The Balancing Act

Posted on Friday 20 March 2020

Restaurants and malls and bars and dentists and hair dressers are either closing, or have radically cut down their output. Unemployment benefit claims are so numerous they’ve crashed the servers. An entire state has gone into lockdown. All in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic that’s currently sweeping around the globe… and through everyone’s backyard and into their homes.

Is it working? Is the curve flattening? We won’t know for awhile. But the economic damage is already profound.

The new coronavirus pandemic has triggered a wave of U.S. workers filing for state jobless benefits, with states across the nation receiving a sharp rise in applications as businesses shut down and out-of-work Americans hunt for a payment lifeline.

We can’t sustain this. Likewise we cannot simply start letting people die. But what are the alternatives? How long can our town / state / country / world keep the economic engines shut down? From the WSJ:

By the time Treasury’s small-business lending program runs through the bureaucratic hoops—complete with ordering owners that they can’t lay off anyone as a price for getting the loan—millions of businesses will be bankrupt and tens of millions will be jobless.

The answer is not long. Not long at all.

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