Resentment Grows on Main Street Over Bailout Winners and Losers

Resentment Grows on Main Street Over Bailout Winners and Losers, by Bob Ivry in the US.

Policy makers in Congress, the Treasury Department and the central bank have taken a lesson from the last financial meltdown, 12 years ago, when ordinary Americans were left to fend for themselves and millions lost their homes. This time, they’ve included individuals and small businesses in their aid packages in a way they didn’t in 2008, when bank bailouts, even as they saved the system from collapse, sparked outcry over tilted playing fields for the rich and ignited a backlash that altered the political direction of the country.

But if one of the lessons of 2008 is to help Main Street as well as Wall Street, the lesson seems to be only partly learned. Americans live in two separate and unequal worlds, and the bailouts reflect this.

The clunky, slow rollout of help for small businesses comes as aid for the financial system flows freely. …

“In 2008, they forgot about Main Street and thought only about Wall Street,” said Lawrence Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “In 2020, they did a parade down Main Street and forgot to leave the goodies.”