Pew Research Center: Covid Health Policy Linked to Plunging Middle Class & Surging Global Poverty
Mar 22, 2021: Extremely American has been covering the science (and politics) of Covid, Covid vaccines, disposable masks, and lockdowns in its coverage of the pandemic. The “camps of opinion” are divided based on the anticipated short-term and long-term effectiveness and consequences of (1) persistent lockdowns & mask-wearing and (2) the use of an experimental Covid vaccinations. This article will not focus on the debate over the questions regarding Covid and Covid public health policy but, rather, the economic peril being caused by an approach to Covid that is far more severe than the cure of the virus itself. The Pew Research Center released its critical findings on March 17 – findings which should have alarm bells ringing everywhere. Even if a person or family has not been directly harmed by the reckless, ineffective, and draconian public health policies imposed by government, everyone should be gravely concerned by the Pew Research Center global findings and demanding answers from their elected officials and public health authorities. All those sanctimonious and superficially compassionate progressives should also put their money where their mouth is and demand massive and immediate adjustments to a Covid health policy approach that is demolishing the world’s middle class and spawning spikes in poverty growth at a scale not observed over the past century.
Please note that all statistical references from this article are drawn directly from the Pew Research Center tables and report schematics. (Primary Source: Pew Research Center - Global Attitudes & Trends; March 17, 2021)
As we pour through the main findings of the Pew Research, be sure to take this key point away with you. The Pew Research statistics from 2020 confirm that the Covid-19 downturn and the excessive approach taken by politicians and public health officials is rapidly destroying the global middle class and causing severe spikes in global poverty not experienced in the past century. With this said, let us now review the Pew Center’s key research details.
In 2020, the world’s middle class declined by 54 million people. The combination of the world’s middle class, lower-upper middle class, and high-income class collapsed by a total of 152 million people. Consider this detailed breakdown by key class category:
- High Income Class declined by -62 million people
- Upper-middle Income Class declined by -36 million people
- Middle Class declined by -54 million people
- Low Income Class grew by +21 million people
- Poor grew by +131 million people
This alarming pattern was countered by a “ballooning” of the world’s poor and low-income classes where these two cohorts surged by 152 million people. In other words, those people who were in the middle to lower middle-income classes at the beginning of 2020 found themselves in the low income and poverty class brackets by the end of 2020. Where the vast portion of the world’s population already falls within the Low Income & Poor Classes (approximately 61% according to Pew Research), the trending of rapid growth in these two lower end classes has never been more disconcerting. This disturbing pattern is a direct by-product of the Covid pandemic and the public health policy that came with it. And, of course, all of this began with the CCP engineering, release, and gain-of-function (GOF) cover-up – effectively a vicious attack on the entire world.
The figures, above, are in dramatic contrast to patterns observed in these categories from 2011-2019. During this 2011-2019 period, the following rates were observed by category:
- High Income Class grew by +117 million people
- Upper-middle Income Class grew by +297 million people
- Middle Class grew by +436 million people
- Low Income Class grew by +212 million people
- Poor declined by -390 million people
The differences in the 10-year period prior to the Covid era are striking and all politicians and media should be held accountable for the negative consequences and ineffective results of their excessive policies. The media’s role in suppressing these statistics should also be held in contempt as their lack of diligence and journalistic curiosity is nothing short of pure professional negligence. The public health consequences of these trends will translate into negative public health consequences far greater than anything we will ever see from the coronavirus itself.
Pew Research also tracked the impact of Covid and Covid health policy on output around the world employing GDP and GDP proxies. The GDP output patterns around the world produced several interesting but looming outcomes. Take note of the following regional breakdown of GDP per capita (where the following measures are calculated by subtracting the January 2021 actual GDP per capita figures from the January 2020 GDP per capita forecasts):
- Global -6.8%
- Advanced Economies -6.8%
- Latin America & Caribbean -8.6%
- East Asia & the Pacific -4.7%
- Europe & Central Asia -5.5%
- South Asia -12.1%
- Middle East & North Africa -7.2%
- Sub-Saharan Africa -6.4%
Not surprisingly, all regions experienced a disappointing year when measured by GDP per capita. Within the data, the variance between GDP actuals and forecasts were far more severe for second and third regions versus more developed economic regions. South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean were particularly hard hit. Conveniently the “best performance” came from East Asia & the Pacific (which happens to include China, the regime that caused the global crisis in the first place). Note that the overall global figure of -6.8% reflects trillions of dollars of lost production which is especially disastrous for the most impoverished nations in the world given their reliance on a vibrant global economy.
Using the same regional breakdown, Pew Research laid out the 2020 impact of Covid on the changes that occurred within the Poor and Middle Income Classes. Consider these regional figures:
- Advanced Economies -0.5 million people
- Latin America & Caribbean +5 million people
- East Asia & the Pacific +4 million people
- Europe & Central Asia +1 million people
- South Asia +78 million people
- Middle East & North Africa +4 million people
- Sub-Saharan Africa +40 million people
- Advanced Economies +16 million people
- Latin America & Caribbean -8 million people
- East Asia & the Pacific -19 million people
- Europe & Central Asia +1 million people
- South Asia -32 million people
- Middle East & North Africa -8 million people
- Sub-Saharan Africa -4 million people
As we comb through the Pew Research findings, we can draw conclusions that must be owned and addressed by our elected officials, public health authorities, and mainstream media. The most important conclusions include: (1) adding massive incremental numbers to the global “Poor Class” categories, (2) destroying the global “Middle Class”, (3) disproportionately devastating impacts on second- and third-world nations class-by-class, and (4) global destruction of wealth and production where High Classes are suffering significant losses that pose far-reaching implications in the areas of revenue generation, employment generation, corporate tax contributions, and philanthropic latitude. Keep in mind that the Advanced Economies’ 2020 reduction in the High Income Class will have far reaching consequences in that region not to mention all other regions around the world.
The EA community would do well to understand this economic “book-end” to the public health consequences of misdirected and excessive Covid public health policies. As you evaluate all aspects of your elected official’s response to governance through this crisis, do not forget the Pew Research findings illustrated in this article. The story told by this economic data must be included with the direct and indirect health consequences of inept governments at all levels around the world. By: Extremely American Colin Wright