You’ve previously publicized the clever solution to the Corona-crisis of “stopping time.” As others have pointed out, a drawback is that we can’t stop time for everyone. In particular, we need essential services to continue.
Separately, there is a significant case for hazard pay. In principle we could let the market sort this out. But in practice, we don’t want to spend the next month getting to the equilibrium with health care workers.
The current round of government interventions entail mounting distortions.
So perhaps a more efficient solution to all of this would be:
–stop time, but
–government sends everyone checks that can be used for food and gas and directly pays for essential services (public safety, medical, utilities)
The net effect is hazard pay for essential workers—they continue to draw income, but their rent/mortgage/loan/utility obligations are frozen just like everyone else’s.
As a ballpark cost: if 25% of the economy is essential, this is about $400B/month.
Expensive, but much cheaper than alternatives.
That is from an email from Philip Bond, University of Washington.