Editor's note

Many parts of the U.S. economy are grinding to a halt. Restaurants are shuttered – or serving takeout only. Small businesses like hair salons, retail stores and coffee shops are closed. Gig workers like Uber drivers aren’t earning.

Nobody knows how long the crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 will last – but millions of American workers who are suddenly out of work are wondering how to pay the rent on April 1. Many don’t qualify for unemployment insurance.

So what can the federal government do to help? Steven Pressman, a professor of economics at Colorado State University considers the merits of one plan under consideration – simply cutting checks and putting them in the mail.

Also today:

Bryan Keogh

Senior Editor, Economy + Business

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People need cash in hand. Patrick Foto/Getty Images

Trump’s right: Congress should give Americans $1,000 right now to fight the coronavirus recession

Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

An economist specializing in inequality explains how a basic income guarantee is just what low-wage workers and the economy need.

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