Coronavirus pandemic is shaking the economies across the world, including the United States. The slow response in handling the crisis by President Trump and his administration has cost us a lot. As per the latest news, another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, making it a total of more than 22 million in just one month. Speaking about the situation, former Vice President Biden said - “the news of unemployment is saddening but let’s not forget the actual reason, we as a country were underprepared and were late in our approach. When the virus showed us its spread in our communities, we didn’t test enough people to contain the virus. This huge amount of pain is solely due to the poor decision skills by President Trump.”
Despite knowing the consequences of the virus, our frontline workers didn’t hesitate to sacrifice and save the lives of their fellow citizens with the true American spirit. Even though the lives are saved, the economic activity shrank, causing havoc in the incomes of the working people. Many lost their jobs due to layoffs. People who were fired needs to be compensated for their lost wages and should be provided with the necessary healthcare benefits. “This should be our second priority; the first one is to stop and reduce the number of people who are laid off in the first place. We should be able to keep as many people as possible attached to their employment to maintain their income and benefits,” said Biden.
To come out of this economic mess, Joe Biden announced that he would be putting forward ideas to address the immediate needs of Americans. He called the idea “short-time compensation” or “work-sharing” or Employment Insurance. Here’s the Biden plan to scale up Employment Insurance with suitable short-time compensation programs:
1. To transform unemployment insurance into Employment Insurance for millions of American workers. This needs to be adopted by all 50 states and scale-up short-time compensation programs.
2. Under this program, small businesses must be able to get help to cover their worker’s benefits and other costs.
3. The federal government should waive the need for states temporarily.
4. To start 100% federal financing.
5. Secure participation from all the 50 states in the program, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
6. Creation of tax credit for employers’ health care costs.
7. To increase caps on the employer work reductions.
8. To build automatic triggers that work based on economic and public health conditions.
9. Major awareness campaign program to improve business participation rates.
Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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