Beware of austerity demands once the immediate crisis passes

This piece originally ran in The American Prospect on April 6, 2020 as part of an economists roundtable on the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus is, above all, a public-health crisis, and the economic impact could be devastating. But before any of us even heard of COVID-19, our society and economy suffered from deeply-ingrained problems, starting with economic inequality, which this crisis will undoubtedly exacerbate. The need for substantially increased public spending and investment will not diminish once the public-health