Derek Thompson+ Your Authors @DKThomp Writer at @TheAtlantic. Host of podcast CRAZY/GENIUS. Author of book HIT MAKERS. Talker on NPR's @hereandnow and @CBSNews. derek[at]theatlantic[dot]com Apr. 22, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

The PPP news cycle has been totally back-asswards.

The business loan program was too small, everybody knew it, and a hunger-games scramble for money ensued. Then the money ran out (duh) and we blamed ... the companies getting loans to avoid mass layoffs during a plague!

It's like designing a breadline to only serve one-third of the city and then naming-and-shaming the people at the front of the line.

"Can you believe Jill got bread? Jill! She told me her family had dinner four nights ago. Those kind of people don't even need bread!"

And please don't ask me to defend every. single. employer. that. got. a. loan. The possibility of opportunistic and unethical actors has to be factored into crisis-era legislation. That's why you want the SMB program to be HUGE—to withstand malfeasance and still have $ left over.

Important: The low $$$ amount isn't PPP's only problem.

Making business bailouts contingent on payroll maintenance—esp, while we buffer the UI program—creates a huge coverage gap for the worst-hit companies, which could lead to all kinds of bankruptcies

You can follow @DKThomp.


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