Here are my thoughts: the federal government is not suited to direct dissemination of funds to the public. They’re requiring tax returns for verification. The IRS has been gutted. They won’t be getting funds to people for months.
And unemployment insurance payouts are overwhelmed.
But small businesses pay people all the time. There is a private infrastructure for disseminating funds. There are payroll companies that do just this!!! Why are we reinventing the wheel?
Give small businesses liquidity. There will be fraud. There is always fraud. But banks are furloughing debts for essential industries right this minute. Insurance companies are delaying payment dates.
We just have to change our framework for what we consider “essential.” Stop the debt service requirements. Get cash in business owners’ hands. Help them keep employees on staff instead of overwhelming cumbersome and lumbering bureaucratic organizations.
Take the pressure off public services so they can help the people who actually are at most risk and would otherwise fall through the cracks. And give those people debit cards through the mail if they don’t have bank accounts or get them Venmo if they do. Like today. Just put cash in their hands.
We can use every means possible.
But promising everyone cash and claiming victory while the money isn’t actually getting to people for months and it isn’t proportional cost of living is inefficient and cruel.
NYC offered zero interest loans of up to $100k to restaurants with less than 100 employees. Bad.
The restaurant owners have to personally guarantee the loans.
NYC needs to bail our restaurants as if they were banks:
• they feed the locals more than in any other American city
• they employ every important segment of the population and they hold up commercial real estate
• they are the meeting grounds for people in a city where private space is limited
• they are the backbone of culture
• they are an essential feature of tourism
If restaurants in NYC fail, the system fails.
Even if you don’t live in NY, odds are your state is subsidized by the NY economy. You need NY to survive, too. This is the main lesson that should be drilled into everyone’s heads all over the world. We all need each other.