12 DECEMBER 10, 2020 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Building a more equal NYC economy
On the surface, New York City’s
economy was doing marvelously
back in February 2020
— with a record 4.1 million private
sector jobs, an all-time low unemployment
rate of 4.1 percent and a
booming tourism sector.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit
New York hard — and tremendous
economic pain resulted. Millions
lost their jobs. Businesses closed.
The tourism sector dried up.
These generalizations of New
York’s economic state are bad
enough; a closer inspection of the
figures, however, reveal that the
levels of economic pain the city
currently suffers differ depending
on where you live, who you work for
and who you are.
A report that City Comptroller
Scott Stringer recently released
shows just how bad the inequality is.
Nearly one in four New Yorkers of
color — Asian, Hispanic, Black — lost
their jobs during the pandemic.
Many lost work in the low-paying
service sectors of our economy —
retail, hotels, entertainment venues,
restaurants and bars, all of which
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The pandemic has exposed the massive social and economic inequalities within our city like never before.
File photo by Reuters/Nick Oxford
were closed for many long months.
to find some way to inoculate ourselves
The end of the pandemic is still
from repeating the damage
months away, but in plain sight now,
incurred whenever the next crisis
thanks to the advent of two reliable
vaccines. In weeks, the vaccination
After the Great Recession, New
process will begin; in months, most
York worked to diversify its
Americans will have the protection
economy beyond just finance, and
needed to, in a sense, return to some
it worked. Now we have to diversify
semblance of normalcy.
the economy for the people of this
But in a larger sense, we can’t just
return to normalcy. The pandemic
That means pumping millions of
exposed the massive social and
dollars toward new schools, hospitals
economic inequalities within our
and trade in communities of
city like never before, and we need
color that have long been ignored.
That means adopting the One Fair
Wage plan where restaurant and bar
workers are no longer reliant upon
gratuities to earn a decent living.
That means millions of dollars
in economic relief for the most impacted
sectors of our economy to get
back on their feet and rebuild.
After Inauguration Day, the city,
state and federal governments must
work together toward this objective.
A more equal economy for everyone
will lead to a stronger New York for