UCI News

Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2022
Rising gas prices from Russia-Ukraine conflict will hit Angelenos who can least afford it
“If you’re a lower-income person commuting from Riverside into Irvine, it’s going to hit you really hard,” said Eric Swanson, a professor of economics at UC Irvine. While gasoline isn’t a big part of the average American’s budget — about 3%, Swanson said, compared to about 40% for housing costs, which also are rising — hikes in gas prices are regressive, Swanson said, meaning that, in relative terms, they hit lower-income people harder than higher earners. And increased gas prices create a ripple effect, Swanson said, eventually leading to higher prices for most all transported goods. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

Mashable, March 2, 2022
Watching footage from Ukraine? Here’s how to protect your mental health.
“My advice to anybody around this stuff is to titrate your doses of media,” says [Alison] Holman, who is a professor of nursing and psychological science at UC Irvine. “Figure out a good source of information that isn’t full of lies and misinformation and get small doses to capture what it is that you need to understand about what is going on in the world, and then stop — don’t continue.” … Roxane Cohen Silver, a frequent collaborator of Holman’s and Distinguished Professor of psychological science, medicine, and public health at UC Irvine, says it’s very difficult to extricate oneself from the pattern of information-seeking that becomes common during times of crisis.

U.S. News & World Report, March 1, 2022
What Is Universal Basic Income?
The concept of UBI is simple. “It’s free money with no strings attached,” explains Aaron James, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine and co-author of the book “Money From Nothing.” In other words, it is money distributed by the government to everyone, regardless of their income or need. … A key benefit of a UBI system is its simplicity. “It’s an immediate solution to income poverty,” according to James. It also eliminates red tape that may make it difficult for some households to access other help. “A lot of people don’t have the time and energy to navigate the bureaucracy,” he says.

Univision, March 2, 2022
Will economic sanctions be enough to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine? It is unlikely according to these analysts
“Judging from the sanction experiences against Iraq before the 2003 invasion, of Iran or Venezuela, it is unlikely that there will be a change of course by Russia regarding Ukraine,” says Stergios Skaperdas, professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Furthermore, since Russia is a much larger country than Iran, Iraq or Venezuela and is highly self-sufficient in food, energy and other essentials, “it is even less likely to change course as a result of sanctions,” he adds.

Spectrum News 1 (City News Service), March 1, 2022
Orange County’s COVID rates continue declining
With mask requirements being relaxed in businesses and next week in public schools, Dr. José Mayorga, executive director of the UC Irvine Family Health Center, cautioned against putting the face coverings away for good. “If you’re not fully vaccinated you should be wearing a mask,” Mayorga told City News Service. He noted the high level of fatalities during the omicron surge compared with previous surges. … “More people got it so subsequently more people succumbed to it.”

Previously “In the News”