Close up portrait of happy African American female Worker in black mask and gloves standing in supermarket and looking at camera. Young woman food store assistant at work in quarantine

Hastings Center Report

Care Ethics versus the CARES Act

Abstract: One of the biggest policy interventions during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic was the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act, instituting a novel form of economic relief similar to a universal basic income. The economic impact payments, colloquially known as “stimulus checks,” were distributed based on the socioeconomic status of American citizens and legal residents and provided much-needed financial aid. However, the distribution of these payments paid little attention to other important factors that might determine the economic security of said individuals, such as race and gender. This article calls for policy-makers to pay particular attention to how structural inequity and discrimination based on identity could affect the efficacy of proposed policies and demonstrate an ethic of care informed by an understanding of intersectionality.

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