Saturday, April 25, 2020

President Trump is Right: America Must Get Back to Work

26 million filed for unemployment in the past 5 weeks. One million unemployed in Michigan alone. More jobs have been lost in the past five weeks than gained in the past decade. Small business is the engine growth of America: 49.2% of private employment in the United states. Small businesses are shutting down daily. Drip by drip, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, restaurants close for good. Most can’t make it on “To Go.” Look at the ubiquitous strip malls. How many store fronts are closed? Most are small business, many never to reopen. Big box stores are hemorrhaging. Neiman Marcus are Penney’s are bankruptcy bound. More to follow. Cut jobs may never return. Day by day the economic carnage deepens. The longer America is closed, the greater the economic damage, the deeper the abyss, and the slower the recovery. Only the American consumer can recharge the economy. Americans must shop at the malls, large and small stores, fly airplanes, stays in hotels, go to the gym, eat out. Not if they aren’t working! The stay-at-home lockdown has locked down cash. Money is not circulating. If I pay $10 at a corner grocer, the merchant pays $7-8 to a wholesaler, who pays $5 to a producer, who pays the employees. Money equally circulates through the chain of transportation. Today, instead of circulating, that $10 may be sitting today in a bank earning .01%. Reports are that bank deposits rose $1 trillion in March. That’s a lot of money, sitting – not circulating. Factories must start producing. Retailers must start selling. Services must provide their services. Government employees have a job to do. If we don’t drive, demand for gas and sundries at the local gas station plunges. The price may be down, but demand is in the tank (not gas tank). If no one’s buying, the price is irrelevant. These lockdowns are a straight jacket on the economy. Sadly, no matter when we open up, Covid-19 deaths will follow, as with the regular flu. President Trump will be blamed for the deaths and called a murderer. From a medical/scientific perspective, the longer the shutdown, the later herd immunity will kick in. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has led the Administration’s negotiations with Congress. He said “We need to spend what it takes.” Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank cannot print enough money fast enough to jumpstart the economy. They can though jump start inflation. The only absolute safe day to reopen is when no further cases are possible. That’s impossible. Only a few dreaded diseases, Polio (almost 100%) and Smallpox, have effectively been eliminated through vaccines. Sweden, Georgia and the states that did not totally shut down will provide guidance on the right time to open. State by state, county by county, city by city, industry by industry, factory by factory, service by service, salon by salon, restaurant by restaurant, retailer by retailer, boutique by boutique, America will reopen. The politicians will have no choice. America does not have the luxury of time. Time is of the essence in restarting the economy, stopping the bleed. The economy will be dead if we have to wait for a vaccine or herd immunity. The American people are not used to stay-at-home orders for extended periods. Cabin fever is not an American lifestyle. Kids have to play – outside. Economically desperate small business will start reopening regardless of gubernatorial commands. Today’s polls show an overwhelming support for stay-at-home. Today’s polls will turn on a time when the orders become increasingly become arbitrary, capricious, and inexplicable. Michigan Governor Whitmer is showing the way. Only hundreds are protesting now. The protests are just begining. Big trees out of little acorns grow. The American economy shut down all at once, as if an off button was pushed, which it was. The reopening will not be a grand opening. It will be an increasingly progressive opening with risk analysis for the vulnerable, but it will reopen. Sooner – not later. Beach by Beach, Bodega by Bodega, Bowling Alley by Bowling Alley, Cafe by Cafe, Cr Wash by Car Wash, Carcineria by Carcineria, Fitness Center by Fitness Center, Golf Course by Golf Course, Pizzaria by Pizzaria, Pub by Pub, Tailor by Tailor, Tavern by Tavern, Theatre by Theatre. First, small business, a trickle turning into a flood. Big business will follow. People must eat. Humans evolved as social people - not hermits. Stay-at-home is unnatural. The American people will reopen – politicians, media, Public health professionals notwithstanding. President Trump made a brilliant political move by giving the power to reopen to the governors. The onus is on them, not the President, for the economic carnage that will continue with these lockdowns.

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