The primary focus on the economy is not just make believe

The coronavirus is a tough one. It may be less deadly than other illnesses, but it is still killing many and impacting others. And, while we have heard the young need to worry the least, the numbers indicate that people the ages of 54 and below are the largest group being hospitalized. One ER nurse said it surprised her how many younger folks were being stricken.

Yet, deal with it we must or it will overwhelm our healthcare providers. We simply do not have an abundance of free beds. We are still awaiting a workable vaccine. So, we must do what is asked of us to control its spread. We must “flatten the curve” of the virus.

But, this social distancing has caused our global and US economy to understandably grind to a halt. In essence, our economy is simple – people who need things buy them from people who have them to distribute and so on down the supply line. When people stop buying things, the supply chain grinds to a halt.

Focusing on the economy, people impacted by the virus and the companies that have had to furlough them, is not unwise. But, it cannot be the primary focus. It is an important one, but keeping people safe is the key. Getting them money to buy groceries, medicines and non-durable products is important. Making sure they have a job to return to is important.

But, we cannot lose sight of what this virus can and could do. One of my concerns that precedes the current tenure of the incumbent president, is the significant majority of his decisions can be traceable back to his fragile and large ego. He cannot tolerate looking poorly or accepting blame for anything. So, that has always been his top-of-mind mission. It is also one not conducive to solving problems.

Since the president thrives off the stock market (his main barometer for the economy) success, the fact it has tanked due to the virus reflects poorly on him. It matters not that any president does not have a huge impact on the economy good or bad, but as Warren Buffett said of the current president, “If he is going to take the credit for the rise, he must take blame when it falls.”

So, many fear that decisions will be made that prop up the stock market, but put us at risk. And, until people start buying more things, taking more trips, etc., the economy will still lag. Yes, the economy is important, but let’s focus on it from a people impacted lens. The article below is telling.—not-so-much-the-virus/ar-BB11Bkcf?ocid=spartanntp


20 thoughts on “The primary focus on the economy is not just make believe

    • Janis, I cannot disagree with your assessment. As conservative pundit David Brooks said on Friday, even when Trump is sounding more reasonable, his narcissism and neurosis get in the way. Brooks said he blew up at a reporter for an innocent question. Keith

  1. One thing that needs to be said is that a health care system that collapses (something that may very well happen if we were to follow Trump’s laissez-faire approach) is certainly worse than the cure.

    • Brendan, when we understand fully that Trump’s world view is “what about me,” all comments can be discounted. As you know, if more folks die due to this illness, his laissez faire attitude from the outset and actions in 2018 and 2019 to diminish global pandemic response will be on his shoulders. Even when he says things he should be saying now, my independent brother-in-law said he resorts to “huckster-ism.” Keith

  2. Trump’s ONLY concern is with the stock market and he thinks he can command the virus to be over by Easter so the markets will rebound. The man is totally deluded. Good post, my friend. Stay healthy.

    • Hugh, agreed. He has a “let it be written, let it be done” regal mindset. Again yesterday, Dr. Fauci contradicted the president saying we had a meeting with the president and said we need to let the data dictate when things get reopened. Now, who should we listen to? Keith

  3. Note to Readers: From an article in The Washington Post about “Trump versus the scientists,” here is a quote that supports the above discussion and attached article:

    “Trump has increasingly minimized and pushed aside many of the top public health and scientific experts in his administration, instead relying on advice from economic advisers and outside voices in the business community who are urging him to prioritize the nation’s economy above all else. On Tuesday, Trump told Fox News he hoped to have the country reopened by Easter on April 12 — a timeline at direct odds with the recommendations of experts such as Fauci, who had said previously that social distancing measures would probably need to remain for at least “several weeks.”

    The article noted that Trump has invited the scientists at press conferences to bash the media or blame Governor Cuomo. On neither occasion cited, did they take the bait and continued talking. It is akin to the toddler tugging at mommy’s skirt wanting candy in the store. That visual may be how Trump should be remembered.

  4. It says much about the two men that Trump’s actions are making Boris Johnson look worthwhile. The latter may still prove to be a less than stellar PM but at least he is making an effort to rise to the occasion.
    Trump would be comic if he was not causing lives to be lost and the country to continue to split.
    Sorry for your unjustifiable burden.

    • Jill, it worries me that so many still don’t take this seriously enough. I worry with the focus on the ecomomy (read stock market), safety will be shortchanged and vastly more people will be impacted. Patience is not an attribute to define the president. Keith

      • I am bothered by that, but also by people’s panicked reactions. Today, I crossed paths with my beloved neighbor Maha. She and I are best friends, and when I reached out for a hug, as we always do, she backed away and said “No JuJu (long story … she is an Iraqi refugee and couldn’t say “Jill”, so I became Juju) … I scared! I felt as if I had been slapped in the face. And the hoarders who are keeping the rest of us from having such things as toilet paper and chicken and pasta and fresh veggies. I’m disgusted by the inhumanity I see. Then add the corporations hoping to profit from this, and our government spending money it doesn’t have. Sigh.

      • Jill, I would encourage you to not be offended by a non-hug. My sister works as a cashier in a grocery store. She no longer has a car, so when I pick her up, we limit contact to elbow hugs.

        The hoarders are bothersome. That is not community minded. Keith

  5. Note to Readers II: Dr. Anthony Fauci said it best, the coronavirus will not succumb to an artificial deadline. We must not rush to expose people just because the economy is suffering. We still have too many folks believing initial messaging from the White House before March not to worry and people are getting infected a dying as a result. This is serous stuff and could overwhelm the healthcare systems causing more to be infected.

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