Today the additional $600 unemployment supplement runs out. This stimulus was part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed by Trump in March 2020. As of today, July 24, no other coronavirus relief has been signed. This seventeen week supplemental payment has acted as a buffer to millions of Americans impacted by the economic upheaval resulting from the global pandemic. It has allowed folks to stay in their homes by helping them to pay their rent/mortgage. In some instances, the combination of the typical weekly unemployment benefit and the $600 supplement has equaled or exceeded the normal income of workers. Economist state that it has acted as an economic stimulus during this time because most Americans receiving it have been able to continue to spend on necessities and thereby support those essential businesses continuing to operate.
Congress – both the Senate and House of Representatives – have argued over the effect of the unemployment supplement on the reopening of businesses in June. Republicans believe it has been a disincentive to employees to come back to work. Democrats believe it has given support and flexibility to workers to determine how best to navigate the process of returning to work and keeping family members safe from the virus. This situation is complicated by the resurgence of the infection rates in 29 states leading to restrictions and closures of businesses once again. This difference of opinion among lawmakers has delayed the ability to negotiate and pass an extension of this benefit. Experts on low income economics warn that the end of the weekly unemployment supplement may lead to the largest increase in homelessness since the great depression of 1929.
The US Senate Republicans and the President hold the power in this situation since any bill will not be signed into law unless they both agree on it.
What I see is - Big and small businesses, with the help of the Senate, maneuvering to force poor people to go back to work in a dangerous, life threatening environment. The Senate has determined that businesses must be shielded from liability going forward. In other words, regardless if the business adheres to the CDC safety guidelines or not, you will not be able to sue your employer if their business practices leads to you getting ill and/or passing the virus to your family members. If you or your loved ones die or are disabled you have no recourse or standing in court to sue for compensation on one hand. On the other hand, you can’t pay your rent/mortgage on the normal weekly unemployment check and now, safe or not, you must go out and work. Problem is you may not be able to find work or if you still have a job the hours may be reduced. Result, there is likely to be millions of Americans evicted in addition to those that have already fallen behind on their rent/mortgage.
It’s like having a gun in your face (Coronavirus) and a gun in your back (not enough unemployment money) at the same time. If you stay home you will likely loose your home. If you go to work, you and possibly your whole family will get sick and loose your life. Hell of a way to treat the people in one of the riches countries in the world. Didn’t we just bailout the banks in 2008 and give out free money (loans that don’t have to be paid back) to businesses during that first stimulus? No safety net for the poor or the middle class workers.
If you go to work to get your money, you could be making a choice that you will be giving your life for. Hence – YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE. Dam!
The Angry Man
We all know an angry man. It seems he always speaks with passion even when the words appear