Happy New Year! Let’s make 2021 the year of recurring monthly stimulus payments and from there win a permanent basic income after everyone experiences economic security for themselves, and after our spending of the money saves small businesses and grows our economy in a big way.— Scott Santens????? (@scottsantens) January 1, 2021
The first Millennials were born in 1981, which means there are now 40-year-old Millennials.— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) January 1, 2021
And Millennials still have 4.6% of all U.S. wealth.
When the average Baby Boomer was 30, they had 21% of all wealth.
Theme of 2021: government officials will dangle $2,000 in front of the public every so often as a kind of tease, just to see how long they can get away with it. Like Lucy swiping the football from Charlie Brown— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 1, 2021
#MarketWrap Wall St closes final day of 2020 at record highs— Greta Wall (@GretaLWall) December 31, 2020
DJIA +0.65%, 196.92 points at 30,606
NASDAQ +0.14%, 18.28 points at 12,888
S&P 500 +0.64%, 24.03 points at 3,756
2021 is the year Kingfish style populism makes a sweeping comeback. I can feel it in my bones ? pic.twitter.com/xpfK8WK1wg— Queenfish Sadie Long ??????? (@GoodGirlSadie) January 1, 2021
In 2019, Universal Basic Income was controversial and our support for Yang Gang created a huge fuss on this website. The idea of sending monthly checks to people to bolster the social safety net was even rejected by Bernie Sanders and the socialists in the Democratic primaries. Imagine what a difference that $12,000 would have made for the working class during the crisis we just went through.
Then 2020 happened.
The Federal Reserve bailed out the investor class when the stock market began to tank last March. Congress swung into action and passed the CARES Act to rescue Wall Street and authorized a one time pittance of $1,200 to ordinary Americans in order to get them to swallow it.
After Wall Street began to recover, Congress lost interest in COVID relief and went back to being as hopelessly polarized and dysfunctional as usual. Americans were told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and the performance art “deficit hawks” returned to form and blocked a second stimulus check right down until Perdue and Loeffler began cratering in the Georgia polls.
Even though 2020 is now over, there is no going back to the way things were before COVID. A majority of Americans now realize how vulnerable they are to shocks like a pandemic. No one before 2020 imagined that the government could simply shut down the economy on a whim, throw them out of work, forget about them and cause them to lose their health insurance. Similarly, the fight over the $600 stimulus check has put a spotlight on the contempt that Congress has for public opinion which overwhelmingly supports $2,000 checks. Even in Georgia, $2,000 checks are now as popular as barbecue.
The one time stimulus check that was passed with the CARES Act was so popular that it transformed public opinion on Universal Basic Income. I’ve watched support for a $2,000 stimulus check rise from 2/3rds to 3/4ths in the polls over the past month. Far from being so polarized that we are on the brink of Civil War 2, there is now just universal mounting fury at Congress.
There is super majority, majority or near majority support for key elements of Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth agenda: raising taxes on billionaires, Universal Basic Income, universal health insurance, free college education, etc. No one has floated the idea of a wealth cap to eliminate the billionaires who are corrupting our politics, but that would likely be immensely popular too. There is also universal contempt for Congress and frustration with performance art politics and the gridlock it causes. Nothing changes. How long will it take before the dam of partisanship holding back the torrent of rage busts?
Note: These aren’t new ideas. They are old populist ideas that died in the Great Depression when Huey Long was assassinated and the wealth redistribution that took place through the New Deal and World War II was successful in saving capitalism and quelling discontent.