Published in Project Syndicate | APRIL 27, 2020
Essential Protections for Essential Workers
By TOM PERRIELLO, SARITA GUPTA
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed deep vulnerabilities in our economies and societies. Just as those with pre-existing health problems are more likely than their healthy counterparts to face serious complications and even death if they become infected, workers and small businesses are most at risk from the pandemic-induced economic downturn. This disparity is particularly pronounced in the United States.
To be sure, the COVID-19 crisis is threatening the livelihoods of workers everywhere. But in most developed economies, social protections—including guaranteed paid family leave and sickness benefits, affordable health care, robust pension systems, and effective labor unions—are softening the blow.
That is not the case in the US.
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