Inflation inquiries: Worries about America’s newest stimulus package

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Congress recently passed an astronomically large relief package for Americans, yet many don’t quite know how they feel about it yet.

Alex Thorne, Business Manager

Reopening has begun in many states after a year of changes, however others remain locked down. Students are hoping for in-person school, adults are looking for work and everyone wants to stay healthy.

In order to aid those affected most by the pandemic, Congress passed its third stimulus package in early March. This “Coronavirus Relief Package” includes over $1.9 trillion, providing aid for single individuals  who make less than $80,000 and less than $160,000 for married couples.

The package does not just contain aid for individuals, as much will go towards vaccinations and schools. According to the Wall Street Journal, tens of billions of dollars will go towards vaccine rollout, and $130 billion will be given out to schools for sanitation purposes, pushing them to reopen.

A free check from the government sounds great to a lot of people, but some economists have big concerns about where this money is coming from.

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese spoke to reporters about his stance on the stimulus. “We are at a precarious moment for the virus and the economy. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves in,” he said.

For those against the stimulus, the worry comes from the concept of inflation. The more money that is in circulation, the less valuable the money becomes. If more and more Americans receive newly printed money from the government, some economists like Deese worry the economy could eventually collapse.

Junior and hobby-economist Ryan Groenenboom expressed some concerns about the future of our economy. “After the virus first hit this time last year a lot of people got laid off. I understand why aid was provided then, but I am more hesitant about the volume of this package,” he said. 

Hyperinflation can cause the downfall of an economy as seen in Germany after the First World War and recently in Venezuela with the creation of the million-dollar note.

Groenenboom also expressed some doubts about where the money would be spent. “Obviously the economy will do better as a result of the increased demand stemming from the checks, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to send businesses the money instead. This would ensure that all sectors get help, as many people would be inclined to spend their checks in only a few sectors and not all,” he stated.

Despite these concerns Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke before Congress on March 24 justifying the passing of the package. He stated that as unemployment is still at 6.2 percent  many Americans, especially African Americans and Hispanics working in the service industry, will greatly benefit from the new package.

As touched on before, the package does not just go to citizens. Schools will benefit from it as well.

Senior Joey Borbeck is ecstatic about aid being given to schools. “I have multiple relatives who work in public schools, this year has been horrible. If the money is properly distributed to schools from this [stimulus package] it will surely help improve the situation,” he proclaimed.

It is impossible to fully predict the outcome of the new bill. One side fears high inflation and a possible crash, while the other frantically checks their account statements eager to put the money to good use.

Regardless of original opinion on the package, Americans can all agree that if this stimulus does end up helping end the horrible effects of the pandemic, then it was every bit worth it.