Showing posts with label injustice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label injustice. Show all posts

COVID-19 Economic Growth vs. Public Health

 




Many have found instances of sectarianism that occur when government actors adhere to divisive ideals or partial interests in support of or opposition to COVID-19-related public policies. However, there is another problem that we would like to consider in the light of collective justification: the relationship between various democratic ideals. That is, policies can be irrational not because they are based on sectarian ideals, but because they unreasonably balance various non-sectarian political values. 

In liberal democratic cultures, there are sometimes conflicts between broadly held political ideals. While this does not exclude democratic justification, it does necessitate that those arguing for or against specific laws and regulations have arguments that "reflect a plausible balancing of political principles." Even if it is founded on a political principle that stands alone, a statement struggles to be a legitimate public rationale if it does not plausibly resolve other political values that might be at stake.' Different interpretations of how the same shared category of political value can be better realized are one example of balancing. Consider the basic principles of democratic liberalism and civic reason, the "values of the common good." 

There has been continuing discussion within the framework of COVID-19 on the possible trade-off between public health and economic development, arguably two policy agendas that advance the common good. People have conceptualized the harms caused by COVID-19 in various ways as a result of the conflict between public health and economic development, with some prioritizing the damage to health and others prioritizing the long-term harm to the economy and livelihoods. Any countries strongly adopted a public health-oriented agenda from the start of the pandemic, including the almost inevitable economic costs. 

For instance, in March, Working from home is not easy whether you work in a hotel, drive a taxi, plan parties, or freelance to cover your bills, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. If you work in the oil and gas industry, or the tourism and seafood sectors, you're undoubtedly concerned about the global economy's instability and worrying not just how long it will last, but also how long your investments will last. This is a moment when you should be concerned with your own welfare as well as the health of your neighbors, regardless of who you are or what you do. Not whether or not you'll risk your career. 



Just if you'll run out of money for necessities like groceries and prescriptions. Similarly, before implementing strict lockout measures to combat Australia's second outbreak of COVID-19 pathogens, Premier Daniel Andrews of Victoria demonstrated to the public: "As Premier, I've spent every day fighting for employment and fighting for employment." I completely understand: a career provides financial support, but it also provides continuity, meaning, and a basis on which to develop the future. To be honest, I never imagined I'd be in a situation where I had to ask people not to come to work. Still, if we're serious about bringing this thing down – which we must be – we'll have to take unprecedented measures to limit people's mobilization, and therefore the spread of the virus. 

It's crucial to note that Trudeau and Andrews, like other politicians who recognized the urgency of putting public health priorities first, could not ignore the pressing economic situation they were in. In addition to recognizing the potential job cuts and economic consequences that stringent lockdown policies would entail in order to save lives, these officials took steps to assist companies and employees threatened by government responses to the pandemic. 

Other government figures, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of putting the economy ahead of public health results from the start. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, for example, downplayed the pandemic's seriousness, calling it "just a little fever" and insisting that "the economy must come first." ‘[l]ife must go on, employments [sic] should be retained, people's income should be maintained, so all Brazilians should return to normal,' Bolsonaro said in late March. Similarly, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in the same month, "My message is that let's get back to work." Let's get back to enjoying our lives. Let's do it the same way... For those of us who are overweight will look after ourselves. So don't put the nation in jeopardy... I just imagine there are a lot of grandparents out there like me—I have six grandchildren—who are concerned with the same thing... And while I want to live wisely and see it clearly, I don't want the country as a whole to be sacrificed. That's what I'm doing... No one approached me and said, "As a senior citizen, are you ready to risk your life in order to save the America that all Americans cherish for your children and grandchildren?" 

And if that's the deal, I'm on board. Even in Italy, one of the first countries to enact a near-total quarantine at the start of the pandemic, the propensity for certain segments of the population to prioritize the economy led to the delay in closing down main industries and factories, arguably aiding the virus's dissemination in its early stages. This was especially true in the Bergamo province, which is one of Italy's wealthiest and most prosperous, with a strong work ethic. Confindustria Bergamo, a trade association representing, companies hiring, workers, sent a reassuring letter in English to the region's international export partners in February and launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #BergamoisRunning. Stefano Scaglia, president of Confindustria Bergamo, delivered the central message that "research continues, we remain free." 

As a result of the above scenarios, there seems to be a trade-off between public health and economic development targets as two distinct means of achieving the greater good. However, a closer examination of the scientific reality reveals that there could be a synergy between public health and economic security. Contrary to the concept of a trade-off, we find that countries that saw the most extreme economic downturns – such as Peru, Spain, and the United Kingdom – are generally among the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rate. The opposite is also true: countries with a small economic influence, such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Lithuania, have managed to keep their mortality rates low. More scientific research could be required in this field, and policymakers are likely to face difficult trade-offs in the future, particularly when policies like lockout and stay-at-home orders put companies under more pressure. 

The more general argument is that politicians should partake in some kind of reflection to ensure that the policies they adopt follow the expectations of justifiable civility by considering all of the relevant democratic interests at stake, as well as various conceptions of them. And, of course, things aren't quite as they seem. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, for example, said in October when announcing new measures to combat a second wave of infections, "[w]e must act, deploying all the measures possible to prevent a new generalized lockdown." The nation cannot risk another loss that will put the whole economy in jeopardy.' Public officials will almost certainly have to change policies in response to emerging conditions, thus balancing public health and economic challenges. From the standpoint of justificatory civility, it's critical that they understand the trade-offs that come with prioritizing any target.



COVID-19 Sectarianism and Prioritization of Issues



The second dimension of civility as public-mindedness, justificatory civility, is examined in this article. Although almost all liberal political theorists believe in moral civility, justificatory civility is most closely associated with the political liberalism strand of modern liberal philosophy. People in western democracy marked by fair pluralism and dissent, according to Rawls and other democratic liberals, have a "duty of civility" to justify to one another how the political rules "they defend and vote for may be accepted by the political ideals of popular purpose." Basic rights and liberties, as well as epistemic rules of investigation and scientific proof, are among the political ideals that are universally endorsed in western democracies. 

When defending policies and legislation, being civil in the justification sense means referring to these widely held principles. This is particularly true for politicians, who have a greater direct influence on decision-making than ordinary people. Appeals to contentious causes, such as those based on moral worldviews or faulty factual facts, on the other hand, are an example of justificatory incivility. This segment focuses on one way that certain political leaders abused justificatory civility during COVID-19: the promotion of sectarian goals and political ideologies. Sectarianism is diametrically opposed to open-mindedness and rationality. 



Rather than advancing the greater good, it means promoting the desires, beliefs, and aspirations of particular persons and communities within society. To be certain, not all liberals are concerned with the promotion of political ideologies based on divisive views and sectarian ambitions. For example, some opponents of political liberalism argue that imposing public purpose limits on political discourse and decision-making is antidemocratic. Others justify political perfectionism by saying that states should foster valuable concepts of the good life; they believe that public purpose obstructs this aim. For these opponents, the fact that a political party may promote a sectarian political ideology that only serves the needs of a certain social community, or that a politician may use theological reasoning to defend policies they support, does not constitute an issue for liberal democracy. 

We agree that sectarianism is a challenge for liberal democratic states and we believe in public reason liberalism. The remainder of this segment demonstrates how COVID-19 has placed new constraints on public-spirited conduct, allowing individuals and organizations to follow sectarian goals with greater ease. Horizontal and vertical sectarian political agendas The COVID-19 crisis has given some actors fresh chances to follow openly sectarian goals. Despite the fact that we are all facing the same public health issue, actors with different priorities and ambitions have tried to direct policy in ways that favor their own agendas over ones that will benefit the public good. It's important to differentiate between two types of sectarianism that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. 

The first, which we refer to as horizontal sectarianism, includes government leaders who have advanced legislative proposals based on their party's or voters' needs. In many cases, party politics has played a significant role in policy formulation and implementation. Many lawmakers have taken advantage of the current health crisis to further their own and their party's goals, as well as the interests of their supporters, rather than the greater welfare of the political nation. The US Senate, for example, failed to pass an emergency relief package because Democrats and Republicans couldn't compromise on those clauses, such as corporate stock buybacks and executive compensation, unemployment benefits, and job security. Furthermore, in the run-up to the November US presidential elections, political considerations tended to affect pandemic policies. 

The formulation and execution of successful and politically justified policy solutions to the pandemic have been hampered by sectarian interests and a lack of unity across partisan lines. The decision to have Trump's name on stimulus checks sent to millions of US people to help them cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic is another sign of horizontal sectarianism. Although the economic stimulus is a fair and socially supported reaction to COVID-19, aimed at fostering economic prosperity and saving employment, Trump's politicization of the stimulus seems to be difficult to explain based on good justification, and appears to be mostly motivated by his personal and ideological political interests. Photo. President Donald J. Trump's name was on a US economic stimulus check. Another example of lateral sectarianism is using contentious theological reasoning to explain opposition to mask-wearing laws. 

According to a new survey, in the United States, resistance to wearing a mask and other careful behaviors is often linked to a conservative Christian heritage. Consider the following quote from Ohio state senator Nino Vitale, who made the following remark in May: This is the largest nation on the face of the planet, built on Judeo-Christian values. All of these beliefs is that we are all made of God's likeness and portrait. Our eyes are drawn to the picture the most. I'm not going to wear a mask... That is God's picture in action, and I want to see that in my brothers and sisters as well. Vitale's comment includes a strong reference to a divisive theological argument that will be rejected by atheists and, potentially, other religious believers who do not share his interpretation of Judeo-Christian beliefs. It is simply an example of justifiable incivility founded on a sectarian and contentious religious ideology in this context. 

During the current pandemic, we have seen vertical sectarianism in addition to horizontal sectarianism. Vertical sectarianism entails a particular decision-making level within a multi-level political framework, rather than the use of controversial theories or the promotion of the interests of a specific faction or segment of society. For example, when Italy demanded medical assistance and supplies from other EU member states at the start of the pandemic, those countries did not respond. This "shameful lack of unity" demonstrated a blatant disregard for their own national interests, obstructing the achievement of a public-spirited target at the EU level. 

If the EU is considered the appropriate constituency of public reason in this case, it is difficult to see how such a response might be publicly justified. The same point may be made in other situations where national interests are prioritized above those of the international community, including where coordinated intervention and cooperation seem to be the public-spirited responses required to address a crisis like the current pandemic. Of necessity, we recognize that the question of whether public cause and public rationale can extend beyond the conventional nation-state is already being debated. However, we believe that, at least in the sense of a political and economic union like the EU, notions of justifying civility, sectarian claims, and public-mindedness are becoming more relevant. The vertical component of sectarianism, however, is perhaps most evident within the nation-state, which is the conventional place of popular purpose. 

The advancement of policy agendas based on the needs of particular provincial or state subunits in relation to the national or federal level is what this dimension entails. In the United States, for example, partisan interests seem to have motivated the distribution of economic relief services to various states, often favoring Republican states less threatened by the pandemic over Democratic states facing urgent difficulties. This example also shows how sectarianism's horizontal and vertical axes are often intertwined. Horizontal partisan preferences propelled conflict at the vertical level of government in this situation. In April, several US states developed alliances such as the West Coast Pact and the East Coast Consortium to address President Trump's downplayed COVID-19 vulnerability appraisal and insistence on reopening for industry, reigniting the country's perennial controversy about states' rights.


Regardless of the substance of the disagreement, this indicates a legislative approach that prioritizes the interests of individual states or groups of states over the overall national political culture, as justificatory civility and collective cause would require. However, in other situations, the interests of individual states or sub-units have been presented as being linked to (rather than competing with) the national interest. In July, the Australian Government's Acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, voiced his concern about a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the state of Victoria, saying, "This latest outbreak is not a Victorian problem." It's a national problem. It is an epidemic that affects everybody. The Commonwealth and several states and territories are assisting in monitoring, contact tracking, and public engagement. Several hundred health and other personnel are assisting with testing, contact tracing, and public engagement. This national response to combat the virus gives me much hope – yet, to be honest, it doesn't surprise me in the least. 

To summarize, we have seen in this section that when political leaders use controversial principles or partial (e.g., personal, partisan, or local) preferences to justify or criticize laws and policies relevant to COVID-19, they threaten democratic rationale and violate justificatory civility. It is important to note that the justifications for sectarian policies are not necessarily clear. However, it is frequently possible to conclude whether a policy may be justified by pointing to societal motives from the policy itself and/or the wider behavior of the related political actor. In certain cases, implementing a strategy that explicitly serves the interests of a certain political party or individual is unlikely to be deemed justifiable civility. Confronting sectarianism can take two ways, both during COVID-19 and in general. 

The first step entails developing and improving structural structures to avoid the erosion of justifiable civility. For example, judicial entities such as the United States Supreme Court, which Rawls regards as the "exemplar of public justification," will act as a check on laws that promote sectarian religious beliefs. Similarly, structural responses to resolve conflicts at various levels of government would necessitate opposing partisan players acknowledging the extent of their rights and responsibilities at each level. There should be consistent lines of contact between the parties engaged in a conflict and effective procedures for its settlement where there are uncertainties or conflicts at various levels of government. 

The second type of approach to sectarianism entails encouraging leaders and people to follow the religious obligation of justificatory civility. Remember, the responsibility requires people to protect the democratic principles they defend by referring to common political ideals of collective reason. Schools and other educational institutions may play an important role in instilling the virtue of justificatory civility in adolescents, for example, by familiarizing them with core constitutional concepts that embody common societal values. People should use such concepts as the shared language of collective argument when engaging in the process of democratic justification in the political arena. Another option is to create or improve platforms for people to participate in decision-making, such as dialogue systems or deliberative forums. 

In the spirit of justificatory civility, it will inspire politicians and people to develop reasoned and other-regarding views on political issues, motivated by the value of reciprocity.




COVID-19 Hate and Discrimination in the Public Sphere


In the public domain more generally, the pandemic has intensified religiously uncivil acts of prejudice and hate. We also seen an increase in blatant anti-Chinese bigotry and racist cases in many parts of the world as a result of the virus's geographic roots. Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate has gathered data on incidents in the United States to demonstrate the scope of the issue, who it impacts, and where these types of incidents occur. According to descriptive figures in a recent US survey, the most prevalent forms of abuse are verbal harassment in workplaces and on the street, which overwhelmingly affect women. 

The report's qualitative data contains illustrative instances. 'I'm a hospital professional,' one New York City plaintiff recalled. On the metro, I saw a man without a mask sitting across from me. He led me on the other side of the train compartment. On the subway, he spit and coughed while shouting racist slurs. There was no one who stood up for me.' ‘I was in line at the pharmacy when a lady hit me and poured Lysol all over me,' said another survivor in Georgia. “[y]ou're the infection,” she screamed. Return to your house. “You are not welcome here!” As I walked out of the house, I was in shock and sobbed. Nobody comes to my aid.' Some of the terminology used by political figures in the media to characterize COVID-19, such as "kung flu" and "China virus," can embolden those who might engage in more blatant acts of bigotry and racism in the public domain. 

Hate and prejudice cases also represent pre-existing social divisions based on race, gender, and other factors. When we met with Erin Wen Ai Chew, the Founder and National Convener of the Asian Australian Alliance, she said, "COVID-19 is not the source of anti-Asian rhetoric; it's just a sign of a larger crisis." The pandemic, on the other hand, has both escalated and normalized those events. 

This tense atmosphere has been fueled by leaders from various political parties across the political spectrum. Public views against people with Chinese ancestry and other Asian backgrounds have been exacerbated by media messaging and wider geopolitical conflicts. This social and political environment, as Erin Wen Ai Chew points out, "has normalized the notion that it's cool to wander around, that if you see an Asian person walking down the street, it's okay to name them "the Chinese flu," and it's okay to warn them not to eat dogs, bats, or some sort of wild species." As a result, the concept has become much more mainstream, especially during COVID. Individuals and organizations may have additional ways to promote agendas inspired by religious and ethnic animosity as a result of the pandemic. Some, for example, have used increased media ‘strain' to promote Islamophobic messaging. Key "trigger" incidents, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, will cause surges in both offline and online anti-Muslim sentiment. 

Many ethnic organizations fall under the same category. According to Tel Aviv University researchers, the pandemic "unleashed a unique worldwide surge of antisemitism." Conspiracy theories and disinformation fuel prejudices and may contribute to erroneous guilt attributions aimed against religious communities. According to a survey of the English population conducted by Oxford University, almost a quarter of respondents agree to some degree with the assertions that "Jews developed the virus to crash the economy for financial benefit" and "Muslims are spreading the virus as an assault on Western principles." 

The wider far-right has been particularly interested in using COVID-19 to further a variety of goals. Far-right parties have blended populist and anti-egalitarian rhetoric into their media commentary on the global pandemic in Australia, where the far-right mainly pursues a complex and changing anti-Islam, cultural, and ethnic hegemony platform. 

Anti-Chinese bigotry is common, as is anti-globalist propaganda directed at organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Public myths of self-sufficiency and alienation that surface as a result of the global pandemic can now resonate with more Australians, whose views on globalization are nearly doubled from percent in to percent in. Countries facing parallel changes in public opinion must be proactive in addressing and counteracting socially uncivil expression and actions associated with populist and anti-globalization views and policies. As a result of the COVID-19 virus's disruption of social and political life, ideologies promoting xenophobia, bigotry, and religious intolerance could find a more welcoming audience. 




Outside of the public health crisis, leaders may learn from tactics to tackle hate speech and behavior. A plan of action, for example, would enable officials and partner organizations to track and analyze data, recognize and resolve root causes, collaborate with a variety of civil society groups to create cross-sector coalitions, and integrate media and emerging technology into the development of program delivery tools. States must collect data in order to analyze and comprehend the problem. This campaigns will help raise concerns of bigotry and hate crimes while also offering a more solid factual basis for policy recommendations. Solutions will range from voluntary programs to more concrete policies aimed at better protecting victims and prosecuting offenders through the rule of law (e.g., updated anti-racism legislation). 

Governments should also be aware of some of the limitations imposed by structural responses. While a government may pass laws, make rules, and set procedures to combat bigotry and hatred in general, it might not be prepared to respond to micro-incidents. The Australian Human Rights Commission, for example, uses a conciliatory or reconciliation mechanism to handle those cases. Because of the limits of mobility and face-to-face contact, it is impossible that a suspect and survivor will consent to participate in this sort of process during normal times, and much less likely in a case like a pandemic.



COVID-19 Workplace Discrimination





Moral incivility in the workplace may be a "veiled expression of discrimination and bigotry" in normal times, putting certain workers at a disadvantage. This type of workplace incivility is distinct from the impoliteness factor. It is about different types of bigotry, sexism, and injustice faced by certain individuals in the workplace, rather than politeness standards of conversation that act as a social lubricant.

COVID-19 has the potential to increase organizational moral incivility by unequal behavior and results. The virus's roots, for example, have resulted in unfair treatment of workers with HIV.


Backgrounds of Asia. One employee in Monterey, California, characterized his or her experience as follows:


I was the only Asian American at a job party, and I had an allergic reaction that day. When she saw me sneeze, she told me I couldn't be there, that I wanted to go, and that I shouldn't eat any of the convention's coffee or cookies. When other participants in the conference were sneezing, sniffling, and coughing, she singled me out.

The pandemic could also put a burden on hard-won progress on gender equality. Changes in working conditions and procedures, in certain ways, overwhelmingly impact certain classes.

The gender factor illustrates disparities in workplace stability, access to economic assistance programming, increased safety threats in some occupations with a greater proportion of woman employees (e.g., nursing, aged care, social work), and improvements to meet new parenting obligations.

Companies in a variety of industries have had to deal with the pressures to respond to the "new standard." In this new environment, large corporations have had to make health and safety decisions, and others have implemented controversial measures that could be unfair. For example, one mining firm was accused of ageism and bigotry after employees of a certain age or indigenous origin were ordered to stay at home. While the company justified its actions as a way to reduce risk to populations seen as more vulnerable to transmission and to the negative health effects of COVID-19, not everyone found this explanation persuasive. In the United States, the American Bar Association anticipates a "flood" of age abuse cases in the near future.



The pandemic has created new decision-making scenarios, such as occupational COVID-19 testing, choices for leave-of-absence demands, and rehiring procedures, where companies must be particularly vigilant to prevent discriminatory behavior. Employers will be required to make extra accommodations for vulnerable workers who continue to see dangers of returning to work after the pandemic has passed.

Steps must be taken to monitor and mitigate the pandemic's impacts on racist policies in the short term, as well as their implications for wider disparities. Employers must stand firm in the face of what may be a potentially disastrous situation.