There’s a debate raging among urban experts over how much the Covid-19 pandemic and recession will hurt American cities. Some predict heavy damage, whereas others foresee minimal harm. But cities are really just people. The right question: What will happen to New Yorkers? Angelenos? Houstonians? Detroiters?
On that question, there’s something closer to agreement: The virus and the economic slump are likely to worsen inequality, leaving the rich largely unscathed while crushing the poor and working classes of America’s big and midsize cities. That’s despite the efforts of Black Lives Matter and other movements that are devoted to fighting a winner-take-all urban economic system.