Congratulations, America, you hit a record: 3.3 million people filed for unemployment in a single week.
That might sound like sarcasm. It’s not. We needed those 3.3 million folks to stay home. In fact, we need tens of millions more to do the same thing. For the first time in history, our No. 1 policy goal is to prevent people from working. So in some sense, record unemployment numbers are a terrific victory.
But they are also a monumental policy failure, because while we need people to stop working, we don’t actually need, or want, them to become unemployed. If members of Congress had grasped that they were facing an entirely novel sort of crisis, we’d have gotten a better relief bill, and much sooner than we actually did. One that could have kept many of those people in work.