From: Iowan in MD/DC
ORIGINAL: Ian R
"armchair spreadsheet artists pontificating on a forum."
I just wanted to ask if I could shamelessly adopt that, use it as a put-down on another forum.
Permission to proceed sir?
Why of course, I can't copyright it or anything
So recently, prior to Coronavirus, it was suggested by someone in the Government (or their advisors) that we don't need farms in the UK...
... there is now a headline stating there will be a veg and fruit shortage because there is no one to pick the stuff.
So the UK no longer manufactures much, how important our financial services will be post Brexit who knows, and now, apparently, we don't need to produce any of our food either.....
You couldn't make this up.
One lasting result I see coming is a move away from interdependency and toward self sufficiency.
That is only possible to the degree that the distribution of natural resources allows.
Sure, the US can move away from dependency on China for pharmaceuticals, but not away from SE Asia for rubber gloves.
Arguable. Just to stick to your example, you can get rubber gloves using rubber produced in Liberia (until few years ago the biggest rubber producer in the world) instead of Malaysia. They're gonna be marginally more expensive, but that's it.
It's a matter of cost. If we assume we can reduce somehow our consumption rates, we don't really need to purchase so much from Asia. Basically, we don't really need to "sub-contract" the world production to Asia if we accept that we have to lower our consumption, at least in the short-term.
In general, it's manufacturing that produces huge amounts of jobs and it's manufacturing that can help our economies to keep being relatively healthy and wealthy in the future. After this major crisis, we will enter in a complex economical situation and manufacturing is the main way to create jobs, whatever some streams of thought say.
Aren't gloves these days made out of nitrile, which is a synthetic rubber? Why couldn't that be made domestically?
ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake
In the US the money spigot has been turned on the highest it has ever been.
2 Trillion in borrowed money (at <1% 10 year T-bill rates) and another Trillion or so already in "funny money" quantitative easing by the Fed.
Right now it would seem recession is inevitable but world-wide depression can be avoided if this doesn't last too long.
The lives of billions of human beings are being overturned by tiny spheres of lipids, proteins and RNA that have no cognizance of their existence.
America is fine.
Europe will be in a very, very complex situation. We have nothing even remotely comparable to the American economical answer to the emergency.
However, if Europe falls into depression, I suppose US won't be much healthier at that point.
The economic hit for America is not at the corporate level as much as at the personal level. What do the people do who worked in industries that have closed, and won't re-open for a good while?
Social disruption caused by unemployment, poverty, hopelessness, could also be answered with other kinds of restrictions on freedoms, and force.
This is all a worst case scenario, but it's possible with a lasting emergency, lockdown, unemployment, and the same kinds of reactions happening in Southern Italy. Only with more guns.
I'm more concerned about sales-oriented small businesses that rely on, essentially, foot traffic and in-person patronage.
Breweries, restaurants, bars, all things arts, venues, etc. The businesses with a few employees, where if they don't have incoming cash flow for 3-4 months, could go under. While the aid bill passed this past week does pretty well for individuals (replacing 100% of income up to about a $50K annual salary, for 4 months, via unemployment claims) and large corporations, it does not do enough for small firms.
Those people who can't work can't file UI claims unless they lose their job. Small firms can receive forgivable loans to cover their costs (including payroll) if they keep their employees, but nowhere near enough money was allocated to that even by conservative-aligned economists' estimates. Obviously, not all of these firms would fail or not be able to bring back all their employees or some other factor, but some will that otherwise wouldn't if there were more money allocated there. I'm thinking of businesses like our local meadery, which has 4 employees plus the owners, and the local brewpub (a fixture here since 1993), where the quality of the employees are so critical to maintaining good business momentum. It's not like the giant chain retail store in the mall where employees are much more fungible.