Left in the lurch

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) depart together after a news conference about their coronavirus relief negotiations with the Trump administration on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. August 7, 2020. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

It’s August, the enhanced unemployment air ran out in July, and lawmakers in Washington don’t seem much closer to extending that and other aspects of the coronavirus aid.

How long will be left in the lurch? And what do we make of the report that shows employment kept growing even as the epidemic got worse around the county? In July, about 1.8 million jobs were added and economist Betsy Stevenson has mixed feelings about it. She says economic recovery is very closely tied to virus control, which is not going very well, but we should also see this jobs report as proof that the first coronavirus aid packages have worked. Speaking of that, Republicans and Democrats are in a stalemate (as of this taping) over the next aid package. President Trump is getting frustrated and is threatening to act via executive order. Can he do that? Should he do that if Congress can’t break the stalemate? 

Josh Barro, Dorian Warren, Megan McCardle talk with Betsey Stevenson about the childcare crisis that the pandemic has brought into focus. If millions of American parents are staying home with their children who cannot attend school in person, where does that leave the workforce? And what about the future workforce: children who miss a year of in-person school are going to have big learning gaps to make up. If schools can’t open, is it time for a major federal investment in child care?

Data from major American cities show an increase in homicides and violent crime in May and June. Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld talks about what could explain the numbers and what can be done about it.



  • Betsey Stevenson - Economics professor at the University of Michigan and former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers - @betseystevenson
  • Richard Rosenfeld - Founders professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri - St. Louis


Sara Fay