Let’s say you’re a freelancer currently unable to earn anything due to a coronavirus shutdown. Or an employee who’s been temporarily suspended because your employer has been forced to temporarily close or cut back. It would certainly be a welcome thing to receive a $1200 check from the government as every little bit helps. But presuming that the stimulus check would be a one-off, how much help would $1200 actually represent?

You could use it to help put a minor dent in your rent or mortgage payment for a month. Or you could buy $20 worth of food each day for 60 days. Or you could pay off your utility bills for a while. But the pandemic is going to be with us until mid to late summer and possibly (God forbid) into the fall or even beyond. So at best a $1200 windfall would make a slight difference for a very short period.

$1200 is fine, but it’s basically pizza money, a few Uber rides, a cable or cell phone bill, cat food, two or three tanks of gasoline, etc. And then back to the salt mines.