European Countries Nationalized Wages, the U.S. Didn’t

Elijah Robinson, Secretary

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the economy—closing businesses, and leaving 40 million Americans unemployed. The U.S. response included one stimulus check, expanded unemployment benefits, and a giant stimulus package for corporations that were affected.


Countries such as Denmark, Ireland, Britain, and France have nationalized payrolls and subsidized paychecks to prevent mass unemployment.

In Britain, 80 percent of wages were subsidized by the government.

In Ireland, they implemented a government program that provided for 70-85 percent of wages.

In Spain they implemented an “Act of God” subsidy program that paid 70 percent lost wages due to the shutdown.

As a result, the citizens of these respective countries were able to be concerned about their health instead of worrying about unemployment.


In the United States, the government gave a huge stimulus package to corporations, amounting to $500 billion for corporations, $350 billion for small businesses, $250 billion for stimulus checks, $150 billion to state and local stimulus packages, and $100 billion for hospitals. This included a one-time stimulus check of $1,200 per person, $2,400 for couples, and expanded unemployment benefits.

Since this was a one-time payment directly to citizens, unemployment benefits have run out, and certain states used up their funding. Some people still have not received unemployment benefits or a stimulus check.

Without another stimulus package, millions risk being food insecure, losing utilities, and getting evicted.

In Europe, this aid will expire. The goal, however, was to keep citizens from quickly falling into a spiral of poverty and risk their health and the health of others to make ends meet. This all allowed businesses to prepare for reopening because of the government subsidies.

United States? Come on now. Catch Up!