The strangeness of 2020 continues. We are now ingrained in a fight between $600 stimulus checks, or $2,000 stimulus checks. As if it really needs repeating: Your government has no money. What we need are jobs, and a fully functioning economy.
To be fair, there would have been an economic downturn even without the authoritarian lockdowns perpetrated on us by the Government during the pandemic. No doubt a certain percentage of people would have lowered the amount of time in which they spend going to movies, eating at restaurants, going to concerts, or shopping in person. Some businesses may have even closed voluntarily for fear of liabilities when it came to infections with COVID-19.
Congress is continuing in its attempt to prove itself utterly worthless. After the CARES Act, Americans waited all year while losing their livelihoods for a compensation of a mere $600 + benefits. If that doesn't prove that you can't depend on the Federal Government, I don't know what will.
In recent days we've seen an odd alignment between the right and left on one thing: The government owes us more money. I speak about the principles of this demand in another article, but right now I will only discuss the real solution.
"The only real cure for poverty is production." - Henry Hazlitt
What we need is production, not more fake currency.
What is the $600-2,000 supposed to be simulating anyway? It's simulating productivity. It's the Government saying "Sorry we stole your ability to be productive, here's what it might look like if we had not done that." The problem is, in the real world that productivity does not exist. Instead, your stimulus checks real form will be in debt, with interest. Debt that will take even more real productivity later to be paid off, or it's (again) more likely form- even more debt.
We cannot continue to simulate what it would look like if we had a productive economy. When an economy is productive, capital is being employed in efficient means to produce goods and services that at the end of the day, are worth more to the economy than it took to create them. If we "fake" this productivity, but without the corresponding rise in value to our economy, inflation will eventually take hold, and that is a burden that will be most felt by those who cannot afford to feel it.
The answer is to open up our economy. Allow people to truly be productive. Allow people to take risks if they so choose. By the way, we cannot pretend that poverty does not carry risks. Rates of mortality from many more things than COVID are higher for those in poverty. Locking down doesn't keep you safe from risks, and truthfully, lockdowns don't even keep you safe from COVID.
Americans do not need a check for amount that is to be stolen from their grandchildren's productivity. Americans need what America has always promised; Not a guarantee, but an opportunity.