What would ordinary people get from the stimulus bill and when?

This article answers a lot of the commonly asked questions about how the stimulus package would benefit ordinary people


  1. consciousness razor says

    Based on this NPR story about it, which itemizes things somewhat….
    The $1,200 individual payments are estimated to cost about $300 billion.

    It’s hard to estimate what the per capita amount is for the $500 billion that’s going to the big corporations. If it were just the $1,200 that the peasants get (most but not all of us), that $500B would have covered 416.7 million people.

    Forgivable loans: There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.

    If they all got the max amount, this only covers 35,000 small businesses. So that would not work out so well. Some quick googling says that the US has 30.2 million small businesses (i.e., less than 500 employees, which was also how they drew the line in the previous bill). Dividing the $350B by 30.2M, you get $11,589 per small business. That’s … obviously not $10 million. Is it “up to $10 million”? I guess you could say that, if you were running the lottery or something.

    The federal minimum wage is $7.25. (Some states are of course higher.) So, that $11,589 would pay for 1,598 hours of minimum wage work, which is 39.95 weeks at 40 hrs/wk. (Most don’t get that many hours, but that is an even more unimaginably awful situation to be in.)

    If your small business (less than 500 employees) doesn’t only have a few employees, you still have a big problem keeping your employees to the end of June, which is 13 weeks from now. 39/13 is conveniently 3, so you could pay about 3 full-time minimum wage employees with this amount. But again, that’s also at the federal minimum of $7.25, not a higher rate as it is in other states.

    Of course, it’s not realistic that every one of the 30.2 million small businesses will apply for these loans. But still …. this looks to me like it’s just begging for higher unemployment numbers over at least the next several months.

  2. says

    Compare with $8000 for Canadians over the next four months. I heard one idiot senator said “people will get lazy and stop looking for work!” if americans are given $600 per week. WHAT work, when nothing is open?

    I learnt yesterday my boss -- voluntarily, he’s not required -- intends to keep paying the school staff Taiwan’s minimum wage if the school is forced to close for a short time. (Long term is another matter.) Foreigners won’t get anything from the Taiwan government’s stimulus package, so that’s amazingly decent of him.

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