Coronavirus Pandemic Pushes Millions of Californians to the Brink of Financial Disaster

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A "Closed" sign is seen amid the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles, California on Dec. 5, 2020.  (Frederic J. Brown /AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus-induced recession has exacerbated income inequality in California and will only worsen unless political leaders take action, according to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California. The pandemic is essentially pushing millions of Californians who were already living in poverty or paycheck to paycheck to the brink of financial disaster. After months of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, many Californians face the end of unemployment benefits, about one in eight households are behind on rent or mortgage payments and any federal stimulus or economic relief remains uncertain. Public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich joins us to talk about this growing problem and how to address it. We’ll also hear more about the PPIC report and the economic consequences of the pandemic.


Robert Reich, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley and former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton

Sarah Bohn, vice president of research and senior fellow, Public Policy Institute of California