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Economic Uncertainty During A Pandemic

Climate protesters supporting the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has some legislation to address current climate challenges and other more recent issues that have surfaced as of this year (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The news has had no shortage of reporting on the record-high inflation many consumers have been facing for the last few months. Although gas prices have been decreasing for the last two months straight, other expenses have not, such as those in the rental market and at the grocery store. With the pandemic still in the background as summer wraps up amid other issues, youth in the climate change efforts have had some recent gains with the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Inflation Reduction Act(IRA) was recently passed to address a number of issues that have arose in light of the recession fears, including addressing taxes and providing relief for those who invest in greener technologies, to tackling some aspects of climate change and relief for seniors who are dependent on prescription medication. Of course, the IRA is also looking to address current effects of inflation, which has been plaguing the economy the last few months much like COVID has with the global economy the last two and a half years. It is estimated that passage of the bill means more than $300 billion in consumer savings on all of the above in some form or another.

Some argue that the legislation doesn’t go far enough, as inflation will likely will be a problem months after the legislation is signed, providing only a short-term bandage fix to the economy. Others argue it is taking “some small steps in the right direction” according to Lundy Wright, partner and portfolio manager at Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers. Although Wright believes the name of the bill is misleading, he admits “a longer-term clean energy plan has been glaringly lacking from recent policies, this … is a positive step, even if its immediate impact is very low”. Indeed, some efforts are better than nothing, and this passage of the IRA does provide some hope for passing other legislation that is oriented towards youth, such as H.J. Resolution 23, which would lower the national voting age to 16.

While the IRA bill doesn’t necessarily focus solely on climate change, it does do a good job of taking small steps in addressing issues that are youth-specific, such as climate matters involving investing in greener technologies, as youth have also been much affected by the rise in prices for everything the last few months, making a difference in how much a guardian can provide for them, or the case of more autonomy, how much they can provide for themselves.

The bill also indirectly addresses the need for more involvement by those who will be affected by the longer-term effects of climate change for longer periods of time. As climate change issues continue to be discussed during one of the hottest years on record, more youth voices should be incorporated to address both short-term issues such as economic inflation and long-term issues such as climate. The next step to do this is by passing House Joint Resolution 23.

Jеstеr Jеrsеy


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