One day after going to bed hungry while under mandatory quarantine at a local orphanage, Oliver Twist received an unpleasant surprise when he learned Boeing Corporation is poised to receive billions in bailout financing from the Federal Reserve and United States government. Boeing recently made headlines due to a series of quality control failures affecting its new 737 MAX line of aircraft, which resulted in crashes that killed hundreds of people. Boeing also benefited from billions of dollars in low interest rate loans over the last several years, much of which went to buy back stock.
“Whenever I ask for more at the orphanage, the headmaster scolds me,” Twist explained. “Now I’m supposed to get $500 in the mail in a few months from some rich government banker guy named Jerome or Mnuchin or something? Boeing got billions of dollars when they asked for it. Why can’t I get more?”
Twist’s frustration mirrors the opinions of many citizens throughout the country. The United States Senate recently passed an unprecedented two trillion dollar stimulus plan in response to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. The stimulus comes in addition to trillions in quantitative easing measures injected into the financial markets by the Federal Reserve.
Should the stimulus bill pass the House as written, each adult making under $75,000 per year should receive a one-time payment of $1,200, with an additional $500 for each child at an undetermined future date. Twist is a minor, so he believes he will receive $500. In contrast, Boeing and other large corporations will receive billions in grants, low interest loans, and other Federal assistance, with the hopes that the bailout will prevent broader layoffs and economic fallout.
Twist summarized the broader sentiment around the country: “$500 sounds like a lot but what am I supposed to do when it runs out? Boeing gets everything they want, but I’m not going to get more if I ask. The headmaster and the government aren’t much different.”