Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

The coronavirus is worsening economic inequality around the world

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

  • The virus has exposed how work, health and education systems create additional disadvantages for low-income families and minorities, while allowing the most wealthy to recover quickly.
  • A majority of nearly 300 economists from around the world surveyed by Oxfam said they expect the virus to exacerbate gender (56% ), racial ( 66%), wealth (78%) and income (87%) inequalities in their countries.

By the numbers: The number of people living on less than $1.90 per day might have increased by more than 400 million last year. That's a larger number of people than the population of the United States.

  • More than 3 billion people had no access to healthcare, and three quarters of workers had no access to sick pay. Meanwhile, the wealth of the top 1% continued to rise.

How it works: In the United States, 22,000 Black and Latino Americans would still be alive today if their coronavirus mortality rates were the same as white people — a result of unequal access to health care, disproportionate rates of preexisting conditions and other compounding disadvantages in communities of color, as Axios has reported.

Yes, but: While inequality within countries got a lot worse in 2020, the world overall might have become less unequal. That's because rich countries, in general, were harder hit by the coronavirus than the poorest countries, which tend to have much younger populations.

What to watch: School closings affected some 1.7 billion children globally. But children in rich countries could continue their education online, and were shut out of school for much less time — about six weeks, on average, compared to four months for children in the poorest countries. Millions of girls pulled out of school in 2020 and will never return.

The bottom line: As UN Secretary GeneralAntonio Guterres has said: "While we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the drifting debris."

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories