In response to the financial crisis, as we help firms that are deemed too big and too interconnected to fail, hundreds of billions of dollars are being tossed around as though it is mere pennies.
Since it is widely expected that the crisis will get worse before it gets better, and since there is a non-trivial chance of a substantial uptick in unemployment, shouldn't we begin thinking about a worker bailout fund?
Or are workers too little to be helped?
I don't think so. So instead of waiting until unemployment goes way up, and then watching Congress fight over what to do about it while people struggle to make ends meet, let's get a plan in place now that dedicates some of the money being tossed around to helping workers. If unemployment goes up, what will we do? How will we help?
If we are going to bail out the big players - take toxic paper off their hands - there's no reason at all not to bail out workers too.
I want to think about this more, so help me out. How should such a proposal be structured? What should the worker bailout fund look like?