ABSTRACT

Infrastructure Stimulus Plan for the COVID-19 Recession   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Overview: "Like most corners of American society, the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has rattled the nation's infrastructure. National driving levels dropped over 40% in April--the largest decline since World War II--while public transit continues to run with few passengers. Internet data use is surging as meetings, shopping, and social gatherings moved online. Safe water is an urgent concern and electricity demand has been swinging wildly. But even if these behavior changes subside, there is already a more sustained threat to U.S. infrastructure: a large-scale recession. [...] How can Congress design an infrastructure stimulus that responds to today's recession while still making forward-looking investments? At their core, the pandemic and its associated recession are stories of human suffering. This means that any infrastructure stimulus program must put people at the center. Congress should fund policies that make essential services more affordable, promote workforce development opportunities, and build projects with a more resilient, equitable future in mind. The benefit of a people-first strategy is it can stimulate greater economic activity immediately while ensuring benefits flow directly to households and communities most in need. [...] This brief uses historical data and the earliest indicators from the COVID-19 downturn to make the case for a people-first approach to federal infrastructure stimulus."

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Date:
2020-07
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Brookings Institution
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Brookings Institution: http://www.brookings.edu/
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application/pdf
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