Coronavirus Day Thirteen 😷

What do you think of the Coronavirus stimulus bill? Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The senate passed the Coronavirus stimulus bill last night.  Within it, at least in the current state, offers a variety of benefits and stimulus to the average American, and at the same time the potential for benefit for small business.  This two prong approach does concern me. Currently, as the bill is presented from the Senate, it does have both loan forgiveness for small businesses that are able and willing to keep its employees employed through this crisis, but at the same time offering the potential for 100% plus unemployment benefits for up to four months.  

These two core concepts are paradoxical and potentially at odds with each other.  If an individual has the opportunity to potentially make more while not working than under normal employment conditions, what is the purpose of working? Not only can employees potentially create more free time for themselves, but they can also expand their income via both the gig or cash economies that are often difficult to track and usually go unreported. 

These two approaches appear divergent and also certainly creates a situation where one group is likely to win at the other groups expense.  This framework will almost certainly cause tension and distrust among two groups of people who need cooperation and trust for and from each other to be successful.  The job creators need people willing to do the work, while the people who wish to do meaningful, long term, steady, successful work need the job creators to build this vehicle. By encouraging businesses to keep people employed, by offering them loan forgiveness, but also giving employees a ‘better’ incentive to stay home, someone certainly loses. It would appear small businesses would likely suffer the most from this design, and ultimately so would the American economy.

To digress a moment, the current concept of a social safety net(s) seems necessary and reasonable to me at this point in the pandemic response, however I would hope to see a strategy put in place that encourages people to return to work as quickly as is reasonably possible and with a desire to work.  America is built on this idea. The value of hard work is important and necessary to maintaining our economic ‘superpower’ status. With such a large stimulus package, larger than our fiscal budget, strong economic indicators will be more imperative than ever.

Economists across the country are discussing the idea of a ‘doom loop,’ where our economy functions well below our production possibilities frontier for a long period of time resulting in recession, or possibly, depression type circumstances.  I fear this may be further exacerbated by unemployment benefits that are ill thought out and counter-intuitive to what we as a society hope to accomplish. 

We as a nation, whether entrepreneurs, small business owners, dedicated workers, proud Americans, Sheepdogs of our way of life. Need to realize the embodiment of our nation as a land of doers, a nation of inventors, a nation of problem-solvers, a country of productivity and big dreams. A nation built on the audacity to stand up and go to work because it in itself is essential. Going to work is as patriotic and American as it gets.

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