Impersonal Trumpbucks

And here’s a response to those who are saying, “But why should people who didn’t lose their jobs and aren’t suffering get the stimulus money?”

That’s because the stimulus money isn’t a reward for suffering. It’s a way to stimulate the economy. People who aren’t suffering economically will spend the stimulus money. On goods and services. They will put this money into the economy, which will stimulate it.

There can be a stimulus from above, such as when bailouts for the finance industry were issued in 2008-9. And there can be a stimulus from below, such as when consumers are given cash. In dire situations, both forms can be applied simultaneously.

All of the “but I feel bad, why should I get anything if I’m fine” is misplaced religious guilt. A stimulus is an impersonal financial instrument that doesn’t care about your feelings.

7 thoughts on “Impersonal Trumpbucks”

  1. People in the middle class ought to hang out with politicians more. After a while watching elected legislators prefer to starve than buy a $2 pack of biscuits without using the credit card that they use to claim everything, plus take advantage of every possible budget, allowance, grant etc to supplement a pay packet bigger than that of a surgeon, any guilt tends to disappear pretty quick.

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    1. …a pay packet bigger than that of a surgeon, any guilt tends to disappear pretty quick.

      This is incorrect. Members of Congress are paid less than $200K per year. The only surgeon I know earns over $600K per year.

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      1. Is there any difference, beyond the swankiness of the gated community you can afford to live in? That’s not sarcasm: to a family of 5 living on less than $30k a year, those numbers are both so impossibly large as to be indistinguishable in the imagination.

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  2. Giving money to those who are (still) safe will not necessarily work as a stimulus. Suppose I would get some Trudeubucks… (Which I will not and this is fine with me.) I would just put them into savings account, not spend them immediately. Exactly because at the moment I can afford to do that, I do not need that money for immediate necessities. I am actually spending less during the lockdown… Most of those who are safe now cannot be sure that they will stay safe forever.
    Not many are speaking about that in the middle of “lets save the people / lets save the economy / you are horrible / no, you are horrible” fight, but events that have already transpired will make people more insecure even if tomorrow the pandemic magically stops and economy reopens. Demotrash, I guess, pointed out that some businesses will not have any clients even if they reopen during the pandemic. But it is going to be more long-term than just DURING the pandemic. People will save more and consume less. People will reevaluate things. And then we get to an interesting question – should government save the businesses that in this way prove non-essential?

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    1. I dunno. We’re “still safe”, but we are immediately using that money to replace our old, fragile, PEX plumbing. It needed doing. Might’ve taken us another 6 months to save up the money for it. This way, we can save up for the (inevitable, at over 300k miles now) next car replacement instead. And then we can perhaps afford a slightly better used car than we’d get otherwise.

      Should the government bail out nonessential businesses? Probably not. But they’ve set a precedent by bailing out predatory financial operations. I’d far rather have them bail out some restaurants and movie theaters than bail out Goldman Sachs… might even be cheaper.

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    2. The likelihood of a sizeable number of Americans putting this money into savings is very low. This is not a saving culture. Everybody I know, including me, has a long list of stores we are going to hit the day the restrictions are lifted. I have reevaluated and decided that it’s very possible this thing will come back in November, so I need to get my shopping on as soon as possible. :-)))

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