The economic devastation of the COVID-19 coronavirus situation has placed many people out of work and unable to earn money to pay for basic needs such as food and rent. Since many Americans have no savings and are strapped with debt due to the nature of the economic system, it is difficult for them to pay their bills. This situation existed before the virus, which has only forced the present situation to be worse. Now that it is April first and rent is due, AFP reports by way of Yahoo! News that for many Americans, they cannot pay their rent and other related bills, as well as many businesses.
From Nike to Cheesecake Factory, businesses large and small are saying they will either pay only half of their rents or default.
On April 1, “we won’t be able to pay any of those bills,” said Joe Toto, owner of Groove Events, a Boston-based event planning company. In 30 years, “this is the first time anything like this has ever happened.”
Business has come to a complete standstill and with no money coming in, he may have to lay off all of his employees, he told AFP.
“There is no business, so there is no money,” Toto lamented.
With so much uncertainty about when life might return to normal, “nobody is yet ready to start to book an event, even, say, July or August or September,” he said. (source)
It is true that for those ready to work hard, there are often solutions to many problems. However, the fact for most is that even if one was to get another job- which even in spite of the hiring boom taking place right now -most of they do not pay very much money. Thus, one may want to work, but if one does get one of these jobs, one will not be able to pay one’s bills, and it becomes more profitable to collect unemployment simply in order to survive while one looks for a better paying job.
But an even bigger problem people face is one involving health and safety. Since there is the virus going around, does one really want to expose oneself to the virus at a job for $9-12 per hour? Is one’s health and the potential for death work such a low-paying job?
I’m not saying don’t work, or that work is bad. What I am saying is that given the pay rates, environmental consequences, and effects of taking such a job, the risks and efforts often times are a poor or potentially life-threatening investment.
Hard work is always good, but if one does not work smart, one may end up dead.
When one adds in these reasons, we now have millions of people out of work, losing their jobs, unable to make money, and what money they can make is either low or can only be earned in a dangerous way. A similar problem faces businesses and landlords, as the entire interlinked nature of the economic system and its health is at risk.
Will the common man be forced to pay rent? What about businesses? If they cannot pay, will they be displaced to the streets?
The next month will be very interesting for the country as a whole.