End the duopoly

The Economy Can’t Withstand The Shutdown

Summary The projections for 2Q20 GDP are the worst ever. According to an analysis by the Chicago Fed, the real unemployment rate is probably between 25%-35%. Other coincidental indicators have collapsed. This is the most difficult column I have written. I will argue that the economic strain caused by the lockdowns is too much for the US economy to withstand. Before I make this argument, let me first state that the goal of flattening the infection curve is one of the most laudable a society could undertake. And its primary purpose — to prevent straining or perhaps breaking the health care system — couldn’t be more important. The idea of a large number of "excess deaths" — a most unfortunate term that describes the number of people who die above a known statistical average — is painful and inhumane to promote. Yet the economic data that has been released since the lockdowns went into effect is just as painful and inhumane. Entire swaths of the economy have been severely damaged and may not recover for years. This represents lives. And while the data is nothing but "cold hard numbers," it represents millions of peoples’ livelihoods, a growing percentage of […]

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