Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, says the blueprint for our country to recover from the devastating job losses brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has already been created. Now, we just need to be willing to implement it.
Our nation’s unemployment rate is already at the highest levels since the Great Depression, and it will likely get worse. So, Cuban says the government needs to take a page from the Depression-era playbook. He says it needs to step up and get our country back to work.
Government Should Create Jobs
During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt understood that there was only one way to get people back to work. That way was the government directly creating jobs. Roosevelt launched the New Deal and put nearly 20 million Americans to work and wages back in their pockets. Through a myriad of programs, the workers built airports, schools, hospitals, bridges, dams, irrigation systems, roads, and much more.
The number of jobs created was significant. For nearly a decade after the end of the Great Depression, the US government was still the country’s largest employer.
Today, states move to slowly re-open and many businesses remain uncertain about their future. Because of this, it’s unlikely that private-sector employers will be able to create 36 million or more new jobs to shrink the unemployment rolls.
Cuban says the government should be willing to step in and create jobs for out-of-work Americans.
Possible Ways To Do So
During an interview on Fox Business last night, Cuban said “If we would’ve had this discussion four months ago, I would’ve said it’s a crazy idea, there’s no way to do it, and that as much as possible, you let the free market do what it can. We’ve never been in a situation like this.”
He says existing public service organizations like AmeriCorps could create around 4 million jobs. It can do so by hiring people to conduct testing, tracking and tracing for COVID-19. He also mentions that they could also create jobs to support services for vulnerable members of society.
“I think with government intervention on a transitional basis, not permanent — and I know that creates its own set of issues — I think the government can be supportive, to help create demand for the markets and even put together a federal jobs program to have jobs that do things that are productive,” he said, adding that the jobs could initially be for three or four years until they are slowly eliminated as their need goes away.
In the time it takes to get this new program underway, Cuban said every American household should get a $1,000 check every two weeks for the next two months. To help move the money through our economy and help businesses get back on their feet, Cuban says the money would only be good for 10 days after its received, basically a game of hot potato with stimulus cash.
What's In Store?
Cuban, who is a member of President Trump’s “Opening Our Country” economic council, has not shared his ideas with the White House yet, but he plans to do so soon. He estimates his plan would cost about $500 billion.
“We have an opportunity for the economy to be even bigger over the next five to seven years,” he said. “But that means there will be a lot of disruption. There will be companies that are created out of this that just change the game, and hopefully allow us to compete even more strongly internationally.”
This whole plan sounds a bit like a politician looking for drum up support from their base. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Cuban has toyed with the idea of running in the 2020 race.
A few weeks back he said, “I’m not saying no, but it’s not something I’m actively pursuing. I’m just keeping the door open… You just don’t know what can happen between now and November.”