“…for now, the real tax on everyone’s nerves is uncertainty. Americans are uncertain about the danger of this disease for their family and loved ones, they’re uncertain whether the hospital will be able to take care of them even if they don’t have the coronavirus, they’re uncertain about whether they’ll have a livelihood to go back to once the government lets them out of their homes, or whether their kids will ever go back to school. They’re even uncertain whether they should wear a mask.”
(Ben Domenech – Federalist) Our leadership class responded to the outbreak of the coronavirus by shutting down the economy on a nationwide scale. While this will mitigate the loss of life the virus might otherwise have caused, it’s clear we’re also confronting a challenge no medical innovation can cure….
We face an unprecedented situation — not a global pandemic, we’ve seen those before, but a modern capitalist economy that turned itself off for potentially more than 60 days, on purpose.
Uncertainty crushes hope. So the question on the minds of our leaders should be: how do we give citizens more confidence that we can, and will, turn the economy back on?
While this shutdown has already done enormous damage, it is the uncertainty about how it will reopen that could prove far more destructive in the long run. And the knee-jerk reaction from a jittery Congress in the form of multi-trillion-dollar bailouts could create a number of disincentives for many people to go back to work.