The End of An Era: What’s Next In Joe Biden’s America
This morning, a remarkable event proved the strength of democracy. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration ultimately meant the end to one of the most chaotic presidencies the land of the brave and the home of the free has ever witnessed in modern U.S history. But more importantly, the administration will change America forever in its own unique and unprecedented way. What exactly will it bring? And how will Americans react to it? This article examines the most influential policy of the Biden administration in a 3-part analysis that the new face of the U.S can expect to see: the stimulus plan.
The coronavirus pandemic has, without a doubt, wreaked havoc on the American economy. Now, with 24.3 million cases and 400,000 deaths nationwide and growing by the day, America leads the world in case count. Lockdowns and social distancing measures have led a peaking U.S economy to take a nosedive. A recession followed with two consecutive quarters of GDP decline. The economy plummeted 9.1% in Q2 of 2020. Still don’t see a problem? Job losses wiped out a decade straight of job growth; non-agricultural employment saw a decrease of 20.5 million in April alone; consumer goods spending decreased 8.7% near the beginning months of the pandemic; gas prices fell below zero; the stock market was on the verge of crashing; the manufacturing industry experienced a lack of labor; small business revenue decreased more than 20%. The only hope for Americans is monetary input by the federal government. Put it this way: when you fall in a ditch without a shovel, how do you get out? You ask for a shovel. But what if the supplier rented them all out? People will walk over you, but nobody decides to help because everyone risks falling into their own ditch. Now you’re left on your own, with death and starvation before your eyes. This is no different with the U.S economy. Your state governor imposes a lockdown, forcing your small business to close. You ask for a loan, but everyone is bankrupt. How do you get out now? How do you put food on the table, not for yourself, but your children? How do you pay for the rent? How do you avoid eviction? All the while, the top 1% of the American economy looks down on you. You are now fish bait to their businesses, which is why billionaires became $637 billion richer during the pandemic.
A survey last summer identified that 86% of Americans believed the COVID-19 pandemic hurt their enrollment. At the same time, 70% believed that living costs have gone up, while only 18% of small businesses believed that they could stay open for more than a year without federal help. This is where Biden’s stimulus plan comes into play. In the plan, the problem is tackled by the roots, assuring every American's financial security. Before the inauguration, Biden announced that $1.9 trillion would be spent for a stimulus plan. In this plan, $50 billion goes towards the child care industry, with half of it towards child care providers for a safe reopening under the pandemic, a third for parents and multi-generational households, and a fifth from the December stimulus package introduced last year. This would be the 3rd round of stimulus relief to American citizens. Most important of all, it ensures $1,400 for most, if not all, U.S citizens. Biden has also proposed to increase the minimum wage to $15 and is expected to add 0.7%-1.5% in GDP growth. This is where some might get curious. Why $1,400? Why not more or less? The truth is, only low-income households and 60% of financially struggling homes need this package. However, ensuring all Americans' financial safety means that struggling individuals can get out of that ditch and re-start small businesses, go back to work, and stimulate the once-flourishing American economy.
Biden said in his speech that “politics does not have to be a raging fire." This economic stimulus plan certainly tackles the problem for all Americans. What type of America will Joe Biden and Kamala Harris bring? Joe Biden has 8 years of experience as Vice President under President Barack Obama, but does he have what he takes to lead the largest economy in the world as president?