Coronavirus

The Pandemic's Economic Carnage Looks Worse Than Expected

Get ready for more pain caused by COVID-19 as well as by the policies intended to hold it in check.

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If you thought the economic toll wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic was only going to be horrendous, you may have been overly optimistic. A combination of voluntary behavior changes and government-imposed lockdowns that choked-off social and economic activity are now projected to have even worse consequences than economists initially feared. Life may start returning to normal sometime next year, but there will be lasting pain even if we avoid another wave of the virus.

"Global output is projected to decline by 4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below our April forecast, followed by a partial recovery, with growth at 5.4 percent in 2021," Gita Gopinath, Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), wrote this week.

As depressing as the IMF's numbers are, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is actually more pessimistic. The OECD predicts that, if we're hit by only one wave of COVID-19, global economic activity will fall by 6 percent this year, with five years of income growth lost. A second wave of infections would drive world economic output down by 7.6 percent in 2020.

Despite the high number of infections in the United States, our economy may get off relatively lightly compared to some other countries. The IMF sees American economic activity dropping by 8 percent this year, compared to 10.2 percent for the Euro Area and the UK. Brazil's economic activity is projected to drop 9.1 percent, Canada's by 8.4 percent, Russia's by 6.6 percent, and India's by 4.5 percent. Japan is expected to take a 5.8 percent hit.

China, where the outbreak started, could actually eke out 1 percent of growth.

OECD projections, though more downbeat, largely bracket the IMF numbers depending on whether the world is hit once by the virus or suffers a second wave.

The reason for the grim and worsening economic outlook is both the virus and the tradeoffs inherent in shutting down economies in an attempt to stem infection.

"The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression," writes Gopinath.

"The lockdown measures brought in by most governments have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus and in reducing the death toll but they have also frozen business activity in many sectors, widened inequality, disrupted education and undermined confidence in the future," agrees the OECD.

There's a recognition from both organizations that ordering stores and offices closed and people to stay at home may slow the spread of disease, but it comes at a cost in terms of the physical and mental well-being that depend on prosperity. Protecting good health requires not just efforts against a new virus, but also making a living so we can afford food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and the other necessities of life.

That's not to say that lifting lockdown orders necessarily stems all of the economic carnage. We saw evidence last month that people started sheltering from the virus before they were ever told to do so, and that they started emerging from their homes before government officials gave the go-ahead. That is, people make their own decisions and aren't just tools of government policy.

"We find that COVID-19 induced high-income households to self-isolate and sharply reduce spending in sectors that require physical interaction," concludes a new paper from a Harvard University economic research team led by Raj Chetty. "This spending shock in turn led to losses in business revenue and layoffs of low-income workers at firms that cater to high-income consumers, ultimately reducing their own consumption levels."

The same paper finds that government stimulus programs intended to offset pandemic-related losses are largely ineffective.

"Stimulus checks increase spending  particularly among low-income households, but very little of the additional spending flows to the businesses most affected by the COVID shock; and loans to small businesses have little impact on employment rates," write the paper's authors (that's without mentioning that $1.4 billion went to hard-to-stimulate dead people).

So, government officials might have the power to worsen the economic impact of the pandemic by ordering businesses closed and populations confined to their homes and by punishing those they catch in violation, but they can't just flip prosperity back on like a light switch. People will start spending and investing when they feel confident and not because they've been told to do so or been handed a sum of magic money created by politicians out of thin air.

That's unpleasant news for the many governments that have spent heavily in response to COVID-19 during a period of shrinking revenue. "Public debt is projected to reach this year the highest level in recorded history in relation to GDP, in both advanced and emerging market and developing economies," notes the IMF's Gopinath.

The OECD predicts a 24.49 percent increase in public debt for the United States – with another 6.83 percent in case of a second wave of the virus. That level of debt will have lasting effects on government finances, not to mention the burdens placed on taxpayers.

"Countries will need sound fiscal frameworks for medium-term consolidation, through cutting back on wasteful spending, widening the tax base, minimizing tax avoidance, and greater progressivity in taxation in some countries," adds Gopinath.

For years to come, that is likely to look an awful lot like an accelerated game of whack-a-mole between tax collectors and a public that gets less than ever for its forcibly extracted money.

Given the realities of voluntary responses to the global pandemic, some of this pain was unavoidable. Many people were going to choose to self-isolate, reduce spending, and generally hunker down to weather COVID-19. But there's no doubt that governments exacerbated the pain with lockdown orders that curtailed economic activity against the wishes of those who prefer to make their own decisions. Those orders made the world poorer, and less free, than it otherwise would have been.

So, hold on tight. The pandemic isn't over, and neither is the pain caused by the virus itself as well as by the policies that are intended to hold it in check.

NEXT: New York Arrests and Charges First Cop for Breaking a New Ban on Chokeholds

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  1. The “Pandemic” caused almost no economic consequences. Retarded tyrants on the other hand….

    1. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people would have taken voluntary steps to social distance if no mandates had been set down. Look at Sweden. They didn’t lockdown, but people still reduced economic activity to some extent, it just wasn’t as bad.

      1. Yep, Sweden and Brazil, two countries with no lockdowns, are suffering economically just as much as their neighbors with lockdowns.

        1. Lulz.

          https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/29/coronavirus-swedens-gdp-actually-grew-in-the-first-quarter.html

          Sweden is still being hit, but it is largely because of foreign trade from other countries implementing their lockdowns and a reduction in tourism dollars.

          Or does “as much as” not mean the same thing in your world.

          1. He’s an ignorant racist, so who cares what he means.

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          3. Get back to us after the second quarter. COVID barely existed for Sweden until April.

        2. And Japan?

    2. Most of the economic carnage is from people changing their behavior, not from mandatory lockdowns.

      1. “Most of the economic carnage is from people changing their behavior, not from mandatory lockdowns.”

        Your cite went missing.

      2. If government told you Unicorns were real, would you believe that too?

      3. Now do haircuts. You really are amazingly stupid.

        1. Many people have started cutting their own hair, because they didn’t want to go to a hair salon, not because they could not. That’s why hair clippers were sold out for months. And guess what. As a guy, once you figure out how to cut your own hair, you are not going to go back to a hair salon.

          1. How do you know if it was because they didn’t want to, not because they were closed, if they were closed? You’re just making shit up. The place I get my haircut was open almost a week before I could get in. What would normally be a 15 minute wait was a 3 hour wait for the first 5 days they were open. All those people just happened to change their mind the first day they could? You’re not really thinking this through. I wonder why?

            1. Eunuch is a cowardly little bitch, thus he projects, and who loves doing whatever he thinks will please the progs because he’s desperate for their approval

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          2. Is this statement fantasy again? Do I even need to link to the stories of Michigan charging barbers? It wasn’t just that state.

            1. There was literally a State Supreme Court ruling on it.

          3. Uhhhh… no. We COULDN’T go to a hair salon because they were closed and we were told we would KILL people if we did. Turns out I was right, many more like myself all had it early on (March for me) and we’re through the “wave” and the death toll is no worse than any normal viral year after removing the “suspected” only and fabricated virus deaths (I’m a nurse- YES they ARE being doctored).

            1. The gov in the US is offering extra money (20% perk on Medicare reimbursement is what I have seen mentioned) for COVID deaths.

              Less harm would be caused by just having kicked up the reimbursement rates for anybody who has to be seen right now, on the basis that we don’t have a magic 100% accurate instant COVID test…so all patients will have to be treated simultaneously as at risk of getting infected and infecting others.

              Or just getting the Man to keep it in his pants, but that’s always going to help when it comes government intervention…

            2. AprilJ, thank you for speaking up. The amount of fraud on the certificates is frightening.

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          4. I definitely cut my own hair in April because I was explicitly forbidden from visiting my barber in late March. I had an appointment for the evening of the very first day of the lockdown in my area.

            So you can take your un-cited bullshit and fuck right off.

            1. I had to go ten weeks without a haircut thanks to faggot democrats like Jay Inslee.

          5. “Many people have started cutting their own hair, because they didn’t want to go to a hair salon, not because they could not…”

            On top of being full of shit, you seem to be stupid enough to think people here will buy that stinking pile.

          6. “Many people have started cutting their own hair,..”

            To a fucking lefty ignoramus, that constitutes and an answer.

      4. “The economic carnage is from the government scaring the shit out of us and our increasing belief in what tyrants tell us.”

        There, I fixed it for you.

        1. What is this “us”?

          1. I dunno. Maybe look around you at all the mask-wearing retards and cowerers-at-home. Most people bought this bullshit hook line and sinker.

            1. Most people are too lazy to investigate the facts directly themselves.

    3. Correct. Can we please stop repeating the fiction that the “pandemic” caused anything? The panic driven by the health bureaucracy and implemented by the political twats is alone responsible for the catastrophic social and economic disaster we are living through. The panic. Not the CCPvirus. The “cure” was worse than the disease.

      1. Correct 100% as someone who works in the industry that everybody listened to and I was saying for MONTHS this was bs

        1. Same on the other end. Us folks in death care have been shaking our heads for months.

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  2. Hard to spend stimulus money on businesses that weren’t allowed to be open.

    1. That’s why we’re headed for hyperinflation. The money printing isn’t over yet.

      1. We could very well see a dollar crash from all these stimuli, which dwarf the TARP bailouts. That would be much worse than anything this virus did, so let’s hope that does not happen.

          1. What does one call a no-cost loan? Hint: It rhymes with failout. Even with the equity piece it was a loser. Within the article you cited the profit was $15B. That’s on a $426B investment. That’s a 3.5% nominal return over 7 years. That’s a losing investment. Earning less than 1% per year by investing in companies that are as risky as they come is a huge failure.

            1. Holy shit youre retarded.

              A bailout is giving direct funds to someone to compensate for losses. A loan means the shit is paid back.

              So many fucking liberal dumbasses here.

        1. No we’re in for massive hyperinflation the world has never seen. Intentionally

          1. I’m pretty sure that will coincide with the escalation of the civil war the progs just started. George Floyd was essentially Archduke Ferdinand.

        2. The human suffering and death from what has already been done is and will be much worse than the virus.

  3. Less than a thousand Americans under the age of 35 dead, and 80% of the dead over 65 years old. And our cases are undercounted by a factor of 10. This has been an absolute farce, and an object lesson in government overreach. We know exactly what segments of the population are vulnerable. Protect them, and let’s get back to living.

    1. And I doubt we’ll ever seen an accurate accounting of C19 deaths as opposed to ‘C19 LINKED’ deaths.

      1. WAG, it’ll take about five years from now to tease out. And it’ll be done by estimating all of the heart disease, stroke deaths, et al, that haven’t been happening like normal this year, and subtracting those from the COVID toll.

        The Federal Government paying hospitals more for COVID cases utterly fucked any chance we might’ve had at getting accurate data.

        1. It’s worse than that. As I’ve mentioned, I’m a mortician in the DC Metro Area. The shenanigans with death certificates is breathtaking. I’ve had a woman with a broken neck on my table, COD on the certificate was COVID-19. Many, many other cases of “died with, not died of”, but listed as primary COD per the CDC guidelines.

          There’s a new study from Penn State making the case that the case count’s low by a factor of 80. Balance that with the gross over-counting of deaths, and this was a total non-event.

          1. But the damage from the psyche is done.

            Good luck explaining that to people.

            1. People are stupid. Look at Squirrely, PB, Pedo Jeffy, Chipper, etc..

              All totally fucking stupid. This nation must be rid of them.

          2. So how much of that information is recorded such that it will be available to researchers in the future? 5 years from now will an epidemiologist be able to see that this person was listed as a covid death, but also had a broken neck? Or are you the last person who will ever know the truth?

            1. “So how much of that information is recorded such that it will be available to researchers in the future? 5 years from now will an epidemiologist be able to see that this person was listed as a covid death, but also had a broken neck? Or are you the last person who will ever know the truth?”

              It depends. Every state has, in one format or another, multiple lines for COD. In some, there’s a primary with secondaries listed below, with others there’s no hierarchy. The vast majority that I’ve seen and heard of (we’re a tight community and we’ve been comparing notes since the outset) have COVID-19 listed first, regardless of other chronic comorbidities. In the specific case I mentioned, COVID-19 was the only listed COD. That case was not unique.

              Again, per CDC guidelines, a person could shoot themselves in the face, but if their body tests positive for COVID-19, then that *has* to be listed as a COD.

              Also per CDC guidelines, if someone presents symptoms of COVID-19 and tests negative, the certificate reflects “Suspected COVID-19”.

              1. It’s a mystery why Officer Chauvin is charged with George Floyd’s death, since he was obviously a COVID-19 death.

            2. I was thinking about that earlier.
              I really hope someone is collecting and collating that data

              1. As do I.

                In a year we’ll have a better idea of the scope of the virus. We’ll have Sweden’s numbers to look at, as well as the various state numbers.

                In 5 years when this is fading into memory, hopefully someone’s able to comb through the data and interview people to try to get a more accurate picture of the deaths. It would not surprise me if the death total is quietly adjusted down quite a bit.

          3. That’s one anectode. It proves nothing. Here is a counter-anectode:
            One year old girl dies from COVID in Chattanooga.

            We need a systemic analysis of the data that free of political motivation.

            1. Yeah, and a pony, too.
              Fat chance the idiots who knee-capped the economy would ever admit they did so for a seasonal flu.

              1. A lot of the, just to try and tank Trump. This who,e thing has been high treason on a massive scale. We need to start trying and convicting these leftists. They deserve to be executed.

            2. While I have nothing but sympathy for that girl’s family, she’s an extreme outlier. Only 156 Americans under 25 have died from this virus.

              There’s no political motivation anywhere in the actual statistics. The vast majority of people will catch the virus and never know it. A very small percentage will get sick. An even smaller percentage will need hospitalization. Smaller still is the percentage who will die, and – excepting extreme outliers like this girl – we know who’s most at risk.

              1. Honest question, based on previous statements.

                Only 156 Americans under 25 have died from this virus

                from or with?

                1. “Honest question, based on previous statements.

                  Only 156 Americans under 25 have died from this virus

                  from or with?”

                  We have no way of knowing.

                  You’d literally have to audit all 156 of them, then interview the families and the doctors, and hope that everyone’s accurate. That’s what’s so damned frustrating about the way this has been handled. We’re probably never going to have a clear idea of how bad this outbreak was.

              2. Yes, she is an outlier, but so is your poor woman with the broken neck. And it is true that only a small percentage will die. But a small percentage can still be a lot of people.

                1. But his outlier adds a Covid death that shouldn’t be one, and yours doesn’t subtract a Covid death that should be one. Can you comprehend why they’re different?

                  1. “Can you comprehend why they’re different?”

                    That’s a lefty piece of shit who’s creaming his jeans hoping this is bad enough that the voters will select Biden’s choice for VP instead of Trump.
                    You expect anything approaching honesty from it?

                2. I’m not sure you’re understanding this.

                  The woman with the broken neck’s family has a certificate that doesn’t mention the neck. It has the incorrect cause of death listed. She’s not an outlier. Yes, the doctor should have noted the thing that killed her on her death certificate, however because she was a confirmed positive case, per CDC guidelines, her cert is correct.

                  The little girl died from something that – to date – has not killed many children (15 under the age of 9).

                  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

                  1. He has his beliefs, and no amount of contradictory evidence will change them. That’s why progressivism is just like a religion.

                  2. Thanks for weighing in Bill. Your perspective is very valuable and enlightening. I wish you others in your profession had a larger voice in this debate.

                    1. you and others

                    2. We’re between a rock and a hard place. Our business is notoriously conservative, so not standing out is important. You won’t find a whisper of this on my social media feeds, as it’s no secret that families and employers look at them.

                      And then there’s the whole “front-line public health hero” thing that too many people are leaning into. It’s cool to let people know how much you’re putting yourself at risk, how overwhelmed you are, etc. The fact is that hospitals are empty, doctors are laying staff off, and due to the fact that we’re doing far more cremations than burials right now because of the restrictions, everyone’s spending a lot of time twiddling their thumbs and cruising the internet.

                      There’s a massive untold story out here about what’s actually happening. Those of us who are living it are afraid of the repercussions of heresy against the approved narrative. Look at how the media and the Twitter mob has attacked anyone who questions the orthodoxy.

                      If you have any friends who are nurses or do what I do, get a few drinks in them and start asking questions. You’ll be amazed at the stories you get.

                    3. If you have any friends who are nurses or do what I do, get a few drinks in them and start asking questions. You’ll be amazed at the stories you get.

                      My daughter’s a surgical technician. Can verify all your claims.

                3. I know of another Covid-19-broken neck case.

                  1. Maybe someone can start a site or something where all these anecdotes can be gathered?

                    1. It would have to be completely anonymous, with some way of guaranteeing the anonymity. Being outed in the current climate would be career-ending.

            3. Rare occurrences happen.. such as aspirin deaths for the young.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1169585/

              You can stop being scared now sweetie.

              1. No, he really can’t. Because the correct people are telling him to be scared.

          4. Did you review the medical record for this person Billy mortician?

            I thought not.

            1. In what world, Echospinner, is the broken neck on the mort not going to be the primary cause of death? Regardless of what the cert says?

              1. Spinal fractures. I could say a lot about them. One of the few things I know about.

                I do not know the specific circumstances about this person. It is very possible to have a spinal injury and die from a comorbid condition such as pneumonia viral or bacterial or something else.

                People with spinal injuries are at high risk from a long list of dangerous conditions.

                Yeah, the mortuary guy. That is who I get my information from. Last check goes to him and I hope it bounces.

                So the answer is many patients survive spinal injury. It is far from a death sentence. Trauma medicine is something most people take for granted.

                1. You’re desperate

                  1. He’s not desperate, he’s got a little bit of knowledge, and an axe to grind. I have nothing to gain by lying.

                    When the family looks at the death certificate and says, “she died immediately from a broken neck when she fell”, that says to me that it probably wasn’t a viral infection that killed her.

                    1. Soyou got that from family? After how days of hospitalization and course of treatment. For what specific fracture and what else in findings?

                      Anything else?

                      Just one more question. So the cause of death. That is something sir, it really is. People fall and often the question is why did the person fall.

                      Once again I do not know. There is a medical record which neither of us have access to. Should there be an inquiry it may all be discovered and reviewed. Until then it would be best to just stop talking about it and I will now.

                    2. “Soyou got that from family? After how days of hospitalization and course of treatment. For what specific fracture and what else in findings?

                      Anything else?

                      Just one more question. So the cause of death. That is something sir, it really is. People fall and often the question is why did the person fall.

                      Once again I do not know. There is a medical record which neither of us have access to. Should there be an inquiry it may all be discovered and reviewed. Until then it would be best to just stop talking about it and I will now.”

                      You apparently didn’t read my post in your rush to be a contrarian.

                      The woman’s family watched her trip, fall down the stairs, heard a ‘snap’, saw her neck at an angle it wasn’t supposed to be, and called 911. There is no magical medical record. She fell and broke her neck, the ‘Rona had nothing to do with it.

                      You might want to stay out of conversations you have no business being in.

                    3. S/he’d have to shut up permanently.

                    4. Bill as I have said all along I do not know the cause of death without the evidence. I have no reason to doubt what you got on the document nor reason to verify it.

                      You have what the family said. Well, that is one thing however far from conclusive.

                      My skeptic way of looking at it is that people tend to jump to conclusions in a way they can easily understand. In your business I am sure you know.

                      It seems your point is that deaths from Covid – 19 are over estimated. Which has to do with the CDC. You do know that neither you nor medicals are bound to follow anything the CDC says.

                      Your case is very interesting sir, perhaps you should pursue it. Or your choice.

    2. It has been such a farce that Alabama’s ICU beds are 82% full, Arizona was at 88% capacity two days ago, and Houston is at 100%.

      1. One hospital in Houston showed that. Mainly because every elective surgical procedure got put on hold for three months because of virus fears, and they’re trying to get completed now. Or when Abbott stops this second idiotic shutdown. IIRC, only 30 percent or so of the ICU cases in Houston have any COVID sign at all. Finally, high ICU utilization is not in and of itself a sign of crisis, when many of patients in ICU can be moved to other beds in the hospital. There isn’t a lack of personnel or equipment to treat additional ICU/CCU cases.

        All of this has been explained to you already, by other posters here.

        You didn’t used to be a poster that mindlessly parroted whatever bullshit CNN thought would make Republicans look bad. What happened?

      2. Normal operations for most hospitals are 80%. The Arizona case is operating at 85%, just a bit above normal. Covid patients are 1/3rd of the ICU numbers. The rest are from normal operations and the backlog of elective surgeries stopped during the initial worries.

        This was literally discussed in the morning thread with links if you were actually intellectually curious. But you aren’t.

        1. This. ICU beds do not sit around unused. Although we call it a bed the term suite is more apt, as it represents a tremendous amount of resources.

          So hospitals try to run them as full as possible. Unused ICU beds get eliminated.

          1. There’s plenty of surge capacity available that is not currently being activated, since the numbers are only slightly elevated above baseline. We’re nowhere near needing to “flatten the curve” again (only to have the goalposts again moved to “no one should get sick,” which is impossible).

      3. Yes our ICU’s are 100% full but only 15% are Corona/Wuhan the rest are other than, caused by patients delaying treatment for other issues.

      4. See above, you cowardly piece of lefty shit. Your VOX talking points have been jammed down your throat.
        Jam your PANIC! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it.

    3. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, I think the vast majority of people would continue to shelter and not open their businesses or let their children go to school, even if all restrictions were lifted tomorrow.

      Because our species just hit peak stupid.

  4. “Countries will need sound fiscal frameworks for medium-term consolidation, through cutting back on wasteful spending, widening the tax base, minimizing tax avoidance, and greater progressivity in taxation in some countries,” adds Gopinath.

    “Minimizing tax avoidance”, eh? Commandeering?

    1. And don’t forget “greater progressivty in taxation”! Soak the rich.

    2. Retro-active taxation.

      I also like how cutting back on wasteful spending is mentioned as if that isn’t always a good thing.

  5. There are so many ways to illustrate how terrible the Drumpf economy is. If I had to pick just one, though, it would be this:

    Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch is now only worth $51 billion.

    Completely. Unacceptable.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

    1. Oh shut up. This is serious.

      1. I’m a Koch / Reason libertarian. I take the financial health of the richest people on the planet very seriously.

        #BillionairesKnowBest

        1. If Charles Koch is losing money, it is because his workers are lazy. Cut their pay and make them work harder. What is your excuse?

        2. Thanks for the laugh. I’m a big L libertarian but I come to Reason to argue hoping they will come to reason, knowing full well they won’t. It’s all pretty embarrassing how liberals just hate being called liberals and have to co-opt my party

  6. re: “The lockdown measures … have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus and in reducing the death toll”

    Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

    1. Sustained.

  7. China, where the outbreak started, could actually eke out 1 percent of growth.

    Of course their leading export is COVID-19.

    1. It’s a best seller!

    2. That’s why I don’t think this virus was engineered in a Chinese lab. If that was the case, it would stop working already.

      1. “If that was the case, it would stop working already.”

        Another satisfied Aliexpress or Harbor Freight user?

        I will say the computer mice of gotten off Ali have been great, and a 1/5th the price of the equivalent Logitech model, with equal or better longevity.

      2. You do know laboratories engineer viruses all the time, and not for the intention of economic gain right? It is possible a research lab accidentally released a virus of this sort. not sure why your belief would hinge on it being economically beneficial for China or not.

        1. Another joke that went right over your head.

          1. Or is it that you just aren’t funny?

            1. He isn’t funny. Or smart. Or pithy. Or interesting. How he remains unmurdered is a head scratcher though.

  8. Seems the lock-downs intended to ‘flatten the curve’ just sort of shoved it down the road a piece, besides.
    ‘I’m with the government. I’m here to help’.

    1. It was always known that lockdowns wouldn’t stop infections or death, just stretch them out over a longer period. Now it’s somehow a surprise?

      Seems everything they’ve ever said about CV is being memory holed in favor of whatever panic they want to continue.

  9. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives

    It will only have contained the virus and saved lives if we get to a vaccine before we reach herd immunity naturally. Otherwise, the same number of people will end up getting sick as would have gotten sick without the lockdowns. The only difference is that the lockdowns would have dragged it out over a longer period of time at the expense of tens of millions of jobs and trillions of dollars.

    1. Exactly that. They should have done nothing. Let the damn thing run it’s course and be done with it. Yes, it would have been painful but nowhere near as bad as what they did.

      1. It would have been pretty bad in a few cities for a month or so, but people there also would have adjusted on their own. The worse it got, the more they would voluntarily lock themselves down. A few hospitals might have even been overrun, but only in cities where there are plenty of other hospitals nearby to shift patients to as needed.

        One good thing to come of all this is that trust in government institutions is probably going to take huge hit. A lot of people used to think orgs like the CDC were worth all the waste, fraud and abuse that goes with them, but I think that’s going to change given the constant parade of public lies and screw ups.

        Or maybe it won’t, but I’m hopeful.

        1. It won’t because Trump.

          They have their fall guy.

        2. A lack of trust in government institutions is universally considered a bad sign for the health of a society. Except for psychotic whack jobs with a silly boutique political philosophy they hilariously think has some merit.

          But you do seem to have near-psychic powers of predicting counterfactual histories, so maybe you really do know what you’re talking about.

          1. We’re assured you’d knee-walk in a moment if some ‘official’ told you to, with only a question about ‘how far’?
            Lefty shits are like that.

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      2. What politician in a large metropolitan area is going to agree to let it take its course? Every death that could have been averted had there been a ventilator or medical care available would have been laid at the hands and feet of those mayors and governors. And there’d be a new gaggle of Captain Hindsights on here talking about how ineffective government is because of the failure to respond.

      3. Agreed. But for one small problem: we’re a litigious society. Even if the government had left the response to COVID entirely up to We the People, WtP would have immediately started scouting around for someone to sue once the bodies started to hit the floor.

        As much as I believe our Supreme Leaders are in it for the power, I also believe much of their responses were and are a case of CYA.

        1. You should see all the progressive whiners posting on CNET regarding a second stimulus. All crying how government owes them a free living.

  10. Shutting down the wealthiest economy in the world for a quarter has predictable consequences.

    1. JFree creams his pants.

    2. predictable consequences

      Rioting, government waste and ruined lives.

    3. Shutting everything down and watching your own cities burn with rage, all because Orange Man Bad. Glad I live in a sane state.

  11. Per the Federal Reserve, GDP Q2 is projected to fall 53%. That is not a typo.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/02/gdp-is-now-projected-to-fall-nearly-53percent-in-the-second-quarter-according-to-a-fed-gauge.html

    These overreacting Governors and public health officials have done immeasurable harm to this country, and, agreeing with Ken’s numerous posts on the subject, have fueled the riots burning the hearts out of many of our major cities.

    This idiocy needs to cease. Now.

    1. Only one thing gets results these days:
      Violence

      1. Progressives will make violence necessary, as they have now started the second civil war.

  12. way to go assholes in the end it’s not even going to Get! Trump!

    the Unaffected who drive this boat can eat a bag.

  13. Maybe I’ll go to Oregon and try to get one of their suicide prescriptions. If it helps, I’ll agree to let them say I died of COVID.

    How are any of us to have hope for the future? Government is absurd, journalism is enforcing speech codes, thought police rising, health experts telling us (with a straight face) that social distancing is required unless you’re protesting racism, in which case they’re afraid of being called racist so they pretend that’s a public health crisis, too. Isolation, economic collapse, federal debt through the roof. And all they can suggest is wear a fucking mask. I remember being vibrantly alive once. I wish I thought I might be again someday.

    I’m so depressed.

    1. Depression leads to sloth and indolence, and both are sins. Very powerful, intelligent people have created a marketing apparatus whose purpose is to make you stupefied so you’ll consume more.

      Connect with your neighbors, be they virtual or otherwise. Organize, and have a plan for what you and your neighbors would like to see from those who would lead you, as opposed to what you are getting from them now. Even if it’s as small as sending a collective letter and contribution to said leader’s office.

      Civil society in the United States is devolving to a more tribal level of civic engagement. Start organizing your own tribe.

    2. Get ready to fight back.
      Purpose is a great cure

    3. I feel your pain. 64 years on the planet and I’ve never seen anything approaching the pure collective insanity that unfolds on a daily basis. I have to remind myself that my parents generation actually faced much worse with hundreds of millions dead at the hands of socialists. It seems that once again we’ve forgotten history and are destined to relive it. And make no mistake. The destruction of an economy that was improving lives all over the world will lead to millions of deaths. And those responsible are the same statists and TOP MEN that have engineered these atrocities throughout human history. And they are blatantly telling us that they will impose the same police state that Stalin did if we let them.
      But. The survivors that went before ultimately went back to what really sustains the civilization. Your spouse. Your kids. Your grandkids. Your friends. Your house even if it’s a single wide falling off a hillside in Kentucky or a walk up in Baltimore. Everybody here, including me, is guilty of letting this shit distract us from much more important things. Force yourself to actually enjoy what you already have.

  14. >>How are any of us to have hope for the future?

    last nite the last song on my car radio was Luniz “I Got 5 On It” which is awesome enough but then when I got in the car this morning it was on again.

  15. The more real numbers we get, the more the Communist Chinese Virus looks like a bad year for the real flu.
    So clearly, from here on out, we have to shut down the country each year.

  16. Called it.

    The day they officially shut down as God and gal as my witnesses I said ‘The cure WILL be worse than the disease. Good luck with getting people back to normal. It’s a Pandora’s Box people are going to wish or realize they never opened’.

    This was all too foreseeable.

    We’re ruled by complete incompetent idiots.

    1. You’re not alone on that. I’m ashamed to say that I thought that the better angels of our nature would reveal themselves. I was horribly, horribly wrong.

      I have to wonder how many middle-of-the-road people have been shoved into a far more anti-government position due to the draconian policies enacted over the course of the past few months.

      1. If the lockdowns didn’t Bill, watching the cops stand around while rioters rampaged through a bunch of our cities did.

        1. The cops were standing around because politicians elected by the citizens told the cops to stand around. So it all comes down to having to actually think through the politics you select.

        2. Agreed. The ripple effect from what the government(s) have both done and failed to do is going to be far-reaching. There’s a very vocal minority cheering on the rioters (and the lockdowns), but the vast majority of the country is sick of this. Most of us are quiet about it though, as we’re tired of being berated for asking that the laws be followed.

          I’m a lousy prognosticator, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Trump gets reelected in a landslide.

      2. I have to wonder how many middle-of-the-road people have been shoved into a far more anti-government position due to the draconian policies enacted over the course of the past few months.

        What planet have you been living on for the last three months? Almost everyone I know here in the supposed land of the free, Texas, waits with baited breath on the daily edicts of our Top Men who have just today decided, to thunderous bipartisan applause, to shut everything back down again. All across America it seems our elected (and unelected!) leaders can’t panic enough.

        1. I’ve been going to work every day, shaking my head at how easily led the country is. I’m hoping that there are a lot of people like me.

          1. Oh there are a lot of people like you.

          2. I hope that every day as well but my optimism is constantly quashed here in the Bay Area.

            I’ve appreciated all your insights from your experiences as a mortician during this period of insanity – your experiences seem to confirm what I’ve suspected from the start of the madness.

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          3. Much of this is due to a couple of generations being taught that more government solves all of your problems and just shut up & obey. And with the progressive takeover of colleges and university socialism and communism will make the world better. Just follow those orders from the top men and stupid women like the governor of Michigan and Jenny Durkan the mayor of Seattle.

        2. Abbott is, IMO, scared of the fickle suburban Karen vote—-that evidently thought Beto was just so dreamy—going to go with the politician that promises a hair more concern for the safety of her brood. Nevermind COVID’s effects on kids are basically statistical noise. Karen is still going to punish any politician who doesn’t care.

  17. The coronavirus will be around for a while and we are going to have to adjust to it. Part of the problem is we are thinking in terms of weeks when we need to be thinking in terms of months. This will take some adjustments and we need to accept those. We are likely looking at no large scale events for a couple of years. Some people will be out of work for extended periods of time. Smart small businesses will survive, less smart will fail. Our biggest problem right now is a leader with the attention span of a 4 year old. President Trump just wants the virus to go away, he is bored and wants to go back to an old normal. We are going to need a new normal. I like to see more ideas on how we can move forward and less on rehashing the past.

    1. Shut the fuck up

      1. Seriously – if we were in person, I would cut your fucking head off.
        You’re a resentful little tyrant who wants to get off on vicariously exercising totalitarian control over others.
        YOU are everything that is harmful in the world.
        How do we adjust?
        By eliminating people like you.
        Hide if you’re scared, but get the fuck out of other people’s way.
        If you refuse to do so, you’ll need to be destroyed

        1. This is not about the government it is about how you interact with your customers. What are you doing to make your customers comfortable interacting with you. Are you showing them you will work to protect them, are you providing choices in how you interact with them (curbside and mail delivery of the product). Same with restaurants it will be tough to survive but the public supports these measures and will likely not go to your establishment if they don’t feel safe. If you assume your customers are dumb and wish the government just says nothing, then you are not being smart.

          1. So the government forcing businesses to shut down isn’t about the government? Are you typing this with a straight face?

          2. Of course it’s about the government, you fucktard. There’s no way to plan around arbitrary fuckwittery from pussy politicians blowing with the political wind. Coming out of this bullshit intact isn’t about clever adaptation or interacting with customers. When the government can shut you down at will, success is pure chance, not skill. There’s no rational way to “interact with your customers” other than by providing them with a value in exchange for their money. And as a customer, that’s what I want from a business. Not its virtue-signaling about my fucking safety, which is *my* business.

          3. Moderation4ever
            June.26.2020 at 4:17 pm
            “This is not about the government it is about how you interact with your customers…”

            You.
            Are.
            STILL.
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.

    2. “Smart small businesses will survive, less smart will fail.”

      How does intelligence figure into the government forcing you to close or not? To function at 50% capacity or not?

      You really should change your handle. You’re as left wing totalitarian as Tony and the dildo.

      1. Maybe it you were smart enough, you’d anticipate which businesses would be allowed to operate, and go into such a line of work.

    3. “…Smart small businesses will survive, less smart will fail…”

      You.
      Are.
      Still.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.
      And an authoritarian fucking idiot besides.

    4. Yeah I don’t think you’re dealing with reality. Outside of cloistered crybaby snowflakes like you, the world is rapidly returning to the old normal. I meet and talk to strangers every day and believe me the vast majority are done with this shit.
      Meanwhile,Lightbringer II would force mandatory mask wearing by executive fiat.
      https://www.fox26houston.com/news/biden-says-he-would-use-federal-power-to-require-americans-to-wear-masks-in-public
      “I would do everything possible to make it required the people had to wear masks in public,” Biden said.

  18. China, where the outbreak started, could actually eke out 1 percent of growth.

    STAAAAAHHHHHPPP
    Please, everyone just stop quoting numbers out of China. They are all lies. All of them. All lies, all the time. It’s not possible to get true numbers for economic growth, Covid cases, anything else. The Chi-Com government has a wall around them and no one is ever allowed to actually investigate enough to get meaningful data. Ever.

    If the Chinese government is reporting 1% growth, it’s a sure thing that the actual number is worse. Probably a lot worse.

    1. Couldn’t agree more.

  19. Oh my god. If you want to “make your own decisions” then you have to stop being moronic jackasses. That is the deal we have, since despite your infantile fantasies, we do live in a community. Nothing illustrates that more than a communicable disease.

    We are living an experiment in incompetent government. We are being more libertarian than any of you ever dreamed from your mother’s Cheeto-flecked basements. Not only is the government falling on its ass at every opportunity because of the whims of an insane person (who you must think is doing it right since you never blame him for anything), people are making their own decisions and are, on the whole, not acting like defiant hillbilly cunts who choose not to believe in facts they don’t like as a way of life. Welcome to freedom. It looks like a lockdown.

    I’m terribly sorry a problem happened that can’t be solved by tax cuts for millionaires. You could try not being chained like sad little slave children to a pointless, idiotic political ideology. You’re free not to do that.

    1. Do you realize that pretending most of these decisions aren’t made at the state level just makes you look dumb? Or has TDS made you not really care?

    2. “You could try not being chained like sad little slave children to a pointless, idiotic political ideology…..”

      Haha. Yeah. Like obsessing over how much other people pay in taxes to a bloated, wasteful government. What a sad, resentful, statist existence.

      You’re free not to do that.

      1. Tony really is a toxic little queen.

    3. “…We are living an experiment in incompetent government…”

      Take that up with Newsom and Cuomo, shitbag. Their experiment has failed.

      1. I believe I heard, and I don’t remember where so I can’t cite it, that 8 of the 10 states that have the worst unemployment increases from this are Democrat governors. I know Michigan is one of the top ones.

    4. With urbanized cunts like you in charge, that’s all I’m free not to do. Fuck yourself with a rake.

    5. We live in a community. No shit. Someone alone on a desert island doesn’t need laws and defined rights to keep him safe from pants-wetting pussies afraid of germs. The fact that people live in societies is what makes having freedom from each other’s whims, fears, and irrationality mandatory. But yeah, let’s put that incompetent government that’s “falling on its ass at every opportunity” and that thinks masks stop viruses in charge of everybody’s health. Good plan.

      1. If you’re not afraid of some germs you are stupid. Guns, germs, and steel. It’s in the big 3. Lots of people die of germs. More people than die of anything else, historically speaking.

        1. Crawl in a hole and stay there, shitbag.

    6. In the long term communities survive by developing immunities to viruses. In your brave new world of lockdown “freedom” they won’t have that opportunity. Sooner or later evolution will rear it’s ugly head and you and your brethren won’t make the cut. My progeny will be tasked with digging your graves. And then enjoying a nice cold beer.

      1. Quarantine is still a primary method of dealing with outbreaks. You’re taking away a vital tool in dealing with disease and you don’t even know why. Because some fat orange idiot said so.

        1. Sorry Tony, you don’t understand what “quarantine” means. That’s sequestering sick people, not locking up the healthy in the hope they don’t get sick.

    7. Welcome to freedom. It looks like a lockdown.

      He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

      1. I think this is the part where I say Orwell was a socialist.

  20. Q: I know you have been critical of the president’s handling of the pandemic in the past. But let’s look ahead. If you became president tomorrow, what would you do differently regarding the pandemic and getting these surging cases now under control?

    Biden: I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks, that you had PPE [personal protective equipment] lined up, we’d have been making sure we stockpile all the things that we need that we don’t have now. The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask. Anyone to reopen — would have to make sure that they walked in their business that had masks.

    Q: Couldn’t you use the federal leverage to mandate that, though?

    Biden: Yes.

    Q: Would you?

    Biden: Yes, I would from an executive standpoint, yes, i would.

    Q: So you would, in effect, mandate the wearing of masks.

    Biden: I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public

    http://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-says-he-would-force-americans-wear-face-masks-public-if-elected

    1. Someone really ought to tell him that’s not how it works.

    2. Now calculate the cost of freedom of a doctor forcing a respirator tube down your throat.

      1. “Now calculate the cost of freedom of a doctor forcing a respirator tube down your throat.”

        Zero. I’ve been going to work every day, and have been exposed to countless confirmed positive cases (both living and dead). I’ve been in and out of countless hospitals, nursing homes, and private residences. I’m good.

        As an adult, I looked at the risks of continuing to do my job. I made an informed decision based on my medical education and on what I was getting from the CDC (which was all over the place) and my colleagues. As a non-obese, non-smoking person in good health, I recognized that I’m not at any more risk than I would be with any other common pathogen.

        If you’re in good health your chances of being negatively impacted by COVID-19 are nearly nil. You can make your choices, I’ve made mine.

        1. And about those other people you could be infecting…

          1. “And about those other people you could be infecting…”

            Scared? Crawl in a hole and stay there, shitbag.

            1. Not as scared as you were about a black guy being president.

              1. There you go again, thinking of a person as a member of some group rather than an individual. You should try that whole “by the content of their character, not the color of their skin” thing. We’ll wonder what took you so long to join us, but you will be welcomed just the same.

            2. And don’t forget the time his wife tried to get you to eat some vegetables.

              1. Crawl in a hole and stay there, shitbag.

          2. sorry, asshole. your health is not my responsibility.

            1. Fine, psychopathic cunt, the hole in your head isn’t my responsibility. My finger slipped.

          3. C’mon Tony

            The guy has a job to do. A very important, difficult and skilled one. I have had disagreements with him but give him that much courtesy.

            1. So it is clear I was taking about your reply to Bill.

      2. “Now calculate the cost of freedom of a doctor forcing a respirator tube down your throat.”

        Now calculate the amount of bandwidth wasted on your lies, shitbag.

      3. Hey dummy, the whole “everyone’s gonna get put on a ventilator” fantasy has been over for a month or so now. You should try to keep up.

        1. Would anyone care to let the medical community have a voice in this discussion? Didn’t think so.

          1. I hope you don’t mean those talking heads on TV like Fauci. CDC is a political organization (as all parts of the government are). You might be surprised about what actual medical professionals who practice medicine think, as evidenced by your statement.

      4. It’s not a “respirator tube”, you moron. A respirator is what someone wears when he’s spraying paint or insecticides or suiting up to handle hazmat. Doctors use endotracheal tubes to connect people to ventilators. Not respirators. You don’t even know what the fuck you’re talking about. And since the mortality rate of KungFlu is a whopping two-tenths of a percent over all age groups, I’ll take my chances with freedom over the certainty of getting fucked by the state. Now go drink a bottle of Purell, you pussy.

        1. Don’t you mean bleach? Retard. Why do you people think your freedom is exempt from the requirement that you not harm others?

          1. “Why do you people think your freedom is exempt from the requirement that you not harm others?”

            Why are you so fucking dumb?
            Scared? Crawl in a hole and stay there.

            1. You’re so alpha I want to cum on your big tits.

              1. Whiny shitbag whines again.

          2. I don’t have any symptoms of any disease. I’d stay home if I did.
            I did my part… now the burden of proof is on YOU if you wish to impose additional duties and responsibilities upon me. Prove that I have an illness I don’t know about. Don’t just tell me that _maybe_ I have the virus, and _maybe_ it’s communicable even though I have so small a viral load that I don’t even notice its presence, and _maybe_ an improvised mask will stop the spread.

            None of those things are known, so if you want me to act in a certain way, by all means, go prove all three of them and get back to me. Until then, there can be no evidence at all that I am causing harm to anyone by acting in the manner that I see fit.

            1. Exactly. This idea, which idiots like Tony believe in, that we are all weaponized agents of death ready to kill anyone we get closer than six feet to is not only ridiculous but also dangerous. It infringes upon our civil liberties in a host of ways, not the least of which is by presuming our guilt before innocence.

              So, yeah, Tony, I may be a cunt but you’re a criminal.

  21. The spenders, closers, and openers have all made and continue to make the pandemic’s economic carnage worse. They are all trying to preserve a dead economy, that died with the first human transmission C-19 case. A pandemic economy is a new and different economy, and every action blind to this fact can only make the pandemic’s economic carnage worse in both effect and length.

    1. BigGiveNotBigGov
      June.26.2020 at 3:48 pm
      “The spenders, closers, and openers have all made and continue to make the pandemic’s economic carnage worse…”

      You.
      Are.
      STILL.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

  22. “China, where the outbreak started, could actually eke out 1 percent of growth.”
    Well, with a Communist command economy that growth is like a negative for most other nations.

    Of course, if we believe this growth in China, it would be believing what a government says and Libertarians aren’t supposed to do that.

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