As soon as the corona virus pandemic began to heat up, there was a mad rush to provide support to those affected by the virus and those whose jobs were impacted by the corona virus shut down.
Nationwide, from even the smallest town to the largest city, the generosity of the American people began to show. As the unemployment situation worsened, people of all types and economic situations began to give money and support to organizations who were helping those affected.
State, local and national governments began to rush in with support programs culminating in the federal stimulus package that provided direct payments to a vast number of Americans many of whom were affected directly and indirectly by the corona virus and unfortunately many who we're not.
Included in the stimulus package was the expansion of the unemployment benefit to $600 a week. These unemployment benefits continue to run until the end of July.
We've already seen a number of small-business people who employ people 30 hours a week or so and pay at or near the federal minimum wage, indicating they cannot hire people simply because those they would hire can make more money staying on unemployment. One of the problems with the unemployment portion of the stimulus package was the elimination of the requirement that applicants be actively searching for work.
In addition to all the federal money that is flowing into the economy, large corporations and some medium-sized ones have been donating millions upon millions of dollars in cash to organizations like Feeding America and others that reportedly provide direct support to those affected by the Coronavirus.
I think it's time to take a second look at all of this even as the corona virus pandemic continues to expand across our country. It is probably time for an in-depth evaluation of where all of this money and support is actually going. It is also time to make sure that the donations of well meeting corporations and individuals are being properly applied and that there are no multi million-dollar salaried managers and executives running these support organizations.
In addition, it's simply a fact of life that there are a lot of employable Americans who would be happy to sit at home and collect the federal unemployment benefit.
I would like to see the next stimulus package, if there is one, rollback the unemployment payment provision, provide a work search requirement, and carefully structure any payments to the public in general to assure to the best extent possible that these funds go where they are needed. I also think corporations willing to donate with the best of intentions need to evaluate how those monies are being spent, to whom they are going, and how much it's costing to get those funds to their end destination.
I'm not against helping the people that need it.
People whose lives have been disrupted by this pandemic and by the poor management of it by state, local and federal officials need and deserve help. However, I am concerned about creating yet another class of people who are dependent upon handouts for their very existence.
It is a fine line.
Congress has a difficult job ahead of them between the politics, the money and defining the real need, they will need to do a lot of work.
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