For the politicians and businesses who are in a hurry to open up Arizona’s economy… SOON… the data, the computer models, and the small-government Arizona Way are not on your side.
Arizonans are suffering through a perfect storm of economic, ideological and medical circumstances that are working against us as our state government limply responds to the Coronavirus outbreak. First and most glaring, Arizona’s small-government Republican governors and legislators have been cutting taxes for corporations and the rich and balancing the budget on the backs of the people for decades. This has resulted in:
- One of the most volatile state budgets in the country
- An over-reliance on high sales taxes at state and local levels
- Extremely low corporate taxes
- Annual budgets riddled with corporate carveouts and tax giveaways
- Economic vulnerability when there are interruptions in retail sales
- Wages that are 85% of the national average
- Far too many residents holding multiple gig economy jobs
- Stingy social safety net programs (TANF, childcare subsidies, pre- and post- natal care, housing assistance)
- High poverty
- Underfunded public health, public education, and higher education systems
- Statewide healthcare provider shortages
- Counties declared as healthcare deserts
- The worst rate of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the US
- The least transparent state Legislature.
So… even before the novel Coronavirus hit the planet, many Arizonans were living on the edge economically, thanks to the Republican Party’s fixation with small, stingy government, privatization, deregulation, and tax giveaways. Add the state’s slow response to the COVID19 pandemic to the ideological economic mess we were already in, thanks to years of austerity, and it’s obvious why Arizona’s COVID19 cases are still increasing and getting “back to business” isn’t happening soon.