Leading economist says US 'will have a Great Depression' under Trump

Nobel prize-winning economist slams Trump’s handling of the coronavirus as making the US look like a ‘third world’ country – and warns of a ‘Great Depression’ if president stays in charge

  • Joseph Stiglitz delivered the harsh criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis while describing how Americans had been impacted 
  • ‘The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply,’ the American economist said
  • He added: ‘It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working’ 
  • A long-time critic of Trump, Stiglitz said that 14 per cent of the population was dependent on food stamps
  • He also said that the social infrastructure could not cope with an unemployment rate of 30 per cent
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A Nobel prize-winning economist said that the United States looked as if it were a ‘third world’ country on course for a second Great Depression because of how President Donald Trump was handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Joseph Stiglitz delivered the harsh criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis as he described how millions of Americans were turning to food banks and having to work due to lack of sick pay while also dying because of health inadequacies. 

‘The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply,’ the American economist said in an interview with the Guardian. ‘It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working.’ 

Joseph Stiglitz delivered the harsh criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis while describing how Americans had been impacted

‘The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply,’ the American economist said. ‘It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working’

A long-time critic of Trump, Stiglitz said that 14 per cent of the population was dependent on food stamps. He also said that the social infrastructure could not cope with an unemployment rate of 30 per cent.    

He continued: ‘We have a safety net that is inadequate. The inequality in the US is so large. This disease has targeted those with the poorest health. In the advanced world, the US is one of the countries with the poorest health overall and the greatest health inequality.’

The economist slammed Republicans for rejecting proposals to give those affected with the virus 10 days’ sick leave.  

A long-time critic of Trump, Stiglitz said that 14 per cent of the population was dependent on food stamps. He also said that the social infrastructure could not cope with an unemployment rate of 30 per cent

‘The Republicans said no because they said it would set a bad precedent. It is literally unbelievable,’ said Stiglitz. ‘The safety net is not adequate and is propagating the disease. There is very weak unemployment insurance and people don’t think they can rely on it.’

Stiglitz felt that the United States was clearly headed to the direction of another Great Depression.  

‘Yes is the answer in short,’ he said. ‘If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.’

He blamed Trump’s mismanagement for the closure of the White House office responsible for pandemics, the cutting of CDC funding, and for the lack of test kits ready to test coronavirus patients. 

Stiglitz also decried the protest that he felt was spurred by Trump and encouraged an environment where the virus would be transmitted even more.    

Members of the 128th Brigade Support Battalion of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard work loading boxes of food into cars at a distribution for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

‘In those circumstances it won’t be the government enforcing the lockdown, it will be fear. The concern is that people are not going to be spending on anything other than food and that’s the definition of a Great Depression,’ he said.

‘We were unprepared but, even given the degree of unpreparedness, Trump’s decision to make this about politics rather than about science has meant we have responded far more poorly.’

The economist said that Trump losing in November and Democrats winning both houses of Congress could help get the country back on track. He did assert, however, that Republicans would fight dirty.  

‘There is voter suppression and gerrymandering,’ he said. ‘The Republican party knows it’s a minority party and there is a no-holds-barred struggle going on to make sure a minority party rules America.’ 

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