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The Economic Impact of the Lockdown is Regressive

In the local-opinion pages of the Washington Post, my friend Lyle Albaugh and I have an op-ed on the regressiveness of the covid-lockdown’s economic impact. A slice:

The reason for the lockdown’s regressive effect is no mystery. Although there are exceptions to this rule, a disproportionately large number of highly paid workers, compared with lower-paid workers, have jobs that allow them to work from home.

For example, one of us (Boudreaux) is a college professor who continues to teach his classes online from home using Zoom. He remains employed with no cut in his income. Many architects, accountants, lawyers, financial planners and other upper-income workers enjoy similar opportunities.

In contrast, the other of us (Albaugh) co-owns and works full time at a small retail business in the heart of the District — a business that for more than 30 years has depended for the bulk of its sales on foot traffic. With his D.C. store shuttered by government decree, not only is he unable to work and earn income, but his commission-based employees are in the same sinking boat.