Opening the economy piecemeal brings up a question

I’m only using The Hill story as a reference point on the discussion of opening the economy.

Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, wants the economy back in whatever form it takes at this point in time. But something we found out in 2008 is tickling the back of the brain pan. The 2008 downturn/recession displayed how intertwined our economy is with the rest of the planet. It just seems to me that we are seeing the same kind of interlock in the US economy itself.

By opening in some places where the virus is limited or coming down, we would supposedly see improvements there. However, the economic drivers in this country are clustered in areas where we aren’t seeing positive change (yet). Reopening a restaurant in Boise, ID may not effectively work because it’s food suppliers are in California (example idea for argument’s sake). If the food supplier isn’t able to effectively open up, how will the Boise eatery get the food needed to open?

The nature of our interstate commerce appears to say it is difficult for area A to open if area B is not ready yet.

Or am I missing something?

Just a random, possibly rambling thought, about reopening things.

22 thoughts on “Opening the economy piecemeal brings up a question

  1. The market will provide for that restaurant, though they might need to make menu changes for a while.

    In those areas where it is safe to do so, those who have immunity can lead the return to normal.


    1. If there is no market to provide because the market is located outside an “open” area, how in the hell is that going to work?

      We do not know enough about her immunity wrt COVID-19 to say who can or can’t return to work without massive testing. (Which is lacking all across the country)Which would eventually lead to “registration”. I had enough “registered” family in my background who had to wear yellow stars to prove who they were.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The price mechanism will bring supply and demand together.

        You need to get away from the idea that a “plan” is necessary. All you really need to do is let prices float as they will, and things will take care of themselves. The invisible hand of the market is just that, but it is nonetheless powerful.

        If you haven’t read it already, I strongly recommend “I, Pencil” by Leonard Read


  2. Trump’s May 1 date is an example of his magical thinking. We still do not know enough about this virus nor do we have sufficient test capability to transition at anything but a slow and very careful pace. California, as it often does, is showing the way and has laid out the necessary pre-conditions for backing away from strict social distancing measures.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The linked article sort of butchered Hollingsworth’s statement. Here it is:

    Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) said Tuesday, as the U.S. grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, that the country will always have to choose a “loss of American lives” over a “loss of our way of life as Americans.”

    Hollingsworth told Indianapolis’s WIBC radio station that there is no “zero-harm” option when it comes to deciding when and how to reopen the American economy.

    “Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that’s dramatic economic harm or whether that’s the loss of life,” he said. “But it is always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.”

    So the question arises, who is going to make the sacrifice?

    There have been several meat and poultry processing plants shut down because hundreds of workers test positive.

    So who wants to get on that assembly line? Hollingsworth?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “So the question arises, who is going to make the sacrifice?”

      If we insist on seeing our options in such binary terms, we will be stuck in a logical fallacy from which there is no escape. “Zero harm” options are, in fact, available. One is that employers can test their employees for immunity. Another might be advanced protocols for workplace hygeine.


      1. “Binary terms?”

        That is what Hollingsworth is offering.

        “ Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) said Tuesday, as the U.S. grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, that the country WILL ALWAYS HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN a “loss of American lives” over a “loss of our way of life as Americans.”

        Caps mine.

        I am sure there are solutions. But every one is based on something we don’t have yet: near universal testing for both infection and immunity.

        And as we write here, the rural heartland is now starting to feel the effects of COVID 19. When our food supply drops off, will some folks be forced to work?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “I am sure there are solutions. But every one is based on something we don’t have yet: near universal testing for both infection and immunity.”

        Testing doesn’t have to be universal. Employers testing employees would be an example of that.


          1. @Tabor

            Shocking! How dare the Collective try to protect its members!

            The wise “free market” would let this employers take the CDC tests and sell them on for substantial profits to where they are REALLY needed. You know, to test rich people.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Who cares about CDC tests? Corporations can buy tests from private suppliers, but the CDC won’t allow that unless they get the results.

            So, to get the tests, corporations must violate the medical privacy rights of its employees. The Employees of course, are free to divulge those results to the CDC but the employer is not.

            But you, of course, are incapable of seeing anything as other than class or party.


          3. @Tabor

            You are correct. Sometimes I miss the obvious. For example, I should have thought of this before my last post. You are very probably sharing one of your countless “alternative facts” about what the CDC requires of employers. The names of people tested and their individual results? Upon reflection it sounds like bullshit. But go ahead. Prove me wrong.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Think about it Don. If testing is going to help open up the economy, we can’t have too many secrets.

            ABC Widgets tests its employees, 1/3 are positive. They go home. No one knows except the employer and those infectious employees.

            You must see the fallacy in that.

            No matter how much you deride government, public health is a serious and necessary component. So much so that as a nation we started a public health agency centuries ago to monitor contagions on shipping. The captains and owners did not have the option of keeping sick sailors as a secret.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. I don’t disagree that the data is useful, especially for contact tracing,

            But medical privacy belongs to the person, not the employer. The employee can voluntarily give it up, but the company cannot give it up on his behalf.

            The CDC requires those testing people to report results. If you go for a test, you will sign a paper granting the testing agency permission to report to the CDC.

            Employers cannot sign that on your behalf.

            Appropriate legislation could exempt employers but that hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge.


          6. If I was an employer I would simply stipulate that if you want to come to work, I will test you and send the data to CDC. Sign here.

            Keeping the results secret is beyond stupid.

            That is the whole point of testing.

            If Trump’s CDC is creating a logjam with this, the he ought to use an XO now to speed up the process. Although sending test results to the feds is not rocket science.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. RE: “The problem there is that the CDC will not let employers have the tests unless they are committed to reporting the results back to the CDC.”

            I didn’t know that that is the holdup. Something needs to break, or be broken.


          8. RE: “If testing is going to help open up the economy, we can’t have too many secrets.”

            Sure. Privacy is overrated anyway.

            This puzzle isn’t rocket science. If CDC regulations are causing artificial bottlenecks, then change the regulations.


          9. @Tabor
            No response? No evidence that this claim is true? I seem to have been correct then. This supposed CDC policy of demanding names and results is right there with the Kennedy Center donating recovery funds to the DNC. More of the “alternative fact” bullshit you love to spread around.


  4. It seems there is a general consensus among business leaders and politicians on both sides of the aisle that one big step toward opening the economy is full on testing. Until we get that under control, setting a date for opening seems farcical.

    Also, it appears that the idea of regional cooperation between different neighboring states is gaining traction. And seeing as it will be governors that ultimately decide when their states will open, that could be the best way forward. Just a thought.


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