Between the Cares Act, the Coronavirus Relief Act, and the American Rescue Plan, individual Americans received up to $3,200 in stimulus payments. This is if you met the income threshold to get the last $1,400 in March 2021. Despite inflation which includes the rise in rent, food, and gas prices, Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to think that people still have that money. Business Insider reports the minority leader believes that the labor shortage will be done when people run out of stimulus money.
“You’ve got a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush for the moment,” the Kentucky Republican said. “What we’ve got to hope is once they run out of money, they’ll start concluding it’s better to work than not to work.”
The Kentucky senator fails to realize (or does realize) that the United States has had over a million COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started. Families still lack child care options, and coronavirus infections are still happening while people deal with the effects of long covid. Indeed those factors would have a profound impact on the labor force.
Also, the Great Resignation led people to look for jobs that provide higher wages, flexible working hours, hybrid options, and perks to improve their lives. Coincidentally as Business Insider points out, McConnell’s home state of Kentucky was once the prime place where workers moved on to better options. The average median rent is $1,827 a month, and inflation is the highest since the 1908s.
There is no way that the average American has the stimulus payments from a year ago. Payments went to debt or savings that have been drawn on to account for rising costs. McConnell and his fellow Republican colleagues know this. They want workers to return to lower-wage jobs and give corporations an out from improving their workplaces.