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Strikers Call for $15 Minimum Wage

Fast food workers in 15 states are staging a strike demanding a $15 minimum wage and unionization, part of the “Fight for $15” movement.

 

Some activists and workers have long been pushing for a $15 minimum wage at the federal level. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. Twenty-nine states have higher minimum wages than the federal mandate, and 27 states, cities, or counties have minimum wages of at least $15 per hour.

 

The striking workers are calling on Congress and the president to increase the federal minimum wage. This is something that incoming president Joe Biden supports. With a Democratic-controlled Congress, this idea could become law this year.

 

Those pushing for a higher minimum wage say that every worker deserves to be paid a living wage. They contend that increasing the minimum wage will increase worker productivity and ensure more fairness in society. Those opposed to it counter that the government mandating that every worker must be paid $15 per hour will hurt workers with few skills and those entering the job market. They also argue that businesses are already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and many cannot afford to see such a large increase in salaries.

 

If enacted, a $15 minimum wage would likely be phased in over a period of years.


Do you support a federal $15 minimum wage?

Judge Strikes Down L.A. Dining Ban

The Los Angeles Public Health Department’s desire to shut down outdoor dining has run into legal trouble. This week a state judge says the agency erred in issuing the ban.

 

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant said that the department did not have the authority to issue such a ban. He went on to say that the ban “is not grounded in science, evidence, or logic.” The health department had shut down outdoor dining two weeks ago in response to rising coronavirus cases. An association of restaurant owners sued.

 

While the county said that such a ban was necessary to combat the coronavirus, Judge Chalfant disagreed. His ruling finds that the county did not rely on science in imposing the ban. The restaurant association leading the lawsuit noted that only a small percentage of coronavirus cases are linked to restaurants and that the federal government ranks outdoor dining as a less-risky activity.

 

The judge’s decision also pointed out that this ban would have severe consequences on restaurants. He noted that many of these restaurants would likely go bankrupt under such a ban. He said the county should have weighed not only the potential health benefits of a ban but also the economic consequences of it.

 

While this case invalidates the L.A. County ban on outdoor dining, the state of California has its own outdoor dining ban. 

 

Do you agree with banning outdoor dining as a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus?

 

NC Governor Imposes 10 p.m. Curfew to Stem Coronavirus Spread

Most North Carolina businesses will be closing at 10 p.m. under a new order imposed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

 

Under Gov. Cooper's order, only a few businesses will be exempt from the closing order. These include grocery stores, gas stations, and health care facilities. Restaurants can continue serving take-out food after 10 p.m., but cannot allow customers to eat inside. Individuals must stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they meet certain exceptions. 

 

Coronavirus cases are rising in North Carolina, with many counties being considered as having critical community spread. The governor says that this justifies restricting businesses and public gatherings. He said that as the evening goes on, crowds increase and there is more chance of spreading the coronavirus. Critics push back against this logic, however, saying there is nothing particularly dangerous about late-night dining or drinking as opposed to doing the same activities earlier in the day. They contend that the governor's order will harm businesses that are already struggling.

 

Coronavirus cases are rising in states around the nation. Other governors are imposing or considering similar measures in an attempt to stop community spread of the virus.

 

Gov. Cooper said that if these restrictions do not work, he will consider imposing even stricter rules.

 

Do you think that states should impose curfews to stop the spread of the coronavirus?

Los Angeles Bans Outdoor Dining to Stem Coronavirus Surge

Coronavirus cases are rising in Los Angeles County. The local health department thinks that ending outdoor dining will help stem the tide.

 

Under this order, restaurants and other establishments that serve food can only offer take out. Both indoor and outdoor dining are prohibited. Outdoor dining has been allowed since May, under the rationale that being outdoors provides less exposure to the coronavirus than being indoors. However, with cases increasing in the county, health officials contend that even outdoor seating is too dangerous.

 

States, counties, and cities around the nation are taking new steps and re-imposing old bans in order to curb the increase in coronavirus cases. In Los Angeles County, the five-day average of cases has surpassed 4,000, which was the threshold set by the health department for new restrictions.

 

These measures have proven controversial in many areas. Business owners argue that they are an extreme response that is killing jobs and the economy. They say that business shutdowns are an overreaction that do more harm than good. The officials imposing these restrictions counter that they are essential to keep the virus and the harm it causes at bay.

 

The Los Angeles order lasts for three weeks, although it can be extended.

 

Do you think that health officials should prohibit outdoor dining as a way to combat the coronavirus?

Coronavirus-Related Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire

When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, it made self-employed workers and freelance workers eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time. That eligibility will expire on December 26 unless Congress acts during the lame duck session to extend it.

 

Congress included these workers in the CARES Act when it passed in March. The rationale was that in a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty, workers who had not been previously eligible for benefits should be included. Unlike traditional employees, people who are self-employed or who do freelance work do not pay into the unemployment system. Under the CARES Act, however, they could also receive payments similar to other workers.

 

This expanded eligibility ends in December, however. 

 

Congress convened a lame duck session this week to pass legislation to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year and pass a handful of other bills. While coronavirus aid bills were largely bipartisan when Congress passed them in the spring, that cross-party agreement has broken down. Differences between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, as well as differences between Congress and the president, are currently hampering efforts to craft new legislation. 

 

If congressional leaders can work out their differences, Congress could pass another round of coronavirus aid in late November or early December. However, some Democrats want to wait until Joe Biden takes office, which they think will give them a stronger hand during negotiations.

 

Do you support extending the eligibility for unemployment benefits to people who are self-employed?

Governors Re-impose Coronavirus-Related Restrictions

Across the nation, coronavirus cases are increasing. This is prompting some governors to re-impose restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. This has made some of their states' residents unhappy.

 

In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee re-imposed lockdown restrictions that had been lifted months ago. These include limiting how many people can attend funerals, curbing indoor dining, and banning some youth sports activities. In Oregon, indoor gatherings for more than a handful of people are banned. Michigan is prohibiting schools from meeting in person.

 

These orders come as over 60,000 people are hospitalized from the coronavirus. Some hospitals say they are reaching a critical situation, and may not be able to offer necessary services if cases continue to climb. Governors argue that restricting business activities and requiring masks are the best way to blunt the impact of the coronavirus until a vaccine is developed. 

 

Some residents of these states are unhappy with the restrictions. They argue that the coronavirus is not very deadly, so it is an overreaction to impose severe government controls in response. They also contend that these lockdowns do more harm than good, as people are losing their businesses and people are being put out of work.

 

Not all states are implementing new restrictions. Florida's governor, for instance, recently lifted lockdown orders.

 

Do you support governors placing restrictions on individual gatherings and business activities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus?

Biden Advisor Says No National Lockdown Coming

With coronavirus cases increasing, there is heated discussion about what will be done under a Joe Biden presidency to combat the spread. His coronavirus taskforce advisor has ruled out a national lockdown.

 

Dr. Vivek Murthy said in interviews that there is no strategy to place restrictions on the entire U.S. economy. Instead, Murthy said that such restrictions should be targeted to locations that have a high incidence of the disease. Dr. Murthy is a former U.S. Surgeon General whom Joe Biden has selected to lead his task force on coronavirus issues. Other Biden advisors have said the same thing.

 

Around the nation, governors are taking various steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus. With numbers increasing in many states, governors are putting in place a variety of restrictions. These include limits on non-family gatherings, business shutdowns, and mask mandates. In-person schooling is being discontinued in some areas, too.

 

Proponents of coronavirus-related restrictions argue that they are vital to stop the spread of the disease. They contend that without them, many people will die or become sick, overwhelming the health care system. Opponents contend that the restrictions are going overboard and are hurting people and businesses. They argue that this is a prime example of government overreacting to the virus.

 

There is disagreement on how many restrictions the federal government can put in place to deal with coronavirus spread. The Trump Administration has embraced some policies, such as a national moratorium on some evictions, that have proven controversial and are being challenged in court. Many legal observers note that while states have broad powers to deal with pandemics, the federal government does not. A national lockdown would certainly face lawsuits.

 

Do you support a national lockdown to deal with the coronavirus?

California Voters Say Gig Drivers Aren’t Employees

California legislators wanted to classify contractors for Lyft and Uber as “employees.” But California voters disagreed, voting in favor of an initiative that allows these workers to continue being classified as independent contractors.” Some see this as a victory for worker freedom, while others contend that it will allow these companies to continue exploiting drivers.

 

Over 58% of voters approved Proposition 22, which changed California law to allow app-based drivers to be classified as independent contractors. This was in response to the enactment of AB 5 in California. That law put severe restrictions on how companies could use independent contractors, including drivers for Uber and Lyft. Supporters said it was necessary to crack down on unscrupulous companies that were trying to avoid paying workers benefits and higher wages. Opponents countered that it was the government meddling in arrangements that worked well for both employees and contractors.

 

Uber and Lyft strongly supported Proposition 22, saying that it was necessary for them to continue operating in the sate. Besides removing app-based drivers from AB 5’s restrictions, Proposition 22 also:

  • Required app-based driving services to pay certain minimum amounts to drivers
  • Imposed limits on the number of hours an app-based driver could work in a 24-hour period
  • Mandated health care subsidies for some app-based drivers
  • Required companies provide some forms of insurance for these drivers

 

AB 5 only affected drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft. Other independent contractors are unaffected. After AB 5 was enacted, businesses began restructuring or ending their relationships with California independent contractors. 

 

To amend Proposition 22 will take a ⅞ vote in both chambers of California’s legislature.

 

Do you think that states should impose more restrictions on companies using independent contractors?

Colorado Voters to Decide on Tobacco, Vaping Tax Increase

The price of cigarettes and vaping products could be going up in Colorado.

 

If voters approve Proposition EE, the state government will increase the tax on tobacco products every year until 2027 and impose a new tax on e-cigarette products. The revenue generated would be dedicated to a variety of state funds dealing with health and education.

 

Under Proposition EE, the state's cigarette tax would increase from its current 84 cents-per-pack to $2.64 per-pack by 2027. The tax rate on tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco would increase form 40% to 62%. Currently nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and vaping supplies are not taxed. Under Proposition EE, they would begin to be taxed at a rate of 30%, which would rise to 62% by 2027. A variety of state programs would share in revenue from this tax increase, including the preschool fund, the rural schools fund, and the tobacco tax cash fund.

 

Backers of this measure contend that Colorado's tobacco tax is below the national average. They argue that it needs to increase in order to discourage smoking and provide revenue for important government programs. Opponents say this tax will hurt Colorado businesses. They also note that imposing the same tax on non-tobacco nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, will discourage people from switching to them from more dangerous tobacco products.

 

Do you think that tobacco taxes should be increased? Should nicotine products like e-cigarettes be taxed the same as tobacco products?

 

 

Trump Administration Pushes for Airline Aid

Coronavirus aid talks are in flux, with House leadership and Trump officials at odds over what legislation should look like. There may be one area where both sides agree, however -- aid for the airline industry. House Democrats tried to advance an airline aid bill last week, while Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this week has said this is something the Trump Administration supports.

 

During last week's House of Representatives legislative session, Rep. Peter DeFazio attempted to advance a $28 billion bill that was aimed at preventing layoffs of airline workers. House Republicans objected, however, so the bill could not be fast-tracked through the body. Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and said that the president would like to see an airline bill advance.

 

President Trump has tweeted both that he is cutting off coronavirus aid negotiation with Democrats and that he would sign an aid bill that has a stimulus check for Americans. Many Republicans prefer passing legislation that focuses on certain areas of need, not a larger bill that encompasses many more things. With airlines struggling because of a lack of travelers, many in Congress and the Trump Administration see this as an area of agreement.

 

In March, Congress included $32 billion in aid to airlines. It was conditioned on these airlines not making layoffs or wage cuts through last month. Airlines and unions are pushing for this aid to be extended in the new legislation or new money to be provided to airlines. They argue that the prospects for increased travel do not look good, and that without aid there will be widespread layoffs in the airline industry.

 

Some in Congress are sympathetic to this view, noting that this is an issue that was beyond airlines’ control. However, there are also concerns about the overall cost of an aid package. 

 

Do you think that Congress should pass an airline aid bill?

Florida Voters Will Decide on $15 Minimum Wage

The fight for a $15 minimum wage has come to Florida ballots.

 

Sunshine State voters will decide the fate of Amendment 2, which would increase Florida's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. Currently the state's minimum wage is $8.46 per hour. If voters approve the amendment, the minimum wage would automatically increase every year until it reached $15 in September 2026.

 

Backers of this measure argue that Florida workers deserve a living wage. They say that the a higher minimum wage is necessary to ensure that all Florida workers can afford to support a family. Controversially, one of the backers of this ballot measure has compared the current minimum wage to a "slave wage."

 

Opponents, however, point out that many minimum wage workers are not supporting a family. Instead, they say, these workers are teenagers or others who are entering the job force. Business owners and economists warn that a higher minimum wage will hurt workers looking to obtain entry-level jobs, and will lead to higher unemployment, especially for young people and minorities.

 

Florida voters last approved a minimum wage increase in 2004, which also tied the state's minimum wage to inflation.

 

Do you support mandating the minimum wage of $15 per hour?

Maryland Foam Food Container Ban Goes into Effect

It is now illegal for Maryland businesses to serve food or drinks in Styrofoam or other foam containers.

 

In 2019, legislators passed a law outlawing the use of polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam, containers in food service. Retailers are also banned from selling such containers under the legislation. Gov. Larry Hogan did not support the law, but he did not veto it, either. He let the law go into effect without his signature.

 

Prior to the statewide law going into effect, three of Maryland’s largest counties already banned the use of these containers, as did Baltimore City.

 

Supporters of the law said that it will cut down a product that could not be recycled and did not easily biodegrade. They also contended that this ban will save space in landfills and reduce litter. Opponents argued that the burden will fall on small businesses. They also said that it would have no real effect on litter or the environment, since only a tiny amount of litter involved Styrofoam. Some business owners are also pointing out that this is an especially bad time to be placing new burdens on restaurants, which have been struggling with a government-mandated shutdown.

 

The ban was supposed to go into effect in July. However, the state delayed implementation in light of the uptick in takeout foods in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Under this delay, restaurants could still use their stock of foam containers until today. 

 

Maine and Vermont have similar bans in place, although Maine’s prohibitions do not take effect until 2021.

Companies File Suits to End Trump's China Tariffs

President Trump's trade war with China has been controversial since he first announced tariffs on goods made in those countries. Now over 3,500 companies have filed suit to end some of these tariffs, which they say were imposed illegally.

 

The suits concern the imposition of a 10% tariff on some Chinese goods in 2019. The Trump Administration initially put in place tariffs against Chinese goods in 2018, but expanded them the next year. The suits contend that the law does not allow this later expansion, and asks the U.S. Court of International Trade to invalidate them.

 

President Trump has long supported tariffs, even going so far as to call himself "Tariff Man." He argues that other nations are competing unfairly with the U.S., and that tariffs help American companies. The companies opposing these tariffs say that they are counterproductive to helping the U.S. economy. They point out that many U.S. businesses rely on Chinese imports to make products in the U.S. Economists also note that ultimately consumers pay higher costs because of tariffs, not the companies manufacturing the products overseas.

 

The Trump administration put in place Chinese tariffs under a 1974 law that allows the president to counteract what he contends is unfair foreign competition. The companies suing allege that the federal law does not allow him to expand tariffs to other products once those tariffs are put in place. If successful, the suits would leave the initial tariffs in place, but would remove the second round. The 2018 announcement affected around $50 billion in Chinese trade, but the 2019 tariffs affected $200 billion.

 

Do you think that President Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods should be removed?

California Bans Sale of Gasoline-Powered Cars by 2035

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has set in motion a plan to end the sale of cars using internal combustion engines by 2035.

 

Under the governor’s order, the California Air Resources Board will begin developing plans to phase out the sale of gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. The sale of heavier duty vehicles that use gasoline and diesel would be banned by 2045 under this order. Only zero-emission vehicles would then be permitted to be sold in California.

 

Gov. Newsom says that this ban is needed to help combat climate change. He points to recent fires in California as illustrating the urgency of the state taking major steps to reduce carbon emissions. He also claims this will help create jobs in California and across the U.S.

 

Critics of this ban note that consumers, not government, drive markets. They say that zero-emission cars are not attractive to consumers, and that innovation by the private sector will lead to more widespread purchasing of these cars. They also contend that this order will hurt consumers who want a wider choice in vehicles.

 

Since this ban is an order by the governor, not a state law, it can be reversed by future governors.

 

Do you support a ban on the sale of gasoline-powered cars?

 

Judge Rules Pennsylvania Coronavirus Shutdown Orders Unconstitutional

This week, a federal judge struck down some of Pennsylvania's coronavirus shutdown orders, finding that they violated the Constitution.

 

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV held that Gov. Tom Wolf went too far in ordering businesses to close and people to stay home. While acknowledging that there was an emergency that prompted these orders, he said, "the solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment  to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment."

 

This ruling affects the governor's orders to close businesses, limit outdoor gatherings, and require people to stay at home. Other orders, such as the state's mask mandate, remain in effect.

 

Gov. Wolf expressed disappointment in the ruling, contending that these orders are vital in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Legislators and business owners who had sued applauded the ruling, saying it justified their claims that the governor was exceeding his legal authority.

 

The disagreement over the extent of Gov. Wolf's orders mirrors debates happening in other states over coronavirus-related restrictions. This ruling by a federal judge is the first of its kind in finding that a state's orders violate the U.S. Constitution.

 

Do you think that stay-at-home orders and business shutdown mandates are unconstitutional?

Trump's Payroll Tax Deferral Plan Sparks Controversy

President Trump has long supported a payroll tax cut, but Congress has been reluctant to follow his lead. In response, the president has put forward a plan allowing businesses to defer the collection of payroll taxes through the end of the year. This move has met resistance from both employers and employees, who contend that doing this may actually hurt workers.

 

The desire for a payroll tax cut has been a consistent theme with President Trump. When the initial economic effects of the coronavirus began to become apparent in March, he suggested the same thing. Congress has not included it in any coronavirus relief bill, and is not discussing such a tax cut currently. 

 

In response, Trump directed the Treasury Department to give businesses the option of deferring collection of payroll taxes through the end of the year. This is not a tax cut, however, since the deferred taxes would have to be collected at the beginning of 2021. In essence, this would give employees a boost in pay through December, but double the payroll taxes collected on their paycheck in the first few months of 2021.

 

Many business owners have refused to participate in this plan. They point out that while employees may get a temporary take-home boost in their pay, they will see a big reduction in take-home pay next year. The plan is optional for private sector employees, but mandatory for federal employees. The union representing many federal workers has asked that this tax deferral be optional for them.

 

Payroll taxes are levied on income to pay for Medicare and Social Security. Cutting these taxes would affect every worker, especially those with lower incomes. An income tax cut mainly benefits higher-income workers, since lower incomes are not subject to the tax. Payroll taxes, on the other hand, are levied on the first dollar of income, and are capped for higher-income workers.

 

Since 2009, there have been other payroll tax cuts that have been aimed at stimulating the economy. Some economists argue that since they affect lower-income workers, they provide money to go back into the economy more quickly. Others argue that there are more effective ways to stimulate the economy, such as direct payments to individuals. Some critics are also concerned about the long-term effect of cutting payroll taxes on Medicare and Social Security.

 

Do you support President Trump's plan to defer collection of payroll taxes and then collect those deferred taxes next year?

Rent Control at Stake in California Election

Among the 12 ballot propositions confronting California voters this election, one would advance a major goal of progressive activists -- allowing rent control in the state.

 

Since 1995, California law has prohibited local governments from placing caps on rent increases. In 2019, though, legislators and the governor approved legislation that imposed statewide rent control, allowing landlords to raise rents by 5% plus inflation every year. In 2019, activists collected enough signatures to place a proposition on the ballot that would allow local governments to enact rent control policies, too. 

 

As a result, voters will now decide the fate of Proposition 21.

 

Supporters of this proposition say that it is a way to prevent landlords from pricing out low-income residents in the face of gentrification. They say rent control is a good way to stabilize neighborhoods and promote affordable housing. Rent control opponents say that the use of rent control in cities like New York has demonstrated that it leads to reduced investment in housing and higher rental rates for those not covered by rent control.

 

In 2018, California voters rejected a similar proposition, voting down Proposition 10 by a margin of 59%-41%.

 

Do you think that the government should tell landlords how much they can raise rent?

 

Court Decision May Lead Uber to Shut Down in California

This week, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the ride-sharing service may temporarily shut down in the wake of a court decision requiring the company to classify their drivers as employees.

 

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that, under California law, Uber must stop treating its drivers as independent contractors. Instead, the judge said, the law requires that the company hire the drivers as employees and provide them with the various benefits and legal protections provided to employees.

 

This ruling comes in the wake of the enactment of AB 5 in California. That law put severe restrictions on how companies could use independent contractors. Supporters said it was necessary to crack down on unscrupulous companies that were trying to avoid paying workers benefits and higher wages. Opponents countered that it was the government meddling in arrangements that worked well for both employees and contractors.


With the law’s implementation, businesses have begun restructuring or ending their relationships with California independent contractors. If Uber does suspend its business in the state, that would affect a significant number of Californians who currently drive for the company.

 

Uber and other companies are backing a ballot initiative that would overturn AB 5. Uber said that unless the courts prevent the current ruling from going into effect, the company will cease operating in the state until the fate of the ballot initiative is known.

 

Do you think that the government should require Uber to treat its drivers as employees instead of as independent contractors?

Some Fear Unemployment Benefits Keep People from Returning to Work

With millions of Americans losing work as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, some elected officials and experts are worried that expanded unemployment benefits are making the jobless problem worse.

 

As part of the coronavirus aid package, the federal government has increased unemployment benefits by $600 a month. This has led to a situation where some workers make more money with these benefits than they do at their jobs. As Congress considers whether to extend this higher payment, some are worried that doing so will hamper an economic recovery. After all, these critics of the program say, why would someone return to work if he or she can make more money being unemployed?

 

It is unclear how many people are deciding not to return to work as a result of the higher unemployment benefits. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this week reminded people that they could lose their benefits if they refuse to go back to work if their company can re-hire them.

 

The increased unemployment benefits end this summer. Some Democrats in Congress want to extend this program through next year. Republicans argue that the government should not make it more attractive to remain without work than it is to go to work. They say that this will slow down an economic recovery and hurt business owners who need workers to return. Democrats counter that this program is desperately needed by people who are jobless through no fault of their own.


Democrats are pushing for quick passage of a new coronavirus aid bill that could include these extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. Republicans want a slower process.

 

Do you think that paying an extra $600 in unemployment benefits per week gives people an incentive not to return to work?

Some Want Rent Cancelled During Coronavirus Outbreak

With many working losing their jobs or seeing their hours cut, some activists and politicians are calling on states and the federal government to suspend or even cancel rent or mortgage payments. Critics, however, say this policy is short-sighted and will cause big problems in the long-run.

 

Politicians across the political spectrum are proposing that government step in and suspend or cancel rent payments. Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida wants federal action to postpone rent payments for 60 days if a renter has an income under $75,000. The Seattle City Council passed a resolution unanimously asking Washington Governor Jay Inslee and President Trump to cancel payments for rent and mortgage. The city council in Alexandria, Virginia, may also consider a similar resolution.

 

Under these plans, either the state or federal government would suspend or cancel the payment of rent or mortgages for as long as the coronavirus emergency lasts. There has been no action on these proposals yet, but state and local governments have imposed moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.

 

Supporters argue that with so many people losing jobs, it would be unfair to expect them to pay rent during this time. They say that failing to stop rent payments could lead to a wave of homelessness. They note that many people who are paying rent have lower incomes, so they are especially hard hit by the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

 

There are many people who are pushing back against this idea, however. They point out that there is little legal authority to cancel the payment of either rent or mortgages, even in an emergency. They also note that canceling these payments would cause harm to either the owner or the rental property or the holder of the mortgage, which could have severe ripple effects throughout the economy.

 

Do you support canceling the payment of rent and mortgages during the coronavirus crisis?

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