May 17, 2020 - Economy

Mark Cuban calls for "transitional" federal jobs program to stem unemployment

Mark Cuban

Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Billionaire Mark Cuban tweeted a thread on Sunday calling for the federal government to train and hire millions of Americans as coronavirus contact tracers in order to "dent unemployment with stable jobs."

What he's saying: "It's time to face the fact that [the Paycheck Protection Program] 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."

  • "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 for at risk populations including long term care. We need to dent unemployment with stable jobs."

Cuban also called for an interim stimulus program that would give every American household a $1,000 check every two weeks for the next two months that must be spent within 10 days of receipt.

  • "This 'use it or lose it' [program] will cost about $500b, but it will allow for demand for non essential products and services to increase, hopefully keeping most businesses alive, as we learn what the impact of re-opening is on the spread and whether or not employment grows organically," Cuban tweeted.

The big picture: The House on Friday passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that has already been deemed dead on arrival by Senate Republicans and the Trump administration.

  • As Congress remains at an impasse, more than 36 million Americans have filed jobless claims over the past two months.
  • Goldman Sachs estimates the unemployment rate will hit 25%, matching the peak level of joblessness during the Great Depression.
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