I read your draft letter and Randy's reply. Thanks. I was first drawn to the thread with New Zealand's economic needs in mind. Given structural differences, & bearing in mind that NZ has suffered a devastating infection from the neoliberal disease beginning early-mid 1980s, we still have more of a welfare state on the face of it, than the US eg healthcare, sickness benefit, pension, unemployment benefit etc tho savaged & punitive, with considerable privatisation of health, and with huge inequality.

What is shared is nonetheless a supply side shock, a demand side long term problem, and immediate income losses.

Yes, we have had calls for basic income too. The political threat of a Naomi Klein event is probably being headed off (here, that was the 1980s) by the Labour coalition & a NZ$12bil start on government spending that can meet needs caused by CIVID-19.

And in the US what I understand from what Randy writes, is a neutralising push from both Dems & GOP, against anything that looks like a e.g. a NZ UK style welfare state with beginning permanent decent sick pay etc.

Does that then make the likely US political outcome to be a very thin sub-BI payment(s) with absolutely no other political capital to be gained. Is there a likelyhood that your proposed letter will meerly be interpreted as support for what the GOPDems will probably give anyway?

What's may be left politically is trying to gain at least some important political capital that's progressive along the lines of what Randy suggests. That's been the nature of the struggle over decades in the US and NZ.

I've been following the analysis that Bill Mitchell gives of Labour and the UK. Worth a read if you want to understand a train crash based on a politics of asking for too little compared to what's actually needed. What's needed here is a demand for all of the progressive & economically essential measures that a correct & truthful analysis identifies?

Thanks for a laboratory for thinking about NZ needs and politics. I skirmish on Twitter as @economicsnz. I gain hugely from the discussion :)

Good luck.

On Wed, 18 Mar 2020, 03:20 Wunder, Tim, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Can we get an open letter started calling on the government to get money to families directly?  There is a proposal for 850 billion in emergency funds.  That's enough to give every man woman and child $2500.  Can someone more influential than I am start an open letter calling for the government to send households money directly.  So a household of 4 would get $10k.  A household of 2 would get $5k.  

This would be incredibly popular and it would actually help the people.
I know there are people on this list who could organize something like this.  Retail workers are terrified, as are so many Americans.  Perhaps this is something we could do to help.


Timothy A Wunder

Clinical Associate Professor of Economics

Department of Economics