Amherst economist: $1.9 trillion stimulus bill not ‘transformative’


Richard Wolff, an economist and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, on Monday shot down suggestions that the recently passed $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus bill is “transformative,” saying those suggestions are “nutty.”

While appearing on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Wolff gave his thoughts on the stimulus bill, saying it should strictly be referred to as a “relief bill,” as he acknowledged it would provide some relief.

“This notion that it is transformative, that it’s going to eradicate poverty … this is nutty,” Wolff said. “This is so far over the border that, you know, it’s in another planet. This is not gonna do that.”

“In order to do that you have to face what none of them are willing to face which is that we have been redistributing wealth and income upward for over 40 years and we have an economy that works like that,” Wolff added. ‘And that’s why so many people are poor, that’s why so many of our institutions are in trouble, that’s why we have fires in California, no electricity in Texas.”

Wolff criticized the concessions that were made in the bill, in particular bemoaning the dropping of a $15 federal minimum wage hike, which did not have majority support in the Senate.

“They didn’t even do that so for me this is the kind of help — you’re grateful for it, but boy is this less than what we need,” Wolff said.

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