Bailouts must serve American workers and taxpayers first

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OPINION: Bailouts are coming. But they need to serve American workers, not the huge multinational corporations.

Article_Opinion, Commentaries

3/24/2020

OPINION: Bailouts are coming. But they need to serve American workers, not the huge multinational corporations.

Over the past few days, as the coronavirus has taken hold of the U.S. economy, we have heard various industries, including airlines, casinos, and cruise-ship...

Over the past few days, as the coronavirus has taken hold of the U.S. economy, we have heard various industries, including airlines, casinos, and cruise-ship operators reporting unheard-of losses, and even bankruptcy. For the good of the economy, it’s not a matter of if there will be bailouts in the coming months, but when and how. Breaking news: Follow the latest on the coronavirus. The real question is: who should get them and how they should be structured? The current environment that many industries and companies face is not of their choosing, and some deserve assistance. But it must be carefully thought out. Also read: Senate strains to reach common ground on coronavirus stimulus deal More than 50 years ago, the president of GM GM, +17.74% stated, “what is good for our country is good for General Motors, and vice versa.” The economy has changed dramatically since that time. What is good for industry Y or company X — may not be good for the American worker. In his famous 1990 Harvard Business Review article, “Who is Us?”, economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich poses compelling arguments about why the interests of a company may be misaligned with those of the country. Although his argument focuses on the impact on tariffs, much of his analysis is applicable to the issue of bailouts during this crisis. Reich argues that the historical paradigm — that companies have national identities — is no longer true. Outsourcing and offshoring have sliced up production activities across many countries leading to global value chains. Thirty years ago, Reich asked, “are some of these American companies really American?” That question is even more relevant now. As policy makers begin to assess what industries and companies they are going to bail out, they should first ask how such a bailout will impact American workers. The increased presence of outsourcing, i.e. the global supply chain, makes this incredibly difficult. This crisis demands that lawmakers put the economic health and well-being of individual workers ahead of needs of the large multinational corporations, who are much better equipped to weather a storm like this. For these reasons, many economists have argued that the American taxpayer should receive money first. This idea has been put into motion through recently passed legislation. As the corona crisis continues, however, we need to think how best to structure any bailouts such that they benefit the American consumer. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at the forefront of this debate with her recent “Litmus test for bailouts to large corporations.” Her strong background in bankruptcy and bankruptcy law make her the right person to lead this initiative. I have followed her ideas and have advocated many of them in other areas of my work. To follow are several points where she gets it particularly right: First, companies must maintain their payrolls and use funds to keep workers on the payroll. I would add that funds should be allocated in some manner to address the “Who is Us?” issue, i.e. they should be focused on the American worker. Second, these companies should be permanently directed from engaging in stock repurchases or “buy-backs.” I would add the caveat that this should remain in place until their debts have been fully repaid. Third, as Warren argues, these companies or industries should be prohibited from paying out dividends or executive bonuses for three years thereafter. Finally, the most important point is that Congress must set up an oversight body, modeled on the Congressional Oversight Panel and the TARP bank bailout program, to ensure that the rules are followed. The bailouts are coming. Let’s make sure we set up the rules of the game so that it has the greatest positive impact on the American consumer. Let’s put American workers first. Peter Nigro, Ph.D., is a professor of finance at Bryant University. He previously served as an economist with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, which regulates all national banks. He is an expert on the Federal Reserve, monetary and fiscal policy, financial saving, credit risk, and fair lending issues. Read more: MarketWatch

No, we must pay corporations, if not for them and their financiers, how will know how to live?

Coronavirus stimulus package explained: What a bailout is — and isn't - Business InsiderHere's what a bailout is, what could be included in the one to address the coronavirus fallout, and a look at past bailouts in the US. Smells like socialism? ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯ a fraud and conman and white-collar criminal?

Walmart opens its first coronavirus testing sites: photos - Business InsiderThe sites are initially serving first responders and healthcare workers, and aren't yet open to the general public. May all this soon be history, prayers out to all people affected by the new virus... I just took a dump in my toilet....clickbait here to see it Go to a Walmart or die of coronavirus. Is there a third option?

Progressive tax group takes aim at GOP senators over weak buyback restrictions in coronavirus billA progressive group is targeting GOP senators in four states for their votes supporting the 2017 tax bill that included billions in tax relief to many large corporations that are poised to receive more in bailout money from coronavirus legislation

Joe Biden pushes Trump for worker protections in coronavirus bailoutBiden, in an attempt to draw a contrast with Trump's more combative style, spoke about the impact the pandemic is having on people across the country Has someone diagnosed this man with Alzheimer’s yet? FIRE CONGRESS NOW!

Coronavirus bailouts are coming: Here’s the smart way to help businesses and workersWith major cities locked down, all travel canceled, and the global supply chain disrupted, the U.S. economy is likely to experience the largest contraction...

As coronavirus fuels meat demand, processors raise pay for North American farmers, workersNorth American meat processors said on Monday they would pay extra money to farm... Because no one ever got healthy eating processed food and sugary garbage. At least use a prime cut in the pic!



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