, 2020
Government-Granted Patent Monopolies and Structural Racism
By DEAN BAKER
No, I have not gone off the deep end, there is an important connection that I will get to in a moment. First, I want to be clear that I am not trying to take anything away from the immediate issue that has brought hundreds of thousands into the streets, the police killing of George Floyd. (We even had a protest in my little town in Utah.)
It is encouraging to see so many people of all races marching to demand justice. Perhaps these mass protests will lead to a lasting change in the way the police treat people of color. We can hope.
Anyhow, I was prompted to think about the connection of racism to patent monopolies, and the way we structure the economy more generally, by a tweet that was passed along to me a few days ago. The tweet was from a doctor who I gather held an important position in a hospital or some other health care provider. (I don’t know the person; the tweet was retweeted by someone I follow.)
The tweet said something to the effect that the killing and the protests had moved them to be more aggressive in promoting blacks in the medical profession. That would be a great thing to see, but we should be clear what a long way we have to go before blacks are anywhere close to being proportionately represented in this high-paying profession.
Currently, 13.4 percent of the population is black. Just 5.0 percent of doctors are black. Suppose we increase that figure by 50 percent over the next two decades, which would be a big change from where we are now. That would mean that 7.5 percent of doctors would be black, a bit more than half of their percentage of the population. That’s better, but still far from anything close to equality.
My response to the tweet was that we should focus on reducing the pay gap between doctors and lower paying occupations in health care, like home health care aides and nurses’ assistants. These jobs often play close to the minimum wage, whereas the average doctor earns close to $300,000 a year (net of expenses like malpractice insurance) and doctors in higher paying areas of specialization can earn close to $500,000. Needless to say, blacks and other people of color tend to be over-represented in the lower paying occupations in the health care sector.
Suppose that we reduced the pay gap between doctors and these lower paying occupations to something like four or five to one, rather than the ratios of ten to one or more that we see today? The nice thing about going this route is that the key is simply reducing the protections that sustain high doctor pay today….
January 15, 2018
Real Median Weekly Earnings for White, Black and Hispanic, * 2001-2018
* Full time wage and salary workers
I have to admit, this is one of the funnier ads I’ve seen on this site.
Using his own campaign to buy himself a birthday card.
June 12, 2020
The post-pandemic social contract
By Dani Rodrik and Stefanie Stantcheva
COVID-19 has exacerbated deep fault lines in the global economy, starkly exposing the divisions and inequalities of our current world. It has also multiplied and amplified the voices of those calling for far-reaching reforms. When even the Davos set is issuing calls for a “global reset of capitalism,” you know that changes are afoot.
There are some common threads running through the newly proposed policy agendas: To prepare the workforce for new technologies, governments must enhance education and training programs, and integrate them better with labor-market requirements. Social protection and social insurance must be improved, especially for workers in the gig economy and in non-standard work arrangements.
More broadly, the decline in workers’ bargaining power in recent decades points to the need for new forms of social dialogue and cooperation between employers and employees. Better-designed progressive taxation must be introduced to address widening income inequality.
Anti-monopoly policies must be reinvigorated to ensure greater competition, particularly where social media platforms and new technologies are concerned. Climate change must be tackled head-on. And governments must play a bigger role in fostering new digital and green technologies.
Taken together, these reforms would substantially change the way our economies operate. But they do not fundamentally alter the narrative about how market economies should work; nor do they represent a radical departure for economic policy. Most critically, they elide the central challenge we must address: reorganizing production.
Our core economic problems – poverty, inequality, exclusion, and insecurity – have many roots. But they are reproduced and reinforced on a daily basis in the course of production, as an immediate by-product of firms’ decisions about employment, investment, and innovation.
In economist-speak, these decisions are rife with “externalities”: they have consequences that spill over to other people, firms, and parts of the economy. Externalities can be positive: think of learning spillovers from research and development, which are well recognized (and form the rationale for tax credits and other public subsidies). Obvious negative externalities are environmental pollution and the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions on the climate.
Such spillovers also include what could be called “good jobs” externalities. “Good jobs” are those that are relatively stable, pay well enough to underpin a reasonable living standard with some security and savings, ensure safe working conditions, and offer opportunities for career progression. Firms that generate them contribute to the vitality of their communities.
By contrast, a shortage of good jobs often carries high social and political costs: broken families, substance abuse, and crime, as well as declining trust in government, experts, and institutions, partisan polarization, and populist nationalism. There are also clear economic inefficiencies, as productivity-enhancing technologies remain bottled up in a few firms and do not spread, contributing to anemic overall wage growth.
Firms’ decisions about how many workers to employ, how much to pay, and how to organize work do not affect only the bottom line. When a company decides to automate its production line or outsource part of its production to another country, the local community suffers long-term damage that is not “internalized” by its managers or shareholders.
The implicit assumption behind much of our current thinking, as well as that of the traditional welfare-state model, is that middle-class “good jobs” will be available to all with adequate skills. From this perspective, the appropriate strategy to foster inclusion is one that combines spending on education and training, a progressive tax and transfer system, and social insurance against idiosyncratic risks such as unemployment, illness, and disability.
But economic insecurity and inequality today are structural problems. Secular trends in technology and globalization are hollowing out the middle of the employment distribution. The result is more bad jobs that do not offer stability, sufficient pay, and career progression, and permanently depressed labor markets outside major metropolitan centers.
Addressing these problems requires a different strategy that tackles the creation of good jobs directly. The onus should be on firms to internalize the economic and social spillovers they cause. Hence, the productive sector must be at the heart of the new strategy.
Put bluntly, we must change what we produce, how we produce it, and who gets a say in these decisions. This requires not just new policies, but also the reconfiguration of existing ones.
Active labor-market policies designed to increase skills and employability should be broadened into partnerships with firms and explicitly target the creation of good jobs. Industrial and regional policies that currently center on tax incentives and investment subsidies must be replaced by customized business services and amenities to facilitate maximum employment creation.
National innovation systems need to be redesigned to orient investments in new technologies in a more employment-friendly direction. And policies to combat climate change, such as the European Green Deal, must be explicitly linked to job creation in lagging communities.
A new economic order requires an explicit quid pro quo between private firms and public authorities. To prosper, firms need a reliable and skilled workforce, good infrastructure, an ecosystem of suppliers and collaborators, easy access to technology, and a sound regime of contracts and property rights. Most of these are provided through public and collective action, which is the government’s side of the bargain.
Governments, in turn, need firms to internalize the various externalities their labor, investment, and innovation decisions produce for their communities and societies. And firms must live up to their side of the bargain – not as a matter of corporate social responsibility, but as part of an explicit regulatory and governance framework.
Above all, a new strategy must abandon the traditional separation between pro-growth policies and social policies. Faster economic growth requires disseminating new technologies and productive opportunities among smaller firms and wider segments of the labor force, rather than confining their use to a narrow elite.
And better employment prospects reduce inequality and economic insecurity more effectively than fiscal redistribution alone. Simply put, the growth and social agendas are one and the same.
Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Stefanie Stantcheva is Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
25% of the population is black. Understand why that number the cdc spouts is not koshet.
June 12, 2020
Cornel West: Black Lives Matter and the fight against US empire are one and the same
Acclaimed thinker and activist says conversations over police brutality are inseparable from discussions over Washington’s imperial policies
By Azad Essa
Watching the to-do over BLM is fascinating. there is so much blaming and so much shaming going on. Discredit this or that. raise forty kinds of hell about that. shooting match over where the narrative goes, while things stay the same, basically.
we are so corrupt that nothing should be shocking to any of us. it just goes on and on, at least to me. Then:
I read Trump wont say where all that bailout taxpayer trillons are going to, except the guy running it is helping his family out while giving all this loot. Say What?
Military men are in danger of a court martial for speaking out and criticizing Trump. which i just learned was against the Military Rules (UCMJ).
we are coming apart at the seams while the Rich are looting the country once again, aka “Never let a Crisis go to Waste.”
the Republicans and Democrats apparently got Black Rock to write the Giveaway/Theft that will run in the Trillions. of course Black Rock makes out like the Bandit it really is. There is a Club and we aint in it!
and the People riot in the streets. Assange has been destroyed while rotting in prison. Companies jump on the BLM apology tour and pretend to spend chickenfeed, (100 million from Apple) not even loose change for them. Apple still has Foxconn doing their dirty work.
the Chinese accuse Americans of not caring about Hong Kong.
it just goes on and on. day after day after day
and we get to choose between Joe “Nothing will change” Biden, a SSN “Hero” Catfood Commission Pusher vs. a Bull in the china shop” the MAGA Trump
boy, some exciting times these are. just like the 1960’s full of violence and Civil Rights Riots. some things never change, apparently.
we just go on and on round that Circle game.
I get to choose between a irascible Sociopathic Narcissist or an Globalist Neoliberal Puppet promising a return to “normalcy.” like either is part of the solution and just more of the same.
Being a spectator to the imminent destruction our so called Leaders pretend to ignore, lest their gravy train be derailed.
I think it was JFK who said something like, “if Peaceful change is prevented, violent change is inevitable.” Obviously Peaceful change doesn’t happen.
Nothing personally, but your misrepresentation of Biden is pretty bad. He is a regionalist, much less a globalist than any DNP candidate since Clinton(who didn’t become a globalist until 2000’s). It’s about deal making around the consensus at the time. That is why many wanted him President in 2009 rather than Obama who was obsessed with pushing through health care reform over economic policy, due to his donor base.
I have never met a single poster who is more clueless about history. You just make things up.
You should not be allowed to talk.
January 30, 2018
Black population as a proportion of population, 1972-2018
January 30, 2018
Black and Hispanic populations as proportions of population, 1974-2018
The Case For The Patterned Science of the Asset Debt Macroeconomic System
The 5 minute fractal mathematical pattern of the ’terminal’ (after 3 PM) Thursday-Friday 11-12 June 2020 DJIA ’Dead Cat Bounce.’
The Global Asset Debt System Macroeconomic is deterministic, is counterbalancing, and is self organizing and is defined as a pattern science by self-assembly of regular
fractal mathematic patterns of composite major asset class valuations. The Global assetDebt system is simply too enormous of a system for governments and central banks to have a substantial effect, although the effects of the 2008-2009 historically unprecedented global intervention can be qualitatively observed in the ‘bending’ of fractal groupings’ and the expected fractal nadir valuation point. In late 2008 the US undertook 13 trillion dollars of money printing, quantitative easing, zero treasury rates for 5 years and the assumption of CDO related toxic assets – all bipartisanly passed within three days by the US Congress and with likely an equal amount by the Eurozone, et. al. Without the intervention, the 2/5/5/3 monthly fractal grouping reveal that the March 2009 global composite equity valuation low would have occurred in September 2009.
From this September 2009 the ideal global composite equity low – unassisted by governmental and central bank massive intervention – final monthly fractal series
completing (to this point) a US 1807 36/90/89 year Fractal Series and the 9/20/12 year 1982 second fractal subseries of the 1932 89 Year US Third Fractal is 26/53/53 of 53 months. The third fractal subseries within the final third 53 month began in December 2018 is composed of a 3/7/7/5 of 5 month or 11/26/26/17 of 18 week fractal series.
The End Thursday – Friday 11-12 June 2020 DJIA 5 minute Fractal Math:
Starting after 3PM pm Thursday: for the DJIA …
base first fractal: 7/15/10 = 30 (5 minute units) : x/2-2.5x/1.4-1.6y (using second fractal/2.5 = 6 units as ideal base length)
The second fractal is composed of two fractal subseries 7/18/10(3) and (3)9(11)/17(17)
Starting after 3PM pm Thursday: for the DJIA …
base first fractal: 7/15/10 = 30 (5 minute units) : x/2-2.5x/1.4-1.6y (using second fractal/2.5 = 6 units as ideal base length)
second fractal composed of two subseries 7/18/10(3) and (3)9(11)/17(17)
The (5 minute units) fractal series is 30/57 units :: x/2x
There are 79 (5 minute) trading units in the trading days.
Over the next 320 (5 minute) trading units, expect an historical nonlinear devaluation of global equity and commodity and gold and bit coin value.
One thing is for sure, to watch the Republican agenda, since Sts.Reagan and Thatcher imposed “austerity for the Poor and Socialism for the Rich, the endless and varied excuses for Biden.
If Trumps continues to Eff up, Biden might actually win. aka, it’s Trumps election to lose. Biden is the place holder for all that is evil, aka the Democratic Party. Their motto of “snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory” will be pretty hard to follow with all of Trump’s “outrageous” behaviour. i can only hope no one will vote for either, for we, the precariat, are screwed either way.
the precariat, aka Working class of all colors, will be tossed in the garbage bin once again, no matter who wins.
at least Biden’s followers need to admit the facts of Biden’s intentions no matter how much Biden protests that it ain’t so!. Politicians are just that: people who lie to achieve power and wealth, aka the Middlemen for the Rich who own and run this country.
with the advent of video and now IPhone cameras, we can “show’ the reality we are told isn’t true. Like we are supposed to believe the Politicians care, when their deeds prove otherwise. i’m not supposed to believe my lying eyes or ears. Control of the Narrative is all that is important. Watching Biden call Sanders a liar at the debate about Biden’s constant and endless efforts to do away with Medicare and Social Security obviously is more than enough proof i didn’t hear or see what i did.
And when Biden says he wants a return to normalcy, i know what that means in the long run. Nothing will change, so far nothing has really changed, other than a few protests here and there. that is about the only new thing in politics
to see how Biden is hiding and laying low to let Trump destroy his own re-election chances, shows just what type of “follower” not leader Biden is and always has been. Doing the “dirty work” for this handlers/owners is not something to be proud of, but then again i ain’t paid to front the “Democratic” side of the Monopoly party/the Rich. I mean that’s just not sense of American values, selling out.
it is and will continue to be quite a “bread and circus” kayfabe for all of us to have to put with such violence and looting that is the Ruling Elite.
it;s just so true what Leona Helmsley said years ago,”Only the Little People pay taxes. It’s the Elites world and we are merely the Eloi feeding the Morloch’s desire for endless wealth and power.
i somehow thought caring about our children and the world they will inherit would be important to all of us. But what do i know. i just work for a living and watch the endless looting and violence that is Congress for the Moneyed Elite. and the Right complains about “violence and looting of the Blacks and Antifa.”
Ain’t Capitalism Great!!
Wow, to see such willful ignorance/blindness on such a sustained basis is oh so disgusting, base and so completely vile.
just leaves me feeling like i need more CNN or Fox “news”, lol, to wipe any sense of reality away … NOT!!!. otherwise how could anyone survive in this country. i need hard, hard drugs to tolerate living in the USS of A”. ‘Heroin, Cocaine and Oxycodone just don’t cut it anymore. the poverty, the loss of Hope,(thank you,Obama) is much stronger than any drug our Overloads allow us to obtain to deaden the sad reality that is America today. i do wonder what drugs Pro Biden people take to assuage that sense of treason/debauchery they foist upon others.
Go Biden Go. anywhere but here in America, just Go! and leave Social Security and Medicare alone. To think any young voter would vote for Biden, who disallowed Bankruptcy for Student loans, is another example of the Rovian concept of “historical delusions.
We who pay the bills know exactly what Biden and the Democrats have done to America. It takes two to tango. But keep on telling lies for Biden or Trump, there are lots of willfully “blind” Americans out there.
and lots of us who can “see” what and how we are being screwed don’t take the Koolaid anymore.
As George Carlin said, “You have to be asleep to believe the American Dream.”
Bernard, “what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. “
Bernard, try this simple one-pill-cures-all for all that ails you:
I think that now we are 96% union free in the non gov economy we have to realize that today’s legally prescribed way of attaining union representation does not and never again will work. Regularly scheduled cert/recert/decert elections at every private (non gov) workplace will make organizing a union as practicable as applying for a business license.
When management applies for a business license it doesn’t have to run a gauntlet of muscling competitors — it just applies at will. Union organization should be equally and as easily at will.
Once unions provide equal (or greater) political campaign funding and most of the votes we will be living in Germany. Sound good?
A country that is 96% union free is the very sick country that you describe.
January 15, 2020
United States Union Membership Rates, 2019
United States ( 10.3)
Hawaii ( 23.5)
New York ( 21.0)
Washington ( 18.8)
Rhode Island ( 17.4)
Alaska ( 17.1)
New Jersey ( 15.7)
California ( 15.2)
Nevada ( 14.6)
Connecticut ( 14.5)
Oregon ( 14.4)
Minnesota ( 13.7)
Illinois ( 13.6)
Michigan ( 13.6)
Massachusetts ( 12.0)
Pennsylvania ( 12.0)
Ohio ( 11.9)
Maine ( 11.8)
Maryland ( 11.3)
Vermont ( 11.2)
Missouri ( 11.1)
Montana ( 10.5)
New Hampshire ( 10.3)
West Virginia ( 10.2)
District of Columbia ( 9.3)
Colorado ( 9.0)
Delaware ( 8.7)
Kansas ( 8.7)
Alabama ( 8.5)
Nebraska ( 8.4)
Indiana ( 8.3)
Wisconsin ( 8.1)
Kentucky ( 8.0)
Wyoming ( 7.3)
New Mexico ( 7.1)
Mississippi ( 6.3)
Florida ( 6.2)
Iowa ( 6.2)
Oklahoma ( 6.2)
North Dakota ( 6.0)
Arizona ( 5.7)
South Dakota ( 5.6)
Louisiana ( 5.3)
Arkansas ( 5.2)
Idaho ( 4.9)
Tennessee ( 4.6)
Utah ( 4.4)
Georgia ( 4.1)
Texas ( 4.0)
Virginia ( 4.0)
North Carolina ( 2.3)
South Carolina ( 2.2)
January 15, 2020
United States Union Membership Rates, 1992-2019
Private wage and salary workers
1992 ( 11.5)
1993 ( 11.2) Clinton
1994 ( 10.9)
1995 ( 10.4)
1996 ( 10.2)
1997 ( 9.8)
1998 ( 9.6)
1999 ( 9.5)
2000 ( 9.0)
2001 ( 8.9) Bush
2002 ( 8.6)
2003 ( 8.2)
2004 ( 7.9)
2005 ( 7.8)
2006 ( 7.4)
2007 ( 7.5)
2008 ( 7.6)
2009 ( 7.2) Obama
2010 ( 6.9)
2011 ( 6.9)
2012 ( 6.6)
2013 ( 6.7)
2014 ( 6.6)
2015 ( 6.7)
2016 ( 6.4)
2017 ( 6.5) Trump
2018 ( 6.4)
2019 ( 6.2)
January 15, 2020
United States Union Membership Rates, 1992-2019
Government wage and salary workers
1992 ( 36.5)
1993 ( 37.5) Clinton
1994 ( 38.7)
1995 ( 37.8)
1996 ( 37.7)
1997 ( 37.2)
1998 ( 37.5)
1999 ( 37.3)
2000 ( 36.9)
2001 ( 36.8) Bush
2002 ( 37.3)
2003 ( 37.2)
2004 ( 36.4)
2005 ( 36.5)
2006 ( 36.2)
2007 ( 35.9)
2008 ( 36.8)
2009 ( 37.4) Obama
2010 ( 36.2)
2011 ( 37.0)
2012 ( 35.9)
2013 ( 35.3)
2014 ( 35.7)
2015 ( 35.2)
2016 ( 34.4)
2017 ( 34.4) Trump
2018 ( 33.9)
2019 ( 33.6)
Branko Milanovic @BrankoMilan
This worldwide movement (BLM) seems to show that the most anti (call them reactionary) people are East European anti-communists. They need the West as an ideal, a beacon of freedom, so Black Lives really do not Matter to them.
1:58 AM · Jun 13, 2020
I think racism is very strong in Eastern Europe, but there is no history of imperialism (rather the reverse) and that makes a difference compared to the West: no guilt complex but also indifference.
June 12, 2020
Depression and anxiety spiked among black Americans after George Floyd’s death
Asians and African Americans show sharp increases in mental health problems amid protests, while white Americans were relatively untouched, Census Bureau finds.
By Alyssa Fowers and William Wan – Washington Post
Americans were already struggling with historic levels of mental health problems amid the coronavirus pandemic. Then came the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.
Within a week, anxiety and depression among African Americans shot to higher rates than experienced by any other racial or ethnic group, with 41 percent screening positive for at least one of those symptoms, data from the Census Bureau shows.
Anxiety and depression spike for black and Asian Americans after the police killing of George Floyd
[ Percent screening positive for anxiety and/or depression ]
The findings — from a survey launched by the federal government originally intended to study the effects of the novel coronavirus — indicate that the recent unrest, demonstrations and debate have exacted a disproportionate emotional and mental toll on black and Asian Americans, even as rates of anxiety and depression remain relatively flat among white Americans and decreased among Latin Americans.
The rate of black Americans showing clinically significant signs of anxiety or depressive disorders jumped from 36 percent to 41 percent in the week after the video of Floyd’s death became public. That represents roughly 1.4 million more people.
Among Asian Americans, those symptoms increased from 28 percent to 34 percent, a change that represents an increase of about 800,000 people.
The new data comes from an emergency weekly survey of U.S. households launched by the Census Bureau at the end of April to measure the pandemic’s effects on finances, housing, education and health. In the most recent data release, more than 1 million households were contacted through email and text, and more than 100,000 responded, creating a robust sample size for the findings. Analysis of the data was conducted by multiple federal agencies including the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Included in the 20-minute survey — called the 2020 Household Pulse Survey — were questions from two screening tools used by doctors to help determine whether patients might have major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The results provide a real-time window into the country’s collective mental health.
Data collected in 2019, released two weeks ago by the CDC, allows for the most accurate comparison to date of America’s mental health from before the pandemic to after.
And that comparison is stark: Rates of depression and anxiety symptoms have more than tripled since the coronavirus hit.
Anxiety and depression symptoms have more than tripled since 2019, with black Americans shouldering the heaviest burden
[ Percent screening positive for anxiety or depression ]
But the increases have hit black Americans especially hard.
“When we think about the impact of covid-19 among black Americans and other underserved populations — they have had to remain in the workforce or they have felt the effect of unemployment,” said Erlanger Turner, a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. “When you add the police killings from the last couple of weeks, it makes sense that you would see additional stress among the black community.”
The census survey collects data over a six-day period weekly, from Thursday to the following Tuesday. The video of George Floyd’s death began circulating widely online May 26, the last day of data collection for week four. The following week, May 28 to June 2, mass protests spread across the country.
In the wake of such incidents — as footage keeps replaying and debates ignite throughout the country — “it can feel like it’s happening to you over and over,” said Wizdom Powell, director of the University of Connecticut’s Health Disparities Institute. “You start seeing symptoms of hyper vigilance, emotional numbing and secondary trauma.”
A 2018 study in the journal Lancet found that following police shootings, African Americans suffer higher levels of psychological distress than white people even when they live in the same community.
“It’s hard for others outside of the community to understand the level to which we feel each others’ pain,” said Turner, author of “Mental Health among African Americans.” “With the George Floyd killing and other killings, we don’t have a personal connection to those individuals. But it could have been us or someone we know, and that does lead to additional stress and anxiety around these incidents.”
One surprising finding in the new census data was that Asian Americans experienced the largest one-week change in anxiety and depression symptoms of any racial or ethnic group. Asians had the lowest rates of depression in 2019 — just 3 percent screened positive — but that rate has soared sevenfold during the pandemic.
For months, since the emergence of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, Asian Americans have experienced marked racism.
“Given how this pandemic started, with discrimination against Asian Americans, it’s not hard to imagine that as the national conversation started turning back to race and racial violence, you see anxiety and depression start resurfacing,” Powell said.
Asian Americans have seen a rise in hate crimes and harassment, their businesses have been targeted by vandals and looters, and Asian doctors and nurses have been abused and physically attacked even as they help the United States fight the coronavirus….
June 13, 2020
Why Trump Is in Trouble
By Peter Dorman
What has collapsed for Trump, finally in 2020, is not just the economy, the health of the population or the racial order, but his ability to determine what the issues are: he has lost control of the narrative….
[ Perfect analysis, from my perspective. ]
Sorry, I meant to write above