Alas, The Recovery That Was…

Financial FAQs

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Reuters.com

Because the deadline has passed to renew unemployment benefits enacted by the CARES Act, it looks like there will be no quick economic recovery in the fall. I am supposing the recovery could ultimately be shaped like a ‘W’—sporadic spurts of growth and declines in growth with new COVID-19 surges, given there is no coordinated national response to the pandemic.

And what about school openings when 60 percent of the major elementary school districts will have at-home schoolings this school year, according to a CNN survey, and no national guidance on what constitutes safe re-openings?

This has to be why Republicans are pushing for the full re-opening of schools, regardless of the dangers to children. It keeps at least one parent at home who isn’t working when they want to speed up the reopening of businesses.

The huge jump in consumer spending in May and June highlights what could have been if benefits had been renewed with the additional $600 per week boost to unemployment compensation, and which Republicans don’t want to renew.

The above Reuters graph highlights the record 7.1 percent boost given by the additional benefits since the CARES Act was implemented.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 5.6 percent last month after a record 8.5 percent jump in May as more businesses reopened, the Commerce Department said. But most of the spending was due to the $600 boost to low-income service workers that tend to spend more of their incomes.

Consumers boosted purchases durable goods such as auto and appliances that last more than three years, as well as clothing and footwear. They also spent more on healthcare, dining out and on hotel and motel accommodation, though outlays on services remained lackluster because of caution sparked by the virus.

Q2 economic growth had plunged 32.9 percent because consumer spending fell minus -35 percent during this period. So growth will only recover when consumers feel safe enough venture out of their rabbit holes, I said last week. They will instead choose to save more—currently a huge 25 percent of their personal incomes vs. more normal 3-6 percent—and spend less.

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FREDunemploymentrate

That is why Friday’s upcoming unemployment report is so important. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Monday said he now expected an unemployment rate in a range of 9 -10 percent at the end of the year. Ten percent was the highest unemployment rate during the Great Recession when some 8 million jobs were lost.

The June unemployment rate was 11.1 percent and estimates are for July to show a 10.5 percent rate, according to an average estimate of economists. It took more than eight years, from October 2009 at the end of the Great Recession until March 2018, for the unemployment rate to drop from 10 to 4 percent, which is considered full employment.

How long might this depression last with today’s political polarization?

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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When Will Growth Return?

Financial FAQs

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FRED-MarketWatch

The headline decline in Q2 GDP growth only touches the surface of what economic growth to expect this fall and winter. The drop of minus -32.9 percent was inevitable with the pandemic lockdowns, but not the severity of any recovery.

Q2 plunged this much because consumer spending plunged -35 percent during this period. And since consumers power some 70 percent of economic activity—i.e., GDP growth—it will only recover when consumers feel safe enough venture out of their rabbit holes.

And when can that happen with new record COVID-19 death rates in California, Idaho, Florida, N. Carolina, Texas and Arizona? The infection and death rate curves are still rising, rather than even plateauing.

As NY Times columnist and pandemic authority Don McNeil, Jr. put it today, “One or several vaccines may be available by year’s end…But by then the virus may have in its grip virtually every village and city on the globe.”

And so consumers will not be happy, but begin to hunker down again, even without new stay-in-home mandates. It’s just too dangerous out there when there’s not even a national mandate to wear masks, much less keeping safe distances, or getting quick testing results, as I said yesterday.

That is why consumer confidence fell to 92.6 this month from a revised 98.3 in June, the Conference Board said Tuesday, which is a major indicator of future consumer behavior.

Initial jobless claims also rose last week to 1.43 million, when it should be declining. Continuing claims of those receiving benefits for more than one week now total 17 million. It is not a good sign for any fall or winter revival.

The saddest fact of this pandemic is that science doesn’t lie, but politicians do about the efficacy of mask-wearing and social-isolation, in particular. Why would they? Even asking the question flies in the face of common sense. Infected populations with such a highly transmittable disease facing possible death or even lifelong debilitation from COVID-19, will not be in any hurry to resume normal activities.

It’s as simple as that.

Harlan Green © 2020

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Consumer Confidence in Decline

Popular Economics Weekly

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FRED

There are a number of reasons that consumers are becoming more fearful after that initial boost of spending with the spring holidays. It’s not only the prospect of a COVID-19 resurgence in the fall when we are still in the first surge, but the added oncoming flu season.

And so consumers will not be happy, but begin to hunker down again, even without new stay-in-home mandates. It’s just too dangerous out there when there’s not even a national mandate to wear masks, much less keeping safe distances, or getting quick testing results, and they will spend less, thus slowing the economic recovery.

So the index of consumer confidence fell to 92.6 this month from a revised 98.3 in June, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

“Consumer Confidence declined in July following a large gain in June,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index improved, but the Expectations Index retreated. Large declines were experienced in Michigan, Florida, Texas and California, no doubt a result of the resurgence of COVID-19.”

Consumer spending soared in June with Retail Sales up 6.4 percent in June, whereas it shrank a negative -12.4 percent in April during the shutdown.

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https://twitter.com/TBPInvictus

What do we expect with the “Whac-A-Mole” recovery I’ve been talking about? No sooner than it being ‘whacked’ down in some states, the virus pops up in others. Trump’s conflicting comments say it all in this Invictus graph—as he rides the infection curve higher.

The first second quarter GDP growth estimate comes out July 30, and look for as much as a minus -30 percent drop, after Q1’s -5 percent decline. So activity in the July-September quarter will tell us if we recover quickly, or not.

Dr. Fauci just sent out new warnings today that infection rates are rising in more states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana—and they need to “get ahead of the curves”, or they will experience the soaring infections rates in many southern states, as well as California and Arizona.

Fed Chairman Powell ended the FOMC meeting with the not surprising announcement that the rising infection rates are slowing growth.

“On balance, it looks like the data are pointing to a slowing in the pace of the recovery,” he said. He gave as evidence that hotel vacancy rates have flattened out, and Americans are not going to restaurants, gas stations as much as they had earlier in the summer.

All in all, we should know something in the July unemployment report, after the May and June reports showed 7.5 million had returned to work. But that leaves at least 13 million still out of work due to the shutdowns, and the service industries will be the slowest to recover—hotels, travel, restaurants, and the like—that employ all the low-wage earners hurt most by this pandemic.

Harlan Green © 2020

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Our ‘Whac-A-Mole’ Recovery

Financial FAQs

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FREDinitialclaims

Initial jobless claim for the week ending were slightly up at 1,416,000 for the week ending July 18, which means that the reversals of business openings as COVID-19 infection rates soar again have flattened the wrong curve—applications for unemployment insurance are no longer declining.

They are remaining at a level that creates a very prolonged U-shape at the bottom of any curve for GDP growth. It almost looks like an L-shape, in fact, which means stagnant growth if we want to use letters to describe the recovery rate.

It’s becoming more and more like the ‘Whac-A-Mole” game, because when we knock down the infection rate in one state, it pops up in another.

The first Q2 estimate of GDP growth comes out July 30, and GDP could fall as much as minus -20 percent, according to most estimates. But just when we would expect growth to resume in the July-September quarter, COVID-19 infections have surged at an alarming rate.

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www.nippon.com

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told MSNBC that testing demand will only continue to rise heading into the flu season, which means infection rates will plateau rather than fall, as well.

“If you look what’s happening in Southern California right now, Texas, Arizona, Florida — there are indications perhaps that the epidemics in those states are starting to peak. It’s likely to be a long plateau (also, L-shaped?). It’s not going to be like the New York experience, where there was a sharp up but a sharp down — granted, excess mortality, excess death and disease along the way.”

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the relationship between COVID-19 and economic growth, hence jobs, is to look at both letter-shaped curves—as long as they are ‘flattened’; the stagnation in economic growth is mirroring the stagnation in infection rates, the slower the economic recovery.

“But they (New York) came down pretty quickly from their epidemic,” continued Gottlieb. “These are likely to be more extended, but, even when these states start to peak — if you look at the data, it looks like Georgia is getting hot, Ohio is getting hot, Missouri has an epidemic under way, Tennessee, Montana — so even as certain states start to peak and maybe have a reduction, other states are heating up.”

Maybe we should call this the ‘Whac-A-Mole’ recovery after the Japanese game of the same name. So the faster we can ‘whack’ down the virus outbreaks in individual states and regions with a coordinated plan of testing, contact-tracing and isolation of infections, the faster will be the economic recovery.

Harlan Green © 2020

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What ‘V’– Shaped Recovery?

Popular Economics Weekly

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FREDInitialClaims

It’s becoming obvious to me there will be no ‘V’ shaped economic recovery with positive GDP growth resuming in the fall and winter quarters, after the plunges we are seeing in Q1 and projected Q2 growth. The actual Q2 GDP number is not out until the end of July, but economists are saying negative Q2 growth could be somewhere around minus -20 percent.

Why? There are already reversals of business openings as COVID-19 infections soar again in some 35 states. In fact, we won’t really know what GDP growth might be in the fall because the experts don’t know when infection and even death rates will begin to decline again.

That must be why today’s initial jobless claims release shows another 1.3 million jobless claims, same as last week, so new claims for unemployment continue to pour into overwhelmed state employment offices, which means many of the still 15 million unemployed haven’t even begun to receive unemployment insurance more than one month after the $3 trillion CARES Act was passed.

An even better barometer of the jobs market is the continuing claims number, which is 17 million receiving unemployment compensation from the states alone, and with the total of all people receiving benefits through all state and federal programs has hovered near 30 million from the first week of May to late June. These are known as continuing jobless claims. They rose again in the week ended June 20 to 32.9 million.

It is not good news that so many are out of work. The monthly employment report painted a slightly different picture. It showed that the economy regained 7.5 million jobs in May and June, partially recovering some of the more-than 22 million jobs lost during the first two months of the pandemic. A variety of other economic indicators also suggest that more people have gone back to work.

So who really knows what job and economic growth will look like in the fall and winter?

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that does projections for congress is also more optimistic in its latest projections. CBO projects that if current laws governing federal taxes and spending generally remain in place, the economy will grow rapidly during the third quarter of this year. So the CBO is saying there could be a ‘V’-shaped recovery!

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CBO.gov

  • · Real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at a 12.4 percent annual rate in the second half of 2020 and to recover to its prepandemic level by the middle of 2022.
  • · The unemployment rate is projected to peak at over 14 percent in the third quarter of this year and then to fall quickly as output increases in the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021.

“Following that initial rapid recovery,” said the CBO, “the economy continues to expand in CBO’s projections, but it does so at a more moderate rate that is similar to the pace of expansion over the past decade.”

They actually mean growth will return to the long-term 2 percent growth rate that has prevailed since the end of the Great Recession, and that won’t happen until at least 2022.

But what about the duration of the pandemic when the US can’t get its united states’ effort together, which the rest of the developed world seems to be doing?

These are not great numbers, unless more ways are found to either boost labor productivity, or US population growth. Our population growth is low because of the declining birth rate and immigration restrictions. Yet neither of them will pick up until this pandemic is really over, and Americans can again come out of their shelters.

Harlan Green © 2020

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Who Says There’s No Leadership?

Answering the Kennedys’ Call

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www.nippon.com

Critics of the Trump administration and its Republican Party enablers have it exactly backward when they say the federal government isn’t leading the effort to control the novel coronavirus pandemic. They have in fact been actively opposing any measures that would control the pandemic and protect the health and welfare of most Americans.

President Trump and his enablers are suing in the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare that has insured 30 million Americans, for starters.  Another 5 million have no coverage because of their lost jobs.

They are also actively opposing a national response by attacking and undermining the administration’s own scientific experts in order to sow confusion and doubt among the public. And just as alarming, they are now demanding the opening of public schools without mandating national guidelines to protect its students.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed as much at yesterday’s press briefing, when he said, “The federal government is committing gross negligence.”

That is why we now have the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the world. And those most affected are immigrants and minority populations in the ‘essential’ occupations who are most exposed to infection, rather than Republicans’ white nationalist supporters.

“It’s politically inconvenient in an election year, so he denies it,” said Cuomo. “Except you are jeopardizing public health and losing lives by your denial and political agenda.”

And now thirty-eight U.S. states have seen a rise in cases in the last 14 days, I quoted MarketWatch’s Jeffrey Bartash saying yesterday: “Harvard Global Health Institute researchers have developed a national tracker to trace the severity of the outbreak on a state-by-state basis, and it’s flashing red for red states like Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia.”

Arne Duncan, Obama’s former Education Secretary, probably said it best regarding the opening of schools:

“What we obviously need to do to make our schools safe is to make our communities safer,” he says. “It’s actually [Trump’s] tremendous lack of leadership, just horrific leadership over the past several months, that’s the only reason why whether or not we can go back to school safely in the fall is in question now.”

I maintain it’s worse than that. Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said in a recent Salon interview about Trump’s need to speak in front of his followers without regard to their safety:

“Trump is able to appear more in touch with reality when he is being worshiped. Indeed, when his primitive needs are not being challenged, he can look like a normal person — it’s what has made him a successful con man.  When he is challenged, however, his cruelty, sadism, paranoia, lack of conscience, incitement to violence and active pursuit of policies that kill people become obvious. These traits are properly described as “evil.” In professional terms, they mean he is a psychopath.”

There should be no question where the national leadership of America is leading the majority of Americans. It is leading to the destruction of our health and well-being. Enough is enough.

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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Who Says There’s No Leadership?

Answering the Kennedys’ Call

image

www.nippon.com

Critics of the Trump administration and its Republican Party enablers have it exactly backward when they say the federal government isn’t leading the effort to control the novel coronavirus pandemic. They have in fact been actively opposing any measures that would control the pandemic and protect the health and welfare of most Americans.

President Trump and his enablers are suing in the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare that has insured 30 million Americans, for starters.  Another 5 million have no coverage because of their lost jobs.

They are also actively opposing a national response by attacking and undermining the administration’s own scientific experts in order to sow confusion and doubt among the public. And just as alarming, they are now demanding the opening of public schools without mandating national guidelines to protect its students.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed as much at yesterday’s press briefing, when he said, “The federal government is committing gross negligence.”

That is why we now have the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the world. And those most affected are immigrants and minority populations in the ‘essential’ occupations who are most exposed to infection, rather than Republicans’ white nationalist supporters.

“It’s politically inconvenient in an election year, so he denies it,” said Cuomo. “Except you are jeopardizing public health and losing lives by your denial and political agenda.”

And now thirty-eight U.S. states have seen a rise in cases in the last 14 days, I quoted MarketWatch’s Jeffrey Bartash saying yesterday: “Harvard Global Health Institute researchers have developed a national tracker to trace the severity of the outbreak on a state-by-state basis, and it’s flashing red for red states like Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia.”

Arne Duncan, Obama’s former Labor Secretary, probably said it best regarding the opening of schools:

“What we obviously need to do to make our schools safe is to make our communities safer,” he says. “It’s actually [Trump’s] tremendous lack of leadership, just horrific leadership over the past several months, that’s the only reason why whether or not we can go back to school safely in the fall is in question now.”

I maintain it’s worse than that. Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said in a recent Salon interview about Trump’s need to speak in front of his followers without regard to their safety:

“Trump is able to appear more in touch with reality when he is being worshiped. Indeed, when his primitive needs are not being challenged, he can look like a normal person — it’s what has made him a successful con man.  When he is challenged, however, his cruelty, sadism, paranoia, lack of conscience, incitement to violence and active pursuit of policies that kill people become obvious. These traits are properly described as “evil.” In professional terms, they mean he is a psychopath.”

There should be no question where the national leadership of America is leading the majority of Americans. It is leading to the destruction of our health and well-being. Enough is enough.

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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“When Will We Ever Learn?”

Answering the Kennedys’ Call

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@TBPInvictus

Pete Seeger first wrote his ode to ending wars, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? in 1955 but it could just as well apply to today’s war against the novel coronavirus pandemic that is killing more Americans than all the wars since World War II. It ends with the stanza:

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Yet one political party has chosen to surrender to the pandemic, rather than follow the scientific guidelines of the CDC, WIH, and FDA in many of the red states it controls.

Thirty-eight U.S. states have seen a rise in cases in the last 14 days, says MarketWatch’s Jeffrey Bartash. Harvard Global Health Institute researchers have developed a national tracker to trace the severity of the outbreak on a state-by-state basis, and it’s flashing red for red states like Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia with 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Republicans aere also ignoring the rising death toll by holding political rallies without mandating the mask and social-distancing requirements in the face of today’s 63,500 plus coronavirus infections per day in the US and still rising.

President Trump was going to hold a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that is now postponed, in spite of the objections of its Police Commissioner, Stefany Shaheen, who has called such a rally without requiring mask-wearing and social-distancing the waging of “biological warfare” against vulnerable New Hampshire residents—and even the diehard out of state Trump supporter’s already arriving in New Hampshire that has one of the lowest infection rates in the US.

This is after Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that Tulsa’s Medical Director said caused an outbreak of COVID-19 infections. “The president lives in a biological bunker,” said Shaheen. “He gets tested all of the time and yet the people attending this rally are not. They’re not getting daily testing. They don’t know if the person next to them without a mask has COVID-19. It is unacceptable and it’s dangerous.”

There is no rational or moral reason to hold any large gatherings at this time when all the health agencies say many states and counties should in fact close down again, since the pandemic is now racing out of control.

Even Dr. Fauci is now warning about the consequences of such ignorance. “When you don’t have unanimity in an approach to something, you’re not as effective in how you handle it,” he said in an interview Thursday with FiveThirtyEight’s PODCAST-19, as quoted by Bartash. “So I think you’d have to make the assumption that, if there wasn’t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach.”

The U.S. death toll stands at 133,291. Brazil is second to the U.S. with 1.76 million cases and 69,184 deaths. India is third measured by cases at 793,802, followed by Russia with 712,863 and Peru with 316,448.

Why are Republicans making such a cold and really very stupid political calculation while President Trump’s ratings continue to fall? Why won’t they learn the lessons this pandemic is showing them?

Perhaps it’s because the credo of self-reliance is no more than a myth propagated by those who refuse to share their wealth.

Mother Nature’s latest pandemic will win in any encounter with the followers of an ideology choosing to ignore safety measures in the name of self-reliance, as I said yesterday, rather than a “unanimity of approach.”

What mother doesn’t rely on the shared generosity of others to raise their children?

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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“When Will We Ever Learn?”

Answering the Kennedys’ Call

image

@TBPInvictus

Bob Dylan wrote his ode to ending wars, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? in the 1960s but it could just as well apply to today’s war against the novel coronavirus pandemic that is killing more Americans than all the wars since World War II. It ends with the stanza:

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Yet one political party has chosen to surrender to the pandemic, rather than follow the scientific guidelines of the CDC, WIH, and FDA in many of the red states it controls.

Thirty-eight U.S. states have seen a rise in cases in the last 14 days, says MarketWatch’s Jeffrey Bartash. Harvard Global Health Institute researchers have developed a national tracker to trace the severity of the outbreak on a state-by-state basis, and it’s flashing red for red states like Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia with 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Republicans aere also ignoring the rising death toll by holding political rallies without mandating the mask and social-distancing requirements in the face of today’s 63,500 plus coronavirus infections per day in the US and still rising.

President Trump was going to hold a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that is now postponed, in spite of the objections of its Police Commissioner, Stefany Shaheen, who has called such a rally without requiring mask-wearing and social-distancing the waging of “biological warfare” against vulnerable New Hampshire residents—and even the diehard out of state Trump supporter’s already arriving in New Hampshire that has one of the lowest infection rates in the US.

This is after Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that Tulsa’s Medical Director said caused an outbreak of COVID-19 infections. “The president lives in a biological bunker,” said Shaheen. “He gets tested all of the time and yet the people attending this rally are not. They’re not getting daily testing. They don’t know if the person next to them without a mask has COVID-19. It is unacceptable and it’s dangerous.”

There is no rational or moral reason to hold any large gatherings at this time when all the health agencies say many states and counties should in fact close down again, since the pandemic is now racing out of control.

Even Dr. Fauci is now warning about the consequences of such ignorance. “When you don’t have unanimity in an approach to something, you’re not as effective in how you handle it,” he said in an interview Thursday with FiveThirtyEight’s PODCAST-19, as quoted by Bartash. “So I think you’d have to make the assumption that, if there wasn’t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach.”

The U.S. death toll stands at 133,291. Brazil is second to the U.S. with 1.76 million cases and 69,184 deaths. India is third measured by cases at 793,802, followed by Russia with 712,863 and Peru with 316,448.

Why are Republicans making such a cold and really very stupid political calculation while President Trump’s ratings continue to fall? Why won’t they learn the lessons this pandemic is showing them?

Perhaps it’s because the credo of self-reliance is no more than a myth propagated by those who refuse to share their wealth.

Mother Nature’s latest pandemic will win in any encounter with the followers of an ideology choosing to ignore safety measures in the name of self-reliance, as I said yesterday, rather than a “unanimity of approach.”

What mother doesn’t rely on the shared generosity of others to raise their children?

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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COVID-19—WHO Wins?

Popular Economics Weekly

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https://twitter.com/jfkirkegaard

Conquering the pandemic really means depending on the cooperation across borders of races and ethnicities that separate regions and countries. COVID-19 is winning the battle in those countries and states with the worst outbreaks that believe in isolation rather than cooperation; such as the red US states of Texas, Arizona, and Florida, or authoritarians that isolate their countries to maintain their power, such as Brazil and Russia.

Mother Nature’s latest Haymaker—COVID-19—will win in any encounter with the followers of an ideology choosing to ignore the safety measures in the name of self-reliance that protect them from COVID-19’s ravage (the US, for example, vs. European countries like Denmark and Norway that locked down their economies early and are recovering more quickly).

The best evidence that shows who wins the battle with this pandemic is to compare countries that believe in educating their populace in the scientific and economic advantages of cooperation during a pandemic—e.g., European countries with advanced social safety nets—with the Trump administration’s refusal to even acknowledge that this novel coronavirus is worse than the ordinary flu (see above graph).

“European countries have used a combination of lockdowns, public health guidance, tests and contact tracing to beat back the virus,” said NY Times’ David Leonhardt in a recent View column. “Large parts of Europe have begun reopening, including schools, so far without sparking major new outbreaks.”

It’s productive to look at the Nordic countries because Sweden is also an outlier in having chosen not to lock down its economy. Early results after three months of the pandemic show that Sweden didn’t benefit at all in economic growth by ignoring the safety measures, and suffered the consequences with its higher death rate, according to JF Kierkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Why? Sweden’s industries depended on supply chains for parts and equipment from other countries that were in lockdown to protect their own citizens. Whereas Norway’s GDP, for example, is predicted to shrink -3.9 percent this year, Sweden’s GDP could have a -4.5 percent drop, according to their central banks.

The novel coronavirus can only be defeated by the sharing of wealth and knowledge. COVID-19 exposes those that refuse to do so, because it means sharing their wealth.

Sharing also means caring, as economic activities will return where shoppers feel safe in our modern consumer-dependent economies. That does not bode well for American consumers in particular who worry about the uncertain healthcare coverage provided by their employers if they have job to return to.

It doesn’t bode well for business confidence as well if the safety guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) aren’t followed by all countries.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said it best at the beginning of her political career: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. ..You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

And there is no country that got rich on its own, a truth that is lost on those who won’t understand what Mother Nature is telling us.

Harlan Green © 2020

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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