A Tale of Two Pandemics in California

We are eager for January 4 to arrive as that’s when the California Legislature reconvenes. All Californians need attention but two groups in particular — blue collar workers and families with kids in public schools — are in special need of attention.

Most public school students are still not in classrooms, distance learning results are frightening, the state’s unemployment rate materially exceeds the national rate, and the unemployed endure inadequate service from the state’s Employment Development Department. Meanwhile, many private schools are open, white collar workers are able to earn remotely, and pension funds, state tax revenues* and those of us with savings benefit from a stock market lifted by enterprises flourishing in a remote-working world not available to wage-dependent blue collar workers.

As President-Elect Biden said last week, the purpose of our politics is to solve problems. We hope the problems faced by California’s blue collar workers and public school families are front and center when the Legislature reconvenes.

*State tax revenues through October were 43 percent above budgeted revenues.