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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Urgent Call For Second Stimulus Checks And Economic Stimulus Relief

Corporate executives, business leaders, economists and workers call for second stimulus checks and another stimulus relief package. This is why.

The suffering from this Covid-19 pandemic is widely felt, but let’s not pretend that it’s being felt equally. Even after Congress has poured trillions in the form of direct stimulus checks and corporate and small business stimulus money into the economy, the economy continues to stall. And as the great inequities in society have become glaringly—and painfully—more obvious, business leaders and both employed and unemployed workers urge Congress and the White House to find agreement on another stimulus relief package.

Economists and employers call for more stimulus money as they announce plans for massive layoffs.

Calls for additional stimulus monies for employers as well as a second round of stimulus checks for individuals and families continue to grow. ABC News highlights warnings from economists and business leaders on the dire consequences to the economy if Congress fails to pass another stimulus package. Given the persistence of the pandemic, the struggling economy and continued layoffs, leaders and economists shared these warnings with ABC News.

  • “The real-world consequences of not passing new stimulus at this point in the crisis are ‘huge.’” – Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor under the Obama administration.
  • Shierholz, who currently works as a senior economist and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute, also warned, “It’s literally millions of jobs in the balance here” and that because of the gap between the millions of unemployed and the limited available jobs, “no matter what they do, no matter how amazing they are, no matter how great their skills are, they won’t get a job because the jobs just aren’t there.”
  • Another warning comes from Kathy Jones, the chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab. Jones told ABC News that “There’s just going to be some small businesses that aren’t going to be able to hang on.” She said “the people that work for them, obviously, are not going to have jobs.”
  • Jones also advocates for stimulus funding for state and local governments because she asserts that “they can’t be like the federal government and just keep borrowing money.”

As evidenced by reporting in The Washington Post, employers are calling for additional stimulus funding as well. Major U.S. corporations have announced massive numbers of continued furloughs and layoffs amidst a sluggish—even floundering—economic recovery where new and ongoing jobless claims remain stubbornly high. While blue-collar and essential worker jobs have suffered most since the start of Covid-19, Eli Rosenberg, economics reporter, informs that “layoffs are encroaching into white-collar jobs that are not directly affected by the pandemic or shutdown” with ever-shrinking headcounts at major accounting and consulting firms.

In addition to the widely reported airline layoffs of more than 30,000 from the likes of American Airlines and United Airlines, others planning large layoffs include Disney, Royal Dutch Shell and Dow Inc.

Unemployed workers call for second stimulus checks and jobs.

She was living paycheck to paycheck and now lives food box to food box.

As you can see, calls for another stimulus package are coming from myriad sources, but the hardest hitting calls are those from unemployed and underemployed workers who can no longer feed their children.

Imagine that you had done it. Imagine that you had overcome financial and career barriers and pulled yourself up to secure a good job with fairly decent pay. Imagine that you had been struggling to make ends meet even before this global pandemic, but you were at least able to get by—even if just. Imagine that the joy of your existence came from simply being able to go to work, pay your basic bills and ensure that you and your children were safe and fed.

Now imagine losing all of that because of circumstances beyond your control. Imagine that you no longer receive a paycheck and that you don’t know when (or if) you can return to work. Imagine wondering if your unemployment benefits or another stimulus check will come through before you get evicted or lose your home. Imagine wondering how you will feed your children from day to day—even worse, meal to meal.

While most of us will only ever have to imagine it, Rose Rodriguez, the mother of two of the now 14 million children struggling with hunger during this pandemic, is living this reality. Rodriguez went from living paycheck to paycheck and earning more than $20 an hour to living food box to food box and worrying about becoming homeless after losing her full-time job at LAX airport because of Covid-19. She’s applied for 50 jobs and had 30 job interviews, but she hasn’t been hired because the weak economy—and airline industry—is still struggling as Congress negotiates  another stimulus package that could put a second $1,200 stimulus check into the hands of Rose Rodrigues and millions of other families like hers.

While millions of Americans still need to sign up for the first stimulus check, there are also millions still waiting for their first unemployment check. According to CNN, Rodriquez hasn’t even received her jobless claim benefits yet because her application has stalled along with a million others “stuck in the log jam in California’s system.”

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of unclaimed stimulus checks.

Supporting calls for more stimulus checks for workers.

I know I’m not alone in thinking about the millions of people—many of whom are hard-working Americans—left with a diminished ability to earn sufficient income right now. I’m privileged to have the trust of executives and leaders across the globe and in my work with them, they often comment on the status of stimulus funding, the economy and the workforce.

To be sure, there is widespread frustration with this pandemic. We’re over the stay-at-home orders, tired of having to devise remote-work solutions for all facets of our jobs and sick of not being able to hold larger family gatherings, eat in our favorite restaurants, travel for business and pleasure or go to the spa, barbershop, beauty salon, etc. But these things pale in comparison to what Rodrigues and her children are suffering through, and empathetic leaders widely agree.

The economic, employment and human suffering is astonishing; stimulus checks would help.

To be sure, many of us are inconvenienced, and we are frustrated with Covid-19. But what is happening to millions of others, mostly essential workers, lower-wage earners, women and minorities, is simply astonishing. There is an astonishingly tragic number of deaths reported every single day on those who’ve lost their battle to this deadly virus. There is an astonishingly number of people in the hospital still fighting for their lives. There is an astonishingly number of ongoing and newly unemployed people in this country. And there is an astonishingly lack of empathy.

The disparity between those of us who are frustrated and those who face real and lasting financial and career struggles is huge. The people out here with nothing holding them up right now are simply astonishing. It is indeed heartbreaking, and more stimulus checks are necessary because the economy is not getting better for them.

Organizational leaders are paying attention. The great inequities in our society have become glaringly—and painfully—obvious, and this is why corporate executives, business leaders, economists and unemployed and employed workers are calling for more stimulus checks as well as a larger stimulus package. Now everyone is still waiting to see what Congress will do.

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