In a series of tweets, entrepreneur Mark Cuban has called for a sea change in federal government policies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, on both the medical and economic fronts. He said the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has fallen short because “no amount of loans to businesses will save them or jobs if their customers aren't buying.”
It's time to face the fact that PPP didn't work. Great plan, difficult execution. No one's fault. The only thing that will save businesses is consumer demand. No amount of loans to businesses will save them or jobs if their customers aren't buying.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 17, 2020
One unusual part of his suggestions is a call for stimulus checks with strings attached, where if the recipient doesn’t spend the money within a certain time period, the government takes it back. The proposal came out at a time when Democrats and Republicans are debating a second round of IRS stimulus checks.
“We need to consider an interim spending stimulus program” that would include 128 million households getting a $1,000 check every two weeks for the next two months, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks tweeted. The catch: With a use-it-or-lose-it approach, the stimulus money would have to be spent in two weeks or returned.
Cuban estimated that this program would cost $500 billion, and would “allow for demand for nonessential products and services to increase, hopefully keeping most businesses alive.”
The problem that the TV personality wants to attack is that in a recession, there’s a lack of demand on the part of corporate buyers and consumers.
And in keeping with the times, Cuban wants a government jobs program that targets the coronavirus crisis. The overall antidote he proposes is classic: “It's time for trickle-up economics. We need a transitional Fed jobs program that trains and hires millions for a federal tracking/tracing/testing program, as well as for support of at-risk populations including long-term care. We need to dent unemployment with stable jobs.”
What’s different, of course, is that Cuban envisions a recession jobs program that targets the coronavirus crisis.
PYMNTS has surveyed more than 12,000 consumers over the past 10 weeks with an eye toward “The Great Reopening,” exploring what it might look like as the economy gets back on track. As part of a series, the new “Tracking Digital’s Quantum Leap” edition surveyed 2,047 consumers to determine how many of them plan to continue spending online at a higher rate than before the start of the pandemic.
The report notes that, as many areas of normal life have shut down, there are “signs that consumers have grown accustomed to their newfound digital lifestyle.”