Press Releases

The Daily 202: Marco Rubio warns of instability without structural changes to help minorities in coronavirus recovery
By James Hohmann
The Washington Post
May 27, 2020
 
The novel coronavirus is not just killing nonwhite Americans at vastly higher rates, it’s also eliminating far more of their jobs and disproportionately driving their small businesses toward bankruptcy. 
 
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Rubio had planned to deliver an address earlier this year on how an embrace of what he has branded “common-good capitalism” could bring more “dignified work” to minority communities. His advance team had scouted out a venue at Florida A&M, a historically black university in Tallahassee that has some successful programs he could highlight. But the impeachment trial, the Democratic presidential primaries and then the coronavirus contagion shelved those plans. Rubio didn’t want to wait until crowds can gather again, so he penned an essay that was posted this morning on Medium. He’s also planning to hold hearings on the theme.
 
“When we talk about the people in America who have been displaced by economic decisions made over the last 20 or 30 years, the prototype that people use is stories about the white working-class voter, the voters featured in ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ and what some would call the prototypical Trump voter,” Rubio explained. “That’s most certainly part of the story: The rural, white voter who has been left behind by globalization. But the piece that's been left out is the impact it’s had on the African American community and, to some extent, on other minority communities, like the Hispanic community.”
 
Rubio blames deindustrialization for pushing non-college-educated workers into the low-wage, but essential, service jobs that have made them more susceptible to coronavirus infections. He pointed to data that show the earnings gap between whites and blacks in the country was diminishing from the years after World War II until the early 1970s, but then it began to broaden again and has continued along a similar trend line.
 
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