Firstly, thanks for the reasoned response.
I, for one, would be leery of giving that kind of power to any President of the US.
All we're talking about is the information that was actually given out as a recommendation in mid March. The federal guidelines for social distancing on March 16.
If that was done one or two weeks earlier, it saves lives.
In the US, there were 8 states that didn't issue mandatory stay at home orders. None of those States were in risk of their hospitals being overrun which was the primary, original goal of the lockdown. There always exist more than one way to skin a cat.
Because of the Federal guidelines many did so anyway, many businesses closed, and many people distanced as in other places. That helps. That is why the Federal level guidelines were important. This also doesn't mean this was he reason those states didn't (yet) have a severe outbreak. The US is large, some states are definitely more rural and people are naturally less likely to have come in close contact with many others regularly.
There were many other states that had lockdowns of differing severity. In each individual state you see a wide disparity among local counties and their state govts. Some counties are actually in open rebellion. Most state Govnr's don't have the legal authority.
More reasons why Federal level guidelines are important. Again, the US is large, diverse, strange and wonderful. People do sometimes need to reign in their freedoms for the good of all though. It's happened before and didn't result in a loss of those freedoms.
The argument that the lockdown doesn't carry it's own deathtoll has somehow been excluded.
Many who are arguing against lockdowns use this as an argument, but also use mortality figures from a period when the social distancing and lockdowns were in place. If left to run both the Covid mortality goes up and the excess deaths from other conditions go up if hospitals are overwhelmed.
The decision to have a centralized mandate, would carry with it an important factor. Down the road, the economic costs of decision making during the time of the Pandemic would be distributed equally. For example, say my company has production in China that I now desire to bring back to the States. Would I pick New York, with it high tax, high cost, likely future shutdown environment, or someplace like South Dakota or Arkansas. I would only pick New York if the logistics savings or customer engagement was very concentrated there or the state plied me with tons of tax dollars/offsets or the Govt guaranteed I was immune from any future lockdown.
But if Arkansas was forced to shutdown, well then, that removes a very big decision making input.
If social distancing guidelines came a week or two earlier it would not change anything about this issue.
Cap said earlier that he fears a 4 year or so economic turnaround. I think we are more like at 10 years right now, based on the 2008 economic downturn or even longer. Just to give an idea of the hideous changes that are upon us, Gov Cuomo of New York is openly questioning having brick and mortar schools. Colleges are going to be especially hard hit.
Not only are we living in the greatest medical experiment of all time, we are going to see a huge economic migration across the world. It took almost 3 generations for economic interdependencies to return to their pre WW1 pre Spanish flu levels.
May you live in interesting times.
I think it'll all recover much more quickly. Travel will be tough, but I have a friend at a high level in that industry, and even he thinks there will be some positive upturns through the summer domestically and gradually through next year.
The US has sent a lot of people out of jobs, but those jobs will come back. Opening is happening, for better or worse, right now. Businesses will need people to resume.
The US is the largest economy in the world in spite of all of this. It will adapt. There are a lot of people out there who still want to make a lot of money. I fear for the poor, not the economy, in the long term.
I agree with almost everything you say here, with the exception of the economy. The problem is you misconstrue what I say.
I am not arguing against a lockdown.
Two areas I do disagree with you:
I have not seen pro lockdown proponents address the effects of a lockdown in increased deaths let alone in other areas.
I have a lifetime of experience in small business. I literally know hundreds of business owners across all sectors. To say the economy will snap back except for maybe travel is naive. but well intended.
< Message edited by Lowpe -- 5/10/2020 12:20:31 PM >