Southern State Economic Responses to Pandemic

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is both a public health crisis and a harmful shock to our national, state, and local economies. The expansion of safety efforts to limit social interaction and public gatherings, while prudent and necessary, has the adverse impact of reducing economic security. At the root of this impending crisis is the fact that our economic prosperity is currently driven by household spending. Therefore, reductions in household spending can
trigger a vicious cycle of declining incomes and economic growth, which leads to further drops in household spending. If policymakers are bold, numerous administrative and legislative levers can be pulled to boost household incomes and support the broader economy before the pandemic sparks a deep, long, and widespread recession. Expanding the scope and coverage of unemployment insurance, direct income assistance, and public health coverage can lead to immediate and sustained economic security, even in the face of crisis.