How to bail out businesses without giving billions to Wall Street looters

Privatize the losses, socialize the gains

A hand with money.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

The U.S. economy is in freefall. With whole cities across the country basically shut down to contain the coronavirus epidemic, consumer spending has crashed, and workers are being laid off by the tens of thousands. Indeed, unemployment claims seem to be coming in much faster than they did during the 2008 crisis, which took months to take hold. Unless the federal government acts quickly, we could very well be looking at Great Depression-levels of unemployment very soon.

So far there has been a lot of discussion about direct cash payments to individuals, and there seems to be wide agreement that something like this needs to happen. Both the Trump administration and congressional Democrats are proposing various forms of this idea. (A massive boost for unemployment insurance is also a vital measure.)

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