The pandemic is rampant and policies are “idling”. A large number of unemployed people in the United States may fall into the “rescue cliff”.
United States, which is in the holiday shopping season, it should be a consumption boom, but as the epidemic continues to worsen and states are considering new lockdown measures, the demand for food aid has soared unprecedentedly.
From Houston to Los Angeles, there are long queues of people to collect food. According to the data of the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of hungry people in the United States has reached a new high.
At the same time, as more and more people facing long-term unemployment are no longer eligible for routine unemployment benefits and have to rely on “bottom” schemes such as emergency unemployment benefits.
Once Congress continues to do nothing and policies continue to “idle around”, these unemployed people may fall into the “rescue cliff” and lose the final benefit. In this way, it is bound to make the problem of hunger worse.
Food aid demand blows out in many places
According to several American media reports, as the epidemic rages and relief measures expire, the hunger problem in the United States is getting worse and worse.
During the festival, those Americans who are doing well eat more and more abundantly, but people from poor families suffer from insufficient food, not only can’t make children happy, but also feel neglecting their guests.
Many people simply choose to close their doors to welcome customers. Anyway, due to the epidemic, it will not seem too unhumane.
At present, Houston is one of the most hungry areas in the United States. This summer, the epidemic overwhelmed local hospitals, and weak oil prices hit the local economy severely, making the situation worse.
Pictures of thousands of cars waiting for food aid in Houston have spread wildly on the Internet, highlighting the seriousness of the local food and clothing problem.
More than 20 percent of adults in the greater Houston region are starving, compared to 30% in families with children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau of Statistics. The Houston-area “food banks” have run out of food after serving 7,300 families, but more are lining up and clearly out of supply.
And at the Los Angeles area “Food Bank”, during the recent festivals, forklifts filled with food trays kept making noises coming and going, and volunteers had little time to see the surroundings when packing food boxes.
They were very busy. This has been the case since the outbreak and is getting busier now, says Michael Flander, the head of the local Food Bank.
Hunger people break the milestone
The total wealth of the billionaires in the U.S. increased by nearly $1 trillion during the pandemic, from March to November 2020, according to a report from the think tank Policy Institute.
In contrast, the number of hungry people in the United States remains high and is reflected by increasing data.
Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Regional Food Bank, said: “Everyone sees the same thing. The queue in the front row of food banks is getting longer and longer as government emergency aid cuts.”
A recent report released by the agency shows that in 2020, one in every four residents in Rhode Island experienced food insecurity, compared with one in 11 residents in 2019. In contrast, it can be found that the hunger problem in the state has worsened sharply this year.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 12% of Americans report that they lack enough food, the second highest since the outbreak, which reached a record 12.1% epidemic in the third week of July; about 16% of families with children said that in the past
They sometimes or often don’t have enough food in a week, which has a great impact on children’s physical and mental development and has attracted great attention from all walks of life. According to the data of the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans who are currently hungry has reached a phased high, with nearly 26 million adults who lack enough food.
Feeding America, a national organization of more than 200 “food banks”, predicts that the United States will face a shortage of up to 8 billion food in the next 12 months.
Many economists point out that the number of hungry people is soaring as government rescue measures expire, and the situation will get worse as a series of rescue plans expire further after Christmas and a new round of rescue measures is delayed.
Tens of millions of people are in urgent need of unemployment benefits.
Due to the U.S. election, the change of office, bipartisan confrontation and other factors, the United States is facing the problem of some economic policy “idle” – special subsidies cannot be introduced, and conventional relief is on the verge of an end.
Data previously released by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the number of people receiving regular unemployment benefits in various states is decreasing, because people facing long-term unemployment are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and turn to the epidemic relief plan. If the pandemic relief plan cannot be extended, millions of Americans will be at risk of losing all their rescue and forced to fall on the “bail off the cliff”.
According to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits under the epidemic relief programs continued to rise in early November, which will expire after Christmas.
This means millions of families will have a significant drop in their income after the Christmas holiday, which will make it harder for them to afford rent, groceries and other necessities.
According to the latest data analyzed by Reuters, as of November 7, 13.7 million people had received unemployment benefits through the relevant programs of the CARES Act. This figure is higher than 13.1 million in the week ending October 31.
While some may find jobs before the bailout package expires, the increase in COVID-19 cases could dampen holiday hiring, slow the economic recovery and increase the risk of unemployment, leaving a significant portion of the population continuing to lose their jobs without any subsidies.
According to incomplete statistics, the majority of the 13.7 million people receiving unemployment benefits through the CARES Act-related programs are involved in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which extends unemployment benefits to freelancers and self-employed people who are usually ineligible for assistance; and Approximately 4.5 million people receive the Epidemic Emergency Unemployment Benefit (PEUC), providing an additional 13 weeks of relief to people who have exhausted their state-specific routine relief.
The number of participants in the program has increased steadily recently, as more and more people are no longer able to participate in routine relief – which lasts for up to 26 weeks in most states.
With the above-mentioned “bottom” plans coming to expire after Christmas, a huge “rescue cliff” has loomed. But at present, Congress has still not agreed on a new round of relief measures to replace these plans. Democrats want to add more than $2 trillion in relief, while Republicans prefer a smaller size, and the compromise is unknown when.