During the last recession, corporations received massive bailouts while continuing with risky practices that undermined the strength of the economy, making us unprepared for the current shock from COVID-19. Congress has started down this path once again, creating a half trillion-dollar fund to bail out corporations while millions of people are out of work.
While initial legislative survival packages included modest stimulus checks and unemployment benefits to individuals, economists and struggling people alike have pointed out the immediate need to get more cash into people’s hands to stave off the crisis. Unless we put people first, the relief and recovery packages coming from Congress will only further concentrate wealth at the top and deepen inequities. In order to put people first, policymakers must:
- Support essential frontline workers.
- Guarantee incomes.
- Freeze costs and protect people from losses.
- Prioritize people over corporations.