Covid Crisis - Extreme Injustices and Inequalities of the Global Economic System
Time & Location
About the Event
Despite severe hardships, Covid-19 brought the best out of common people. It showed solidarity, resilience, and creativity of the people to deal with the pandemic. At the same time, it is laying bare the reality of capitalism and neo-liberalism, the extreme injustices and inequalities of the economic system.
Governments around the world are busily exploiting the coronavirus crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks, including billions to the multi-nationals accused of tax evasions.
Large multi-national corporations and the richest 10% of individuals had a bumper year. The money is being showered on them, while small businesses are suffering or closing down. For example, Pfizer has already made an estimated $975 million from the vaccine last year and is expected to earn another $19 billion in revenue from the vaccine in 2021, not to mention the dramatic increase in personal wealth of the richest individuals.
Rich nations, representing just 14% of the world’s population, have reportedly bought most of the vaccines so far, whereas nearly 70 poor countries will only be able to vaccinate one in ten people, exposing the claims for human rights.
Capitalism and neoliberalism are known to exploit disasters to their advantage under the cover of “help”. They see “opportunities” in every disaster to change regulations and to remove obstacles to making more money.
This Dialogue is meant to bring to light the “other” side of the pandemic. We will discuss questions like How capitalism exploits and sometimes even creates disasters, how Covid-19 is being used to make money, increase profits, ignore human rights, put new controls on the society and limitations on privacy, how new laws are imposed under the guise of security, all at the expense of the poor, what are the fair and sustainable alternatives, and whether pandemic is ‘really’ a class issue.
Our speaker is Dr Kaiser Bengali. He is an economist with over 45 years of experience in teaching, research, and policy advice in Pakistan. His areas of research interest include issues in planning & development and macro-economic and fiscal policies, particularly relating to inter-personal and inter-regional inequality, poverty, unemployment, and social justice, urban and regional planning, decentralization and local government and finance, education, and ethnic, sectarian and religious militancy and violence. His international teaching, research, and consultancy experience include work at the Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Development, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, and with international organizations in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, and Kenya.
He has over 35 research publications in national and international journals and conferences and he is the author/editor of 8 books on subjects ranging from unemployment, inequality, and poverty to education, water, gender, and regional development. He has regularly contributed articles on economic and political issues in newspapers and appears on electronic media.