We are in a bit of a jam. And, it's not strawberry.
Physical health is one thing. Mental health is another. We might not get sick from Corona, but we are likely to end up a sick and indebted society if we do not change our current aid plan. So what do we choose – the economy – or our health. It's a bit of a Catch-22.
What if we could give people a break, have hospitals without panic, relaxed landlords and investors, and a government that would not have to bail out – anyone. We believe we can.
think.dk has developed this alternate aid plan strategy, to ensure a positive conclusion to this difficult period – however long it might be – and to distribute the cost more reasonable and fair. This way, we can all get out on top of this, perhaps even better off than before.
The main proposal consists of 4 initiatives, which combined relieve everybody from financial and professional pressure – enabling us to deal better with the personal pressure. It drastically reduces the risk of layoffs and bankruptcies – also for the State.
1: Freeze all debt
This includes freezing all loans and mortgages at the level of March 9th. No additional interests can be added. No payoffs required. No additional debt can be created. Until we are through this.
A long pressure chain will be broken and it will affect everyone with debt positively – that more or less means everyone.
- The individuals and the companies will not have to pay off any loans, nor worry about it growing out of hand. This will increase the cash flow and the ability to cope with the challenging situation.
- The moneylenders will not get to make a profit off of their loans in this period. Nor will the majority of the rest of us – and this is still better than facing a multitude of bankruptcies. And remember, the debt of the moneylenders will also be frozen.
- The State does not have to issue extremely risky guarantees for loans to keep businesses running and avoid layoffs.
All in all, the large, large majority will benefit from this – the few that might seem to lose, actually just take a temporary profit decrease (just like the rest of us), while ensuring the long term profitability by lessening the number of bankruptcies. This also adds a significant relief to the State.
2: Cancel all rent
All household and property rent payments are simply cancelled for the time being. Rent will not be accumulated and should not be paid at a later time.
Another long pressure chain temporarily interrupted, relieving the largest majority of business owners from a massive pressure. It also extends a similar privilege to the tenants, as what has been granted to the home owners through the debt freeze.
- The tenants will not have to pay rent as long as we are in lock down. Stay where you are and stop worrying about it.
- The home owners will not have to pay their mortgage, as per the freezing of all debt initiative.
- The companies will not have to pay rent on their shops, factories or offices. They can temporarily close down, without undermining their own existence.
- The landlords will not be able to claim any rent for any property during this period – and this will limit their profits. It will also seriously reduce bankruptcies, and thus increase the chance of maintaining the invested value, so in the end this is really more so in their interest. Any debt the landlords may have will also be covered by the debt freeze.
- The State will not have to pay out rent compensations to companies, to avoid large scale bankruptcies and layoffs.
The financial pressure has now been adapted to a lock down reality for everyone. The landlords can be optimistic about their investments as we are avoiding a financial and property market crisis that would otherwise erode the value of their investment. And the State has been relieved of carrying the financial burden for all of us.
3: A Corona emergency income
Everyone who is not working will receive a fixed monthly Corona emergency income of DKK 3.000,- with a supplement of DKK 1.000,- per child. All other public benefits will be suspended.
This has some resemblance of a basic income experiment – although we are now able to make the experiment under very specific and supportive circumstances. Due to the effects of the preceding initiatives the emergency income can be vastly lower than under normal circumstances.
- The workers can and should take as much unpaid leave as possible. If you must work because you are performing vital tasks, you will get paid as normal.
- The companies do not have to worry about salaries for people who are not working. If people are working, they must be paid as normal.
- The State does not have to pay salary compensation to companies, to prevent workers from being fired. It also does not have to worry about the unemployment growing out of hand.
We have reduced the cost of living very significantly – and we have money for food and basic necessities. We are no longer forced to go to work for financial reasons. The ones we really need to keep working will indirectly get a reasonable reward for their effort – a normal salary and very low expenses.
4: Free internet and telephone
All telephone and internet services are provided for free during this period. International calls not included – unless the surrounding world follows this lead.
Connectivity is vital in this period of separation. It is important that we maintain communication – both as a means to counter the isolation but also to connect researchers and entrepreneurs and enable the development of new initiatives.
- Everyone will stay connected.
- The State temporarily covers all telephone and internet core infrastructure running costs and all payments for these services are suspended. The existing providers maintain the responsibility for keeping the network up and running but since all networks are combined during this period, no cross-network fees will apply.
- The network operators will be losing income from these basic services – but they may maintain an income from other business areas. They will accept this as the burden on the same terms as the rest of us – and since both their debt is frozen and their rent is cancelled, they too will be able to keep their heads above water. They will be allowed to charge the State for all costs strictly related to running the network.
A relatively small initiative to keep us connected – and prevent the unknown psychological side effects of isolation and physical distance over a longer period. We have been given the time – let us make sure we can grow closer and invest it in the future.
Dealing with the edge cases
We have other resources than the State. We now have time to help. That is what we must do.
Some institutions and organizations may slip through the cracks here – perhaps they have a running cost that cannot be suspended, fx. animal parks, that still need to care for the animals, despite the lack of paying visitors. In these cases we appeal to foundations and individuals to help carry the burden – both financially and practically.
If we do this, will we go bankrupt? No. Will we need to close down companies or fire people to cut the costs? No. Will we have to go through another financial crisis? No.
Most importantly – will we have to compromise our safety for financial concerns? No.
Now a new range of possibilities for using this period of time productively can surface. We are all in this together – and if we share the burden more reasonably and fairly, we can all get through and have something to look forward to on the other side.
We can spend this time reflecting about what is important for us, and return to some sort of normality, stronger, smarter and slightly better prepared.
This is for us, the people. Demand a better aid plan solution. Now.