Eni's luminescent solar concentrators can help smart windows and next-generation buildings generate electricity. But even Eni hadn't imagined using this technology to create eyeglasses capable of charging mobile phones and headsets.
We've written recently about how the COVID-19 pandemic will hit poorer countries particularly hard. But the burden of the virus' spread also falls more heavily on working class people even in wealthy countries, particularly in Europe and the United States. This is exacerbating the divide between rich and poor that had already upended the political establishment in countries around the world even before anyone had heard of a "novel coronavirus."
<p><strong>The working class is more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and less likely to get medical care. </strong></p> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>In both rich countries and poor, working class people often live in densely populated cities where infectious disease can spread more quickly and easily. </li></ul> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>The types of jobs they hold leave them less able to work from home. If they don't work, they don't <a href="https://time.com/5795651/coronavirus-workers-economy-inequality/" target="_blank">get paid</a>. In that case, they can't pay bills and feed their families. </li></ul> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>If they do work, as many are still <a href="https://www.axios.com/axios-ipsos-coronavirus-index-rich-sheltered-poor-shafted-9e592100-b8e6-4dcd-aee0-a6516892874b.html" target="_blank">trying to do</a>, they're more likely to be exposed to COVID-19, both on the way to work and at the job site itself, than people who can work from home. </li></ul> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>Those with the least income, particularly in the United States, are less able to afford medical care, leaving many COVID-19 cases untreated. Lack of treatment <a href="#_msocom_1" target="_blank"></a>helps spread the disease to the people they have contact with. </li></ul> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>An eventual vaccine may be too expensive, at least at first, for the poorest people to afford. </li></ul> <p><strong>The working class will take longest to recover from COVID's economic fallout. </strong></p> <ul class="ee-ul"><li>Poorer people so ill they <em>must</em> be treated may later find themselves burdened with heavy medical debt. </li></ul><ul class="ee-ul"><li>Lost jobs that employ working class people will be slower to return, because people generally will remain reluctant to enter the markets, factories, public transport, restaurants and other public places where they work — possibly for many months. </li></ul><ul class="ee-ul"><li>In the US<a href="#_msocom_3" target="_blank"></a><a href="#_msocom_4" target="_blank"></a>, lost jobs mean lost health care for entire families. </li></ul><ul class="ee-ul"><li>Combine heavy debt with lost jobs, and many working-class people will have little access to cash or credit for years to come. </li></ul> <p><strong>The Political Impact:</strong> <strong></strong>The anti-establishment politics created by inequality in recent years will intensify.<strong> </strong>Over the past five years, public anger at traditional political elites has upended politics in Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Ukraine, Ireland, and other countries. </p><p>That anger is driven in part by suspicion that political establishments in these countries aren't willing and/or able to meet the needs of those who've benefited the least from globalization and technological change over the past generation.</p><p>For all the reasons detailed above, the ongoing global pandemic is likely to stoke that anger even further. </p><p>And as we've seen over the past several years, the political consequences can be profound and impossible to predict.</p><a href="#_msoanchor_2" target="_blank"></a><p><a href="#_msoanchor_2" target="_blank"><br></a></p>
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Meet Mark Wetton, a Kentucky-based businessman who owns a dust-collection factory in Wuhan. He has been there since the beginning of the outbreak, and describes the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak there, life in lockdown, and what things are like today as the city finally begins to reopen its borders and come back to life. He also shares some lessons learned that he hopes Americans will heed.
April 09, 2020
The coronavirus is likely to hit poorer countries particularly hard, but it is also laying a bigger burden on working class people even in wealthy ones. As less affluent people suffer disproportionately not only from the disease, but also from the economic costs of containing it, we can expect a worsening of income inequalities that have already upended global politics over the past few years. Here is a look at inequality in some of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 so far.
April 09, 2020
500 million: The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could plunge 500 million people into poverty, according to a new report released by Oxfam. As incomes and economies continue to contract, global poverty will increase for the first time in 30 years, the report predicts, undermining many of the gains of globalization that have pulled millions out of poverty in recent years.
<p><strong>130 million:</strong> The UN says it needs to raise <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-food-un/u-n-seeks-130-million-to-prevent-hunger-catastrophe-in-zimbabwe-idUSKCN21Q31X" target="_blank">$130 million</a> to fund emergency aid in Zimbabwe through August to prevent mass starvation in the struggling African country. Coronavirus lockdowns have compounded the economic damage of once-in-a-generation drought and recession, which have caused food shortages that have put half the population on food aid. </p><p><strong>3:</strong> Iraq has named Mustafa al-Kadhimi its new prime minister-designate, the <u><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/world/middleeast/09reuters-iraq-politics.html" target="_blank"></a></u><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/world/middleeast/09reuters-iraq-politics.html" target="_blank">t</a><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/world/middleeast/09reuters-iraq-politics.html" target="_blank">hird</a> person selected for that role in just ten weeks, as the country struggles to end months of political deadlock. He will take the helm right as Iraq grapples with a surge of COVID-19 cases, low oil prices, and ongoing tit-for-tat strikes on its territory between the US and Iranian proxies.</p><p><strong>13:</strong> Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as more state governments ordered widespread closures of businesses, raising the estimated unemployment rate in the US to as high as <u><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/09/66-million-americans-filed-unemployed-last-week-bringing-pandemic-total-over-17-million/" target="_blank">13 percent</a><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/09/66-million-americans-filed-unemployed-last-week-bringing-pandemic-total-over-17-million/">,</a></u> which would be the highest mark since the Great Depression.</p>
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