We are now in this war. We are all in it- all the way. Every single man, woman, and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history. We must share together the bad news and the good news, the defeats and the victories—the changing fortunes of war. — President Franklin Roosevelt, Dec 1941 Fireside Chat
…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind… Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. – Book Of James 1: 6-8
This afternoon I was hit with a wave of fear after internalizing the mixed messaging coming out the White House and certain news outlets.
Less than two weeks after declaring war on the invisible enemy that has invaded America, President Trump and many in his sphere of influence are talking about picking up and going home. Not exactly your Greatest Generation.
Debate Needs To Had
For sure, the debate as to whether the cure is worse than the disease has to take place. What are the consequences of not taking the medicine? We’ll stick to the economic issues and leave the moral and ethical for others to debate.
Welcome To Sparta
We are very concerned, however, a “spirit of Sparta” is taking hold or surfacing in America (see the video above). Where those considered “unproductive citizens,” such as the elderly, are expendable and doomed to a similar fate to what those experienced in ancient Sparta, who were marched off a cliff to premature death.
If the economy is “reopened” next week, will the stock and bond market bubbles reinflate? Will the unemployment rate move back to below 4 percent?
Very unlikely. False hopes and false choices will result in disastrous consequences.
If people are afraid that the invisible enemy is still among us, the economy has zero hope of recovering and the country should prepare itself for a long drawn out recession or even depression. Forget about productivity, which is the ultimate driver of long-term economic growth.
Only if most of the public has confidence COVID-19 has been dealt a fatal blow can a robust economic recovery even be considered a possibility.
The Day Will Come
There will come a day, hopefully sometime soon, to start thinking about getting back to work and reopening the economy but not until the inflection point in reported case growth curves, i.e, the second derivative starts to turn negative.
The planning should begin now but pulling the trigger before the slope of the growth curve (first derivative) turns negative could be one of the biggest policy mistakes in the history of the country.
Source: Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev @GTCost
Ignorance and denial will not shield us from this ugly curse that has fallen upon the world. Spending needless energy on this debate only distracts from the important priorities of winning the war on COVID-19, limiting its long-term economic damage, and strengthening the social safety net for most vulnerable.
We suspect, however, something more cynical is trumping rationality. Politics.
Why Do We Still Listen To These Clowns?
Just say no to herd immunity.
Let us not surrender.