I have been sending letters to my federal public officials, urging a Holiday Relief Act to eradicate the virus, stem homelessness, revive businesses with paying customers, fund clean-room technologies to sterilize the supply chain, bring holiday cheer and charity to all, and enable families to give their children a merry Christmas this year, all through a citizen stipend with an uniform rule of naturalization prorating the stipend for residents becoming citizens. What follows is the latest version of that letter to be sent out.
United States Senator for New York
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Gillibrand,
From my current digs on Santy Claus Avenue, I am thinking about what looks to be a pretty dismal Christmas season in the offing. Not only are people mourning the loss of loved ones from an as-yet-not-eradicated virus, not only are families and lonely individuals facing or have already experienced homelessness coming into the dark months of winter, but those with homes are extremely short of cash to buy presents to give some small amount of pleasure to the children they know and care about.
Even worse, the judgmental hate which neighbor has levied against neighbor in the present political season has leeched into the beginning of what should be a comforting and more charitable time of year. Yet, whatever the outcome of the election, you and the rest of the federal government can provide a balm to the populace, even during a lame-duck period, and salvage some Christmas cheer for a beleaguered country.
What I am suggesting is a Holiday Relief Act, giving to each resident of the United States a weekly stipend, administered by the Social Security Administration, but with funds directly appropriated through the Treasury, according to this formula:
1. $170/week for arrival as an infant or as an immigrant; and
2. An additional $2/week for each week of residence in this country, up to the 365th week.
The maximum for those in the country for seven (7) years or more would thus be $900/week. Though continuing the stipend after Epiphany/Three Kings Day would be of great permanent benefit, even this temporary relief would greatly restore the sadly depleted fortunes of the American people.
I must caution you and your colleagues in the Senate against listening to those economists adhering to the Austrian school. They would doubtless hem you in with a disastrous commitment to borrowing money or collecting taxes prior to the program; neither is needed or even advisable. As I suggested in the book which I wrote some years ago, “The Way Out…”, the Treasury can issue Electronic Revenue Credits (ERCs) which it can sell to the Federal Reserve, acting in the capacity of a central bank, and which it can buy back with positive balances in its accounts from taxes at current rates. Such a system is self-correcting, because any general inflation in prices from an excessive expansion of the money supply would, by the same token, increase tax revenues. Nonetheless, I have set the weekly citizen stipend lower than I have elsewhere, to gain the confidence of conservatives for an ongoing stipend.
I should note that the stipend enables citizens and more recent residents to resist unsafe employment in meat-packing plants and other questionable work places, without some combination of adequate protections and hazard pay. It also enables, through paying customers, upgrades to the work places with clean-room technologies which are necessary for an eradication of the novel coronavirus throughout the supply chain.
As with my other policy initiatives, no coercion is used, but needed actions are enabled, as is the case for Republican policy, generally.
With Christmas Cheer,
C. P. Klapper, Political Economist
PS: Some taxes from spending the stipend will go to local and state governments, so you can tell Speaker Pelosi that she can cool her jets, waiting for the state and local funding to ooze up from the people, once the people get their necessary survival income. Also, workers at state and local agencies will receive a stipend, themselves, making wages less necessary for their lives.
1090 Saint Nicholas Ave #53
New York, NY 10032