Why closing down the economy for COVID-19 is a bad idea

From the 11/15/2020 Chicago Tribune”

Biden aide says lockdown would be ‘last resort’
One of President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus advisers said Sunday that a national lockdown of businesses and schools would be a “measure of last resort” to fight the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across the United States.

The number of infections has grown by 5 percent or more in 47 states in the past week, with a national average over the past week of 145,401 new cases per day.

“In the spring we didn’t know a lot about COVID, we responded, in a sense, with an on-off switch,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to help lead Biden’s newly named COVID-19 task force, told Fox News Sunday.

“We just shut things down because we didn’t know exactly how this was spreading and where it was spreading, but we learned a lot more since then.”


Closing down the economy for COVID-19 is a bad idea because:
1. It causes massive suffering for too many American businesses, workers, consumers, and students.
2. It’s bad politics
and the most important reason:
3.It’s unnecessary

1. It causes massive suffering for many businesses, workers, and consumers, and students.
Congress, falsely claiming the federal government can run short of dollars, has been reluctant to send more stimulus dollars into the economy.

So, hundreds of thousands of businesses, especially restaurants, food-service, and travel-related businesses either have gone out of business or have been forced to lay off employees.

The human toll in lost income has been, and will be, monumental. America will be headed toward 3rd-world status, as poverty creeps across the land.

As for students, distance learning simply does not cut it. The education is inferior. American students are losing months from their best learning and best-earning lives, months that cannot be made up.

Today’s students rapidly are becoming America’s “Lost Generation.”

2. It’s bad politics
As foolish and harmful as Trump has been, in his demands that states and cities “open up,” without offering any COVID-19 response plan, he is politically astute.

The people are dying, Trump knows their immediate concern is feeding their children, paying their rent, and avoiding financial destitution. They are so desperate, they will risk their lives to have income.

The politician who closes his/her economy is the politician who will have a more difficult fight in the next election.

3.It’s unnecessary
The combination of 100% mandatory mask-wearing, plus moderate social distancing, would be sufficient to create the equivalence of “herd immunity.”

We as a society all give up a few our liberties so that our entire social structure can function.

We wear set belts in the car (“Click it or ticket.”) For modest discomfort, we save our lives and those of our passengers.
We don’t smoke in airplanes, buses, elevators, restaurants, theaters, and most other public venues.
We wear helmets when riding motorcycles.
We vaccinate ourselves and children, which has substantially eliminated childhood diseases, and reduced influenza.
We don’t urinate, defecate, or go naked in public.
We don’t talk in a theater.
We give some of our money to charity.
We attend funerals and wakes.
In most places, we don’t carry machine guns.
We don’t beat people.
We obey laws.

America is not a one-person island. We cooperate, and cooperation requires doing some things, not for ourselves only, but also for others.

There are dozens of ways we give up freedoms, and one of those many ways would be to wear a mask, for the good of society.

Everyone would prefer not to wear a mask, just as everyone would prefer not to be forced to wear a seat belt. Wearing a mask can be uncomfortable, hot, sweaty. and cumbersome. You have to remember to take one with you. And, masks hide our facial expressions, which are a primary method for our communication.

But wearing a mask is the single, most effective way, to end the COVID — more effective than washing your hands or disinfecting surfaces, and probably more effective even than social distancing.

With the exception of restaurants, most businesses could operate with everyone wearing masks. Most offices could operate. Most production and delivery facilities could operate. Most schools, hospitals, and doctors could function.

With the exception of the players themselves, most sports could operate.

Masks work. If you wear a mask and I wear a mask, the likelihood that either of us would communicate the virus to the other is quite low.

A nationwide mandate that everyone must wear a mask, would effectively end the transmission of COVID. This surely is a small price to pay for herd immunity to a deadly disease.

Had we done this back in May, the disease would be rare, if even existent, today.

I urge each “no-masker” to be a patriotic American, thinking not only of yourself, but of your fellow Americans, and agree to a nationwide mandate.Watch Trump Fondle an American Flag at CPAC

We are all on this lifeboat together, and this is not a good time to demand your right to do as you please.

Patriotism is more than hugging a flag. It take unselfish cooperation to “make America great, again.”

Given the choice of closing the economy or a national mask-mandate or doing what we are doing, I would choose the mask mandate.

People are getting sick. People are dying. America is dying.

We can’t continue to do nothing.

We must take action. The national mask mandate is the path out of this mess.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


16 thoughts on “Why closing down the economy for COVID-19 is a bad idea

  1. Click this link and read the magnificent article in full. You might be shocked:

    America’s narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us

    Here’s a question for all red-blooded liberty-loving American patriots: Who has a greater lived experience of freedom at the moment, citizens of Vietnam or the United States?

    Vietnam, of course, is a one-party Communist state, with fairly strict limitations on freedom of speech, the press, and so on, while the U.S. has (at least for now) a somewhat democratic constitution and (at least formally) some protections for civil liberties.

    But in Vietnam, there is no raging coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to swift action from the government, that nation squelched its initial outbreak, and has so far successfully contained all subsequent infection clusters before they got out of hand.

    Its figures at time of writing (which have been confirmed as reliable by outside sources) show a mere 1,283 cases and 35 deaths, and no community transmission for the last 75 days.

    Life for Vietnamese people has returned to normal, with a few sensible precautions. If their success holds for a few more months until a vaccine can be deployed, Vietnam will have dodged the pandemic nearly perfectly.

    Given Vietnam’s high population and very high density — it has over 96 million people crammed into an area about the size of New Mexico — numerous long borders, including one with the country where the pandemic started, and relatively impoverished economy, it has turned in arguably the most impressive performance of any country in the world.

    Meanwhile in the self-appointed “land of the free,” on Sunday the seven-day average of daily COVID-19 deaths was 1,148. The same seven-day average of new cases has increased from about 82,000 on November 1 to over 150,000 on Sunday — numbers that are certainly a large underestimate, because, with very high test positivity rates across much of the country, many cases are being missed.

    Total recorded deaths in the U.S. are over 250,000, which again is a large under-count. There are many more future deaths already baked in, and infections are mounting exponentially in almost every state. Unless something changes, and fast, the coronavirus pandemic will surpass the Second World War to become the greatest American mass casualty event since the influenza pandemic of 1918.

    The bleak irony of American life is our boastful and hyperbolic national conception of liberty has left us as one of the most unfree peoples on the globe.

    There can be no freedom without government, a lesson currently being inscribed in blood, and stacked up in the mobile morgues that are overflowing with corpses in more cities around the country every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The article is much more Hobbesian than Lockean. Also funny how they don’t even mention Sweden at all. Or Belarus, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and several other countries than don’t fit the pro-lockdown narrative. They do correctly mention Taiwan and Japan as success stories, albeit while conveniently forgetting to mention that that neither one did a lockdown.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also, the article did not mention Peru or Argentina, who also do not fit the narrative–albeit for the opposite reason. Both had the world’s longest, strictest, and earliest (for their region) lockdowns and some of the world’s strictest mask mandates as well. Back in the spring, both were hailed as success stories. Yet the former now has the dubious distinction of having the world’s second-worst death rate after Belgium (also quite strict by the way), while the latter now has a death rate higher than Brazil’s and an economy that is on it’s way to becoming the next Venezuela with 40% inflation and growing. Go figure, I mean, it’s almost like the virus doesn’t really care one whit about our policies, at least not once the horse is already out of the barn.


        1. There is no magic in this. I don’t know the specifics, but somewhere along the line the Peruvians and Argentinians must have become lax or overconfident, and started mingling without masks. No other explanation is possible.


  2. It is today not possible to treat the pandemic except with strong measures. home here in Australia our strong practises have largely defeated the spread of jt,
    Financially you of all know that the federal government has exerted its right to create money to fund every debt the pandemic has caused. After all it
    s a government duty ti k minister to conditions like acts of God. its government to put. up


  3. [Continued] It is the federal government’s duty to deal with the pandemic, to make good all the financial costs. The GFC from 2008 -10 sent the country back $29 Trillion. That duty to the guilty parties who floundered in face of it was easily considered by a monetary sovereign government just paying down the enormous debt.
    The government must pay back the citizens’ losses There will be no burden on our childrens’ financial wealth, no burden on any citizen.


    1. It is certainly too late for that now for the USA, even back in March that train had left the station. The advantage that Australia and New Zealand had all along was being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean relatively far away from other countries, making sealing themselves off from the world before the bulk of the virus even arrived fairly easy to do.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. True. But by the time we closed our borders and banned travel from Europe, it was already far too late. The virus was already circulating for quite some time before under the radar. At least in Australia and New Zealand, the virus arrived “fashionably late” there.


  4. I agree that shutting down the economy again is a very bad idea with far too much collateral damage. No argument from me there. And up until about three months ago, I also would have agreed with you about the mask mandates. But since then I have observed that while masks may work well at the *micro* level, they don’t seem to work well at the *macro* level. Numerous examples of countries, states, and localities both in the USA and around the world strongly suggest that the effectiveness of mask mandates has been overstated, if not entirely a mere “placebo” policy. See the charts at following links here:


    For the record, the USA even without national mandate already has one of the highest mask compliance rates in the world, hovering around 80-90% since July or so, comparable to several Asian countries and higher than some European countries with such mandates.

    Of course, mandate or no mandate, most transmission of the virus occurs within homes rather than in public, which even when it is not exempt from such mandates, is out of the sight of authorities and thus practically unenforceable.

    A national mask mandate will of course raise serious constitutional questions as it applies to private and non-federal property. Doing it by executive order would likely be blatantly unconstitutional (even Biden admits as much, hence quickly walking it back), so that leaves Congress to do so (good luck with that!), and even then if they do, it would most likely be simply coercing states to implement their own mandates per federal standards under penalty of of losing federal funds, kinda like they did in the 1980s with the 21 drinking age.

    And by January 20th, 2021, when Biden is inaugurated, the worst of the pandemic would most likely be over anyway. Thus the courts would be even more likely to strike it down then.


      1. We shall see. The Midwest seems to be peaking right now, and Act 3 of the pandemic will thus have concluded by sometime in January.

        There is no federal seatbelt mandate, but rather Congress does withhold a portion of federal highway funding for states that don’t pass their own seatbelt laws. Thus, all states except New Hampshire have had seatbelt laws since the 1980s. Congress could probably do the same with a mask mandate, but that of course would require them to get their act together first, lol. But as for a direct federal mandate or executive orders by the President? Probably would not hold up to a challenge in court.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Did the dumb Trumpers learn a lesson — or are they even capable of learning?

    Parents Tried to Cover Up a ‘Superspreader’ Dance. Disaster Ensued.

    Up to 200 Rolla High School students—and “numerous” parents—gathered indoors at Matt’s Steakhouse on Saturday, Nov. 7. Wann called it “a parent-organized event,” and the department has said students from the freshman through senior classes were present.

    “The individuals that we have been in contact with all report no masks were worn and that masks were made optional by the event organizers,

    The story out of Rolla mirrored many others throughout the country, where health departments face an uphill battle against COVID-19 skepticism and the politicization of mask-wearing—and the potential for one event to spark massive outbreaks. But it stood out for what residents described as a purposeful effort to ward off health officials’ scrutiny even as the pandemic’s third wave breaches new frontiers of horror nationwide.

    Click the link to read the rest of the article.


    Well, apparently the #DumbTrumpers have not learned anything:

    Trump’s favorite coronavirus adviser encouraged people to “rise up” against new restrictions
    By Vanessa Taylor
    November 16, 2020

    Throughout November, coronavirus cases nationwide have surged. There is no immediate end to the pandemic in sight — but rather than supporting governors in protecting their constituents, federal officials are once again railing against safety measures.

    Over the weekend, President Trump’s coronavirus adviser told Michigan to “rise up” against the state’s new restrictions.

    Atlas tweeted, “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #Freedom Matters #StepUp.” Atlas has emerged as President Trump’s favored coronavirus adviser, while other medical experts like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have been sidelined.


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