Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic and Its Externalities

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Federal government has been extremely involved in the U.S. economy. Stimulus after stimulus has been passed by Congress without much thought about the externalities of such new policies. One of the largest interventions by the government over this time period has been the increased amount of unemployment insurance benefits available to individuals that have lost their jobs.

Is Minimum Wage An Effective Anti-Poverty Tool?

Since its inception due to the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the minimum wage has been a highly debated topic. Originally set at 25 cents, the minimum wage has grown much larger over time. The Federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25, unchanged since 2009 (DOL, 2019). Many states, however, have decided to set their own minimum wages, and some are much higher than the minimum Federal level. In this study, we attempt to determine the effect that minimum wage laws at the state and Federal level have had on poverty in the United States.

A Sorry Excuse for a Stimulus Package

Congress will soon be passing a new Covid-19 stimulus package worth nearly $900 billion. This new package provides relief for individuals that are unemployed by extending federal unemployment insurance programs as well as providing an additional $300 per week benefit. It also includes loans for businesses, testing and vaccine funds, as well as funding for schools.

“We Are All Keynesians Now”

The world has been thrown into chaos over the course of the past several weeks with the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus has spread from China to some of the most remote islands on Earth. Since it has begun to spread, markets have been extremely volatile and many businesses have been forced to shut down, both voluntarily and by government mandate.