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Is the goal FLATTEN THE CURVE or ELIMINATE COVID?


Ottakee
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38 minutes ago, Frances said:

And depending on the state, they may also provide good benefits, including health insurance. It also seems like a job that could be done from home by phone in many cases. I know my state is already planning to use some of the contact tracers to assist families with members in quarantine by connecting them with resources and help.

 

My husband works for the state and was in a meeting Friday about such a job. Unfortunately, it is probably not one we can do in our house (unable to get the privacy needed for such calls with HIPAA regulations and they don't want them working from the office due to keeping the #s working there down.)  So I know our state is working on it.

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This is interesting. 

Quote

Chile is expected to issue the world’s first “immunity passports” to people who have recovered from the coronavirus, marking them exempt from quarantines and other restrictions.

Chile to issue world's first 'immunity passports' to people who have recovered from coronavirus

A lot of issues with this. First, we don't know if there is immunity to COVID. Second, does this "passport" encourage people to intentionally expose themselves to COVID so they can work? 

I anticipate some kind of proof of health in the future. What does that mean? Immunity proved through antibodies or negative testing? Will proof of health be required to work? Or to get on a plane or attend a football? IDK. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

This is interesting. 

Chile to issue world's first 'immunity passports' to people who have recovered from coronavirus

A lot of issues with this. First, we don't know if there is immunity to COVID. Second, does this "passport" encourage people to intentionally expose themselves to COVID so they can work? 

I anticipate some kind of proof of health in the future. What does that mean? Immunity proved through antibodies or negative testing? Will proof of health be required to work? Or to get on a plane or attend a football? IDK. 

 

I am definitely not recommending copying China but they have an app.  Where you get a traffic colour light ranking that determines where you can go and what you can do.  Sounds like it’s not fun to live with as it can change quite suddenly without you knowing why.  You might have a contact somewhere that you didn’t know about or whatever. 
 

 

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As several posters mention above, putting those with less choices at risk is what allows you to stay home and avoid risks.....grocery store workers, truck drivers, agricultural workers, food packaging workers, day care workers, grocery delivery, Amazon warehouse and delivery, nursing home staff, medical workers and support staff (house keeping, dietary, maintenance, etc).

Doctors and nurses might make more money but the majority of the people working on the front lines make very little money and are the working poor, blue collar workers.   Likely most of them would make MORE money staying home than working, but since they are deemed essential they go to work, out themselves and their families at higher risk, and still make less than those on unemployment who have the ability to shelter in place.

The $600/week unemployment bonus alone is more than many/most of these essential workers make in a week (plus unemployed get the base rate too).  Personally, if I was NOT working, I would make almost double what I do now.

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11 hours ago, kand said:

So what are you saying should happen differently for them?

Since we do not know specifically who will die over the next year, there is nothing I can suggest specifically for them.  What I am suggesting is that an approach of "I don't like the costs associated with various alternatives, so the only option is to sit and wait it out" comes at a cost also.  While we are sitting and waiting, we have not entered into a time warp where everything stands still around us.  We may choose to put a lot of our daily activities on hold, but the world still turns, and life (and death) still goes on. 

The death rate of those 85 and over in the US is about 13.5% per year.  Putting things on hold for a year, means that 13.5% of those people missed out on ever experiencing those things again in their life.  Every four weeks of putting things on hold, means that over 1% of those people miss out on ever experiencing those things again in their life.  At this point, I am not making a judgement call of whether putting various restrictions in place or choosing not to do certain things, is good or bad.  I am just thinking through what all of the costs and benefits are of various possibilities.  There are no easy choices; we must make decisions within a context of uncertainty and not knowing; but the things we do know should be included in our decision making. 

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9 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

Just talking AU here, I can see there's some really interesting pivots taking place. 

I actually think small business and freelancers are showing immense adaptability at the moment. 

It's one of the shames (to me) of not aiming for extinction within national borders with only a few more weeks of observance of current measures (Dr Swan said 3 weeks, I think). I think we are actually rising to the challenge of reshaping things in a pretty major way, and to just cut that process off for 'normal'...idk...I think there are some losses there.

Again, only talking AU.

I agree. I think we could have all sorts of interesting new business opportunities come from this. there is a hard transition, yes, but humans are pretty resourceful and creative. Already the restaurants are selling raw ingredients for meals, not just cooked food. That gets that food that was in the commercial supply chain into people's hands/fridges, and helps the restaurants make money, etc. They could also have workers working various shifts, preparing things over a 24 hour period even, to stagger when workers are there to reduce risk. 

I bet we see all sorts of crazy ideas I can't even think of yet. 

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12 hours ago, Frances said:

And depending on the state, they may also provide good benefits, including health insurance. It also seems like a job that could be done from home by phone in many cases. I know my state is already planning to use some of the contact tracers to assist families with members in quarantine by connecting them with resources and help.

The states are going to be running out of money soon. Cities already are. A close relative works in city government in a mid-size city in CA and they just laid off over 100 people and that was just the first round of people who staff things that are non-essential. They are going to have trouble paying for basic services soon. States are going to start borrowing from the feds to cover unemployment. We're talking millions of tax revenue that is lost from sales tax, hotel tax, etc.

Also, in hilarious timing, most contracting jobs that are work from home in CA were effectively outlawed last year via AB5. A lot of people here who would otherwise be working from home had their jobs wiped out before the virus was even a thing. I think about that a lot now since we want everyone who can to work from home.

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11 minutes ago, EmseB said:

The states are going to be running out of money soon. Cities already are. A close relative works in city government in a mid-size city in CA and they just laid off over 100 people and that was just the first round of people who staff things that are non-essential. They are going to have trouble paying for basic services soon. States are going to start borrowing from the feds to cover unemployment. We're talking millions of tax revenue that is lost from sales tax, hotel tax, etc.

Also, in hilarious timing, most contracting jobs that are work from home in CA were effectively outlawed last year via AB5. A lot of people here who would otherwise be working from home had their jobs wiped out before the virus was even a thing. I think about that a lot now since we want everyone who can to work from home.

I think it’s going to vary from place to place depending on lots of different factors, including the unique mix of tax revenue, mix of  industries, and the size of reserve or rainy day funds. I know my state has done a good job of building a very large one. It could be even better if not for our unique kicker law. At a minimum, I do expect some downsizing, pay freezes, furlough days, etc here, but I don’t doubt they will also be moving resources to do things such as hire contract tracers. It will also hopefully bring the two sides together to meet somewhere in the middle on much needed pension reform. Although unfortunately, most of the real cost can’t be touched because it’s already been accrued.

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2 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

 I thought that bill was originally meant to help gig workers like lyft and uber. But then companies started firing many of their freelance workers to keep from paying more benefits. Seems like a reason to be upset at corporations. I’m not arguing you, but can you explain how it “basically outlawed most work from home contracting jobs”? Outlawed?

It's complicated. Of course it was meant to help gig workers. It was misguided and way too broad. A lot of writers, truckers, cosmetologists, transcriptionists, translators, musicians, etc., are freelancers or gig workers. They are contracted by a company or paid by the job, set their own hours and choose which jobs to take from which companies. They don't want to be hired by one company because, like for truckers or musicians, they make their living by hiring themselves out to different places as contractors. AB5 effectively made that illegal. 
I read one article where a self-employed musician basically paid for all the fees and permits to become his own LLC so that he could get hired to work in bars again, so it makes me cynically think the state just wanted the revenue they were missing out on. Then again, as a self-employed contractor, my income was pretty heavily taxed anyway. This is tangential to covid, but I worked as a freelance transcriptionist and now I can't because my work paid by the piece, I worked for multiple companies, and I couldn't afford to have set hours or set jobs to complete since I'm at home with the kids. When I move out of California, I'll be able to do this kind of work again, but it is not legal for companies here to contract with me. They would have to hire me, and I can't do that, so I just go without. We're lucky because we didn't strictly need my income.

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17 minutes ago, Frances said:

I think it’s going to vary from place to place depending on lots of different factors, including the unique mix of tax revenue, mix of  industries, and the size of reserve or rainy day funds. I know my state has done a good job of building a very large one. It could be even better if not for our unique kicker law. At a minimum, I do expect some downsizing, pay freezes, furlough days, etc here, but I don’t doubt they will also be moving resources to do things such as hire contract tracers. It will also hopefully bring the two sides together to meet somewhere in the middle on much needed pension reform. Although unfortunately, most of the real cost can’t be touched because it’s already been accrued.

The city I'm talking about had/has an emergency fund to cover expenses in the short term. Their primary tax revenue came from tourism, though, and so once those funds run out, they likely won't be coming back. There will be nothing to shift or resources to move to contact tracing for this particular city and many like it.

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Just now, EmseB said:

The city I'm talking about had/has an emergency fund to cover expenses in the short term. Their primary tax revenue came from tourism, though, and so once those funds run out, they likely won't be coming back. There will be nothing to shift or resources to move to contact tracing for this particular city and many like it.

I don’t doubt any of that is true. I was just pointing out that it will vary from place to place depending on many factors. Since this is part of my job, I’ve been closely following what is happening here. I don’t doubt the reality is quite different elsewhere.

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27 minutes ago, EmseB said:

The states are going to be running out of money soon. Cities already are. A close relative works in city government in a mid-size city in CA and they just laid off over 100 people and that was just the first round of people who staff things that are non-essential. They are going to have trouble paying for basic services soon. States are going to start borrowing from the feds to cover unemployment. We're talking millions of tax revenue that is lost from sales tax, hotel tax, etc.

Also, in hilarious timing, most contracting jobs that are work from home in CA were effectively outlawed last year via AB5. A lot of people here who would otherwise be working from home had their jobs wiped out before the virus was even a thing. I think about that a lot now since we want everyone who can to work from home.

I'm not an economist so this will probably sound really stupid but what does that mean? States and cities running out of money? What is "money?" Obviously I know what those dollar bills in my wallet are. I know that they collect "money" in taxes. 

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in our economy right with the Fed's current monetary policy. I'm not an economist so I don't understand it but I think the Fed is buying securities behind the scenes to stabilize companies. The Fed isn't paying what they are actually worth. 

I think most of us have a flawed assumption that there is scarcity. That money can run out. I'm not saying that resources are not finite but "money" is not the same as oil or water. 

(sorry I know this sounds really stupid. This is outside of my wheelhouse so I don't use the correct terminology.) 

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16 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

Money is an actual thing and if cities aren't taking in tax money they can't actually pay wages for employees. Cities and states can't print money like the feds can. 

Like I said, the dollar bills in our wallets are real things but what is it besides that? 

Cities and states can't print money but the Feds can. So if a city and or state "runs out of money" the Fed chooses to allow that to happen. Why? And must it be that way? 

 

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19 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

If the valuation of money becomes unhinged you’re looking at massive inflation.  Which is very, very bad juju and makes a short crisis much deeper and longer to recover from.  Destroying the value of a currency by printing too much to temporarily ease shortages or insert capital into economies backfires surprisingly quickly, and there are multiple examples of this across the world in the past 200 years.

I understand that but this is happening right now. The Fed did this in 2008 and they are doing it again now. The Fed is buying securities but not paying what they are actually worth. 

There is also the issue of some states paying more in federal taxes than their citizens get back in federal services. So how does the State of California "run out of money" when its citizens pay more in federal taxes than its citizens actually get back from the federal government. 

ETA - the Fed is printing money but it's making choices in how to allocate that money. Why are they making those choices? Could they allocate that money differently? In 2008 and now, corporate losses are socialized but profit is not. Why is that? What does money mean (and I know that sounds stupid) when corporate losses are socialized? 

Edited by Ordinary Shoes
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RE how we can trust that people will follow social distancing - our church had an outside gathering recently. There was singing involved. We didn't attend but the people who attended claimed that they followed social distancing. 

There's a video of the event. People did not stand six feet apart. The children were playing together. The adults were not right next to each other but they were not six feet apart. Remember if people are singing six feet may not be enough social distancing. 

This is why the responsible church leaders are being very cautious about resuming services. People don't follow social distancing guidelines enough but think they are following them. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

RE how we can trust that people will follow social distancing - our church had an outside gathering recently. There was singing involved. We didn't attend but the people who attended claimed that they followed social distancing. 

There's a video of the event. People did not stand six feet apart. The children were playing together. The adults were not right next to each other but they were not six feet apart. Remember if people are singing six feet may not be enough social distancing. 

This is why the responsible church leaders are being very cautious about resuming services. People don't follow social distancing guidelines enough but think they are following them. 

The supermarkets here paint lines on the floor at two metre distance. Would floor paint be useful for churches?

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I understand that but this is happening right now. The Fed did this in 2008 and they are doing it again now. The Fed is buying securities but not paying what they are actually worth. 

There is also the issue of some states paying more in federal taxes than their citizens get back in federal services. So how does the State of California "run out of money" when its citizens pay more in federal taxes than its citizens actually get back from the federal government. 

ETA - the Fed is printing money but it's making choices in how to allocate that money. Why are they making those choices? Could they allocate that money differently? In 2008 and now, corporate losses are socialized but profit is not. Why is that? What does money mean (and I know that sounds stupid) when corporate losses are socialized? 

What do you mean that they are not paying what they are actually worth?  Do you think they are paying more or less than what they are worth?  

The Fed increases the money supply through purchasing US Treasury Securities either directly from the US Treasury or from holders of US Treasury securities (such as banks).  The end result is the same whichever they do:  higher bond prices, lower interest rates, greater money supply.   The dual mandate of the federal reserve is to use monetary policy (changes in the money supply) for price stability (inflation) and maximum employment.  What would a different allocation look like?

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3 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

What do you mean that they are not paying what they are actually worth?  Do you think they are paying more or less than what they are worth?  

The Fed increases the money supply through purchasing US Treasury Securities either directly from the US Treasury or from holders of US Treasury securities (such as banks).  The end result is the same whichever they do:  higher bond prices, lower interest rates, greater money supply.   The dual mandate of the federal reserve is to use monetary policy (changes in the money supply) for price stability (inflation) and maximum employment.  What would a different allocation look like?

They are not using the traditional methods of valuing assets to determine the price. They are probably paying more than they are worth. 

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not an economist so this will probably sound really stupid but what does that mean? States and cities running out of money? What is "money?" Obviously I know what those dollar bills in my wallet are. I know that they collect "money" in taxes. 

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in our economy right with the Fed's current monetary policy. I'm not an economist so I don't understand it but I think the Fed is buying securities behind the scenes to stabilize companies. The Fed isn't paying what they are actually worth. 

I think most of us have a flawed assumption that there is scarcity. That money can run out. I'm not saying that resources are not finite but "money" is not the same as oil or water. 

(sorry I know this sounds really stupid. This is outside of my wheelhouse so I don't use the correct terminology.) 

 

You're correct... sorta. In a fiat economy, which we have, we can just print more money.

But that brings its own set of problems. Runaway inflation is NOT the solution here. I don't know if we would fall into the pit of runaway inflation if we just spent into the deficit, but everybody's afraid of ending up the way Germany did during the Depression.

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

If the valuation of money becomes unhinged you’re looking at massive inflation.  Which is very, very bad juju and makes a short crisis much deeper and longer to recover from.  Destroying the value of a currency by printing too much to temporarily ease shortages or insert capital into economies backfires surprisingly quickly, and there are multiple examples of this across the world in the past 200 years.

This is what I typically think.  However all the examples I know of have happened when one country was printing money to deal with a crisis not a global crisis where everyone’s doing it.  And I wonder what the impact is then.  But yeah in a time when resources are more scarce even without printing money inflation is likely to be a thing.  Competition from China etc for food may push food prices up a lot.   

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not an economist so this will probably sound really stupid but what does that mean? States and cities running out of money? What is "money?" Obviously I know what those dollar bills in my wallet are. I know that they collect "money" in taxes. 

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in our economy right with the Fed's current monetary policy. I'm not an economist so I don't understand it but I think the Fed is buying securities behind the scenes to stabilize companies. The Fed isn't paying what they are actually worth. 

I think most of us have a flawed assumption that there is scarcity. That money can run out. I'm not saying that resources are not finite but "money" is not the same as oil or water. 

(sorry I know this sounds really stupid. This is outside of my wheelhouse so I don't use the correct terminology.) 

The definition of economics is the "the study of the allocation of scarce resource"--so at its heart is about scarcity.  While the Federal Reserve can increase the money supply, the money is worth only what it can buy.  The only reason $1 is "worth" anything is that it can buy me an apple which I can eat.  Having more $$$ is not helpful if there are not more apples to buy.  If there are more $ and the same number of apples, it just means that each apple is worth more $, or it takes more $ to buy an apple--which is inflation.  

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14 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

They are not using the traditional methods of valuing assets to determine the price. They are probably paying more than they are worth. 

I don't know how they are not using the traditional methods of value the bonds they are purchasing--they are looking at the present value of the future cash flows.  There are actually many other purchasers of these securities, and the Federal Reserve is not paying more than what other purchasers are paying.

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10 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

This is what I typically think.  However all the examples I know of have happened when one country was printing money to deal with a crisis not a global crisis where everyone’s doing it.  And I wonder what the impact is then.  But yeah in a time when resources are more scarce even without printing money inflation is likely to be a thing.  Competition from China etc for food may push food prices up a lot.   

If all countries increase their money supplies, then all countries will see that they have inflation; each unit of their currencies will purchase less goods and services.  If all countries increase their money supplies by the same percentage, then there would not be a change in exchange rates between countries, but if one country increases its money supply by less than other countries, its currency will appreciate (become more valuable), making it relatively cheaper for people in those countries to purchase items from other countries (and more expensive for people in those other countries to purchase from it).

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re overpaying for outstanding debt on the secondary market

3 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not an economist so this will probably sound really stupid but what does that mean? States and cities running out of money? What is "money?" Obviously I know what those dollar bills in my wallet are. I know that they collect "money" in taxes. 

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in our economy right with the Fed's current monetary policy. I'm not an economist so I don't understand it but I think the Fed is buying securities behind the scenes to stabilize companies. The Fed isn't paying what they are actually worth...

 

2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I understand that but this is happening right now. The Fed did this in 2008 and they are doing it again now. The Fed is buying securities but not paying what they are actually worth.... 

When you say "securities," are you referring to US Treasury (= federal debt), state and municipal bonds (= state/city debt) or corporate bonds (= "company" debt)?
 

 

 

2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

.....There is also the issue of some states paying more in federal taxes than their citizens get back in federal services. So how does the State of California "run out of money" when its citizens pay more in federal taxes than its citizens actually get back from the federal government...  

While there are indeed "net federal tax giver" and "net federal tax taker" states  (this site does a nice job slicing and dicing that data in different ways), that is an outcome that derives from how relatively productive/income generating as a % of national GDP different states are vs how many people in those states are eligible for Federally-supported programs like Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, special education and school lunch programs and etc.  Whether a given state is a net federal "giver" or "taker" is not something that is established by state policy; it's just a result of the level of individual and corporate taxes paid from state residents, vs the amount of federal programs individuals and corporations and etc within the state are eligible. It's not like CA could decide to turn off that spigot (or CT either, for that matter -- we, also, are a significant "net giver" given our teeny-tiny size).

 

 

2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

ETA - the Fed is printing money but it's making choices in how to allocate that money. Why are they making those choices? Could they allocate that money differently? In 2008 and now, corporate losses are socialized but profit is not. Why is that? What does money mean (and I know that sounds stupid) when corporate losses are socialized? 

How?  (Not arguing but also not understanding what you seem to be referring to.)

 

 

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Here is the thing. We currently still have a need for food, shelter, medical care, etc The things money buys. 

We have less of a market right now for certain things, like eating out, sports, theater, etc. Some of the things, like eating out, are somewhat balanced by buying more groceries and more take out, etc. Others, like sports, theater, etc don't have a current equivalent that fits with social distancing. But is that money/spending that goes away or does it move to some other area - people buying better home theater equipment, home gym equipment, nicer furniture since they are home more, yard projects, etc? Which leads to a shift in the jobs that are available?

And other things, like retail shopping for clothes, etc there is still a need for, but we haven't found a way to do it yet. Some is shifting online, but we will need to shift more before all is said and done. 

So...I wonder, if left to itself, could the things people spend money on, and how they spend it, shift in such a way that the economy changes, rather than faltering? Not quickly, not overnight, but it is an interesting question (to me, anyway). That said, I'd rather it be a thought experiment than one I live through!

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I don't know if this is accurate so please correct me if I'm wrong but the stats here seem scary given that most of our hospitals are hemorrhaging both money and personnel. So when things turn back on...will we have enough resources and personnel to even deal with it? Especially in rural areas?

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1 hour ago, Pam in CT said:

re overpaying for outstanding debt on the secondary market

 

When you say "securities," are you referring to US Treasury (= federal debt), state and municipal bonds (= state/city debt) or corporate bonds (= "company" debt)?
 

 

 

While there are indeed "net federal tax giver" and "net federal tax taker" states  (this site does a nice job slicing and dicing that data in different ways), that is an outcome that derives from how relatively productive/income generating as a % of national GDP different states are vs how many people in those states are eligible for Federally-supported programs like Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, special education and school lunch programs and etc.  Whether a given state is a net federal "giver" or "taker" is not something that is established by state policy; it's just a result of the level of individual and corporate taxes paid from state residents, vs the amount of federal programs individuals and corporations and etc within the state are eligible. It's not like CA could decide to turn off that spigot (or CT either, for that matter -- we, also, are a significant "net giver" given our teeny-tiny size).

 

 

How?  (Not arguing but also not understanding what you seem to be referring to.)

 

 

I hardly know what I meant by securities. I happened to read a few things recently that piqued my interest. I'll see if I can find them again. 

WRT to the "giver" vs "taker" states, I know that the state can't turn off the spigot. But there are some things that we all do because we all do them, KWIM? Like pay our federal taxes. Or make payments on student loans or pay your rent. Of course most of us cannot stop paying our federal taxes because it is withheld from our paychecks. 

And each state stays in the USA because there's a benefit to staying. The federal government is now pitting states against each and pitting states against the federal government. Will that change things? Who knows? 

Basic question - is a nation where some states have more representation than others sustainable? 

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On 4/23/2020 at 2:13 PM, teachermom2834 said:

I'm in TN but close to GA. GA is really going for it and their numbers are not good and they seem to always be on the list of states doing the least testing. I hope it goes okay because my ds is graduating from college in Atlanta and is planning to start a job there in the fall. So, I would love to see Atlanta get going but it doesn't look very encouraging by the numbers and they certainly are not phasing things in at all. My ds that lives there is very cautious and is staying home so I'm not super worried about him personally but I just don't think they have any of the metrics to open and they aren't going in phases. I wasn't shocked that they were opening up but I was shocked by the details.

We are going slower here in TN but we are beginning the process of getting back. I feel better about our situation here than in GA. We have lower case counts and pretty good testing. Supposedly anyone now can get a test even without symptoms. 

We will see soon I guess. 

 

I have family near Georgia and am concerned about what Georgia is doing. 

 

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

I don't know if this is accurate so please correct me if I'm wrong but the stats here seem scary given that most of our hospitals are hemorrhaging both money and personnel. So when things turn back on...will we have enough resources and personnel to even deal with it? Especially in rural areas?

In my personal experience, a lot of medical procedures including biopsies for cancer are getting put off, especially those that aren't deemed to be as life threatening if caught later.  My DH is awaiting a biopsy right now, and it won't happen for the foreseeable future until things start opening up again.  I think they are guessing it is likely a slower growing cancer, because often it would be, but they don't know for sure without a biopsy.  So they are playing the odds.  I am very angry about it.

They are shutting down clinics and minimizing staff to preserve PPE for covid patients, while those with potential cancer are told to just wait at home and hope for the best and they are sorry.  I worry about how many people will get diagnosed with a later stage of cancer than needed to be because of this.  How many future cancer deaths will be caused by the pandemic and lack of medical care.

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I am in two Facebook groups for my home state, both of which scare me in different ways.

In one they are encouraging people NOT to follow the law. To open their business, disregard the masking laws, etc. "You aren't the boss of me" kind of attitude. And keep posting videos and articles that support this idea.

In the other, they think we are opening too fast and think we should stay locked down/shelter in place for MORE TIME. And keep posting videos and articles supporting this idea.

 

Our poor leaders are going to be vilified no matter what they do.

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Here is the thing. We currently still have a need for food, shelter, medical care, etc The things money buys. 

We have less of a market right now for certain things, like eating out, sports, theater, etc. Some of the things, like eating out, are somewhat balanced by buying more groceries and more take out, etc. Others, like sports, theater, etc don't have a current equivalent that fits with social distancing. But is that money/spending that goes away or does it move to some other area - people buying better home theater equipment, home gym equipment, nicer furniture since they are home more, yard projects, etc? Which leads to a shift in the jobs that are available?

And other things, like retail shopping for clothes, etc there is still a need for, but we haven't found a way to do it yet. Some is shifting online, but we will need to shift more before all is said and done. 

So...I wonder, if left to itself, could the things people spend money on, and how they spend it, shift in such a way that the economy changes, rather than faltering? Not quickly, not overnight, but it is an interesting question (to me, anyway). That said, I'd rather it be a thought experiment than one I live through!

I doubt it, because many of these things people can't spend money on now are things that satisfy the human craving for communal experiences. Drinking beer alone sitting on fancy new patio furniture is no substitute for hanging out at the pub with friends.  Watching a recorded play in one's great expensive home theater is not a substitute for the experience of a live performance at community theater.  
I do not think that the human need to spend time with other people sharing a variety of experiences can be satisfied by purchasing more stuff

Which is also why restaurants offering takeout and selling groceries is a drop in the bucket for the owners, since good restaurants are about so much more than just the food. The places that do that here have let go of almost all staff; it's just enough to help the owners a bit - but it is not an alternative business model.

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My DH ordered a bike helmet from our local bike shop. He was told they had their best sales day ever. Not this year but since they opened. 

 

Part of this is REI closed up and is doing online ordering only by choice. This business doesn't allow customers in the store everything must be brought out to you but even with no browsing (although people could be browsing at home online) they are making record sales and have hired multiple new people. 

 

Not enough to make up for all the tourist shops that will be dead in the water by any means but there are a lot of shifts in what people are spending on.

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re the untenable position our governors, public health officials, and even POTUS are in:

37 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

I am in two Facebook groups for my home state, both of which scare me in different ways.

In one they are encouraging people NOT to follow the law. To open their business, disregard the masking laws, etc. "You aren't the boss of me" kind of attitude. And keep posting videos and articles that support this idea.

In the other, they think we are opening too fast and think we should stay locked down/shelter in place for MORE TIME. And keep posting videos and articles supporting this idea.

 

Our poor leaders are going to be vilified no matter what they do.

 

This is true. This is a terrible, awful, unprecedentedly difficult problem -- the most intractable no-good-options-out-there since the Depression.  Information is LOUSY; leaders are trying to fly a plane without instruments.  And we are as a society so fundamentally fractured, and suspicious, and resentful, that there is no measure that any mayor or governor or POTUS could take that more than perhaps 30% of the society would receive with good cheers.

It's also true that leadership means LEAD, not follow the winds of public opinion.

I feel for our leaders.  Really I do; they didn't sign up for this; they could never have expected to be facing anything like this.

And also: I expect them to pull themselves together, quit trying to cast blame on predecessors or China or Bill.Freaking.Gates, and do their singular best.  Or get out of the way.

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1 hour ago, Loowit said:

In my personal experience, a lot of medical procedures including biopsies for cancer are getting put off, especially those that aren't deemed to be as life threatening if caught later.  My DH is awaiting a biopsy right now, and it won't happen for the foreseeable future until things start opening up again.  I think they are guessing it is likely a slower growing cancer, because often it would be, but they don't know for sure without a biopsy.  So they are playing the odds.  I am very angry about it.

They are shutting down clinics and minimizing staff to preserve PPE for covid patients, while those with potential cancer are told to just wait at home and hope for the best and they are sorry.  I worry about how many people will get diagnosed with a later stage of cancer than needed to be because of this.  How many future cancer deaths will be caused by the pandemic and lack of medical care.

Definitely. But without enough PPE, I can't imagine what else they can do. No good answers. 

1 hour ago, regentrude said:

I doubt it, because many of these things people can't spend money on now are things that satisfy the human craving for communal experiences. Drinking beer alone sitting on fancy new patio furniture is no substitute for hanging out at the pub with friends.  Watching a recorded play in one's great expensive home theater is not a substitute for the experience of a live performance at community theater.  
I do not think that the human need to spend time with other people sharing a variety of experiences can be satisfied by purchasing more stuff

Which is also why restaurants offering takeout and selling groceries is a drop in the bucket for the owners, since good restaurants are about so much more than just the food. The places that do that here have let go of almost all staff; it's just enough to help the owners a bit - but it is not an alternative business model.

Well, I think we all anticipate small groups and visiting being a thing sooner rather than later. More patio dinners vs dining out at restaurants. 

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3 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re the untenable position our governors, public health officials, and even POTUS are in:

 

This is true. This is a terrible, awful, unprecedentedly difficult problem -- the most intractable no-good-options-out-there since the Depression.  Information is LOUSY; leaders are trying to fly a plane without instruments.  And we are as a society so fundamentally fractured, and suspicious, and resentful, that there is no measure that any mayor or governor or POTUS could take that more than perhaps 30% of the society would receive with good cheers.

It's also true that leadership means LEAD, not follow the winds of public opinion.

I feel for our leaders.  Really I do; they didn't sign up for this; they could never have expected to be facing anything like this.

And also: I expect them to pull themselves together, quit trying to cast blame on predecessors or China or Bill.Freaking.Gates, and do their singular best.  Or get out of the way.

 

Then there is the fact that if you prevent something, people never see it. They don't know what they missed out on. The virus "isn't that bad" and destroying the economy is worse. So even if you do a great job, everyone hates you. 

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10 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Here is the thing. We currently still have a need for food, shelter, medical care, etc The things money buys. 

We have less of a market right now for certain things, like eating out, sports, theater, etc. Some of the things, like eating out, are somewhat balanced by buying more groceries and more take out, etc. Others, like sports, theater, etc don't have a current equivalent that fits with social distancing. But is that money/spending that goes away or does it move to some other area - people buying better home theater equipment, home gym equipment, nicer furniture since they are home more, yard projects, etc? Which leads to a shift in the jobs that are available?

And other things, like retail shopping for clothes, etc there is still a need for, but we haven't found a way to do it yet. Some is shifting online, but we will need to shift more before all is said and done. 

So...I wonder, if left to itself, could the things people spend money on, and how they spend it, shift in such a way that the economy changes, rather than faltering? Not quickly, not overnight, but it is an interesting question (to me, anyway). That said, I'd rather it be a thought experiment than one I live through!

There will be ways the economy shifts as what people want to purchase shifts, but that will not protect the economy from faltering.  Much of what your seeing as changes, such as restaurants marketing their takeout more (most already had takeout), are at the retail delivery level.  While those are the parts of the economy we come in contact with during our day-to-day life, and what has been most visible to us as we have had to change our daily lives, much of the economic activity occurs before retail sales to customer.  

If the lawn furniture company cannot have its production line running, it does not matter of people would spend money on lawn furniture rather than going on a vacation this summer, the lawn furniture will not be available.  The lawn furniture company cannot have its workers in its production facility.  The lawn furniture company cannot get a new machine to make its furniture because the machine maker cannot have its workers in its facility.  In order to make more lawn furniture the company has to buy a new factory, but what bank is going to lend money during an economic recession?  What company is going to expand at a time of economic uncertainty?  Added risk makes it hard for companies to attract the capital they need.  

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9 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I have family near Georgia and am concerned about what Georgia is doing. 

 

My family’s in Georgia, and it’s a mess.
One of my sisters went back to work on Friday. Because schools and other “big kid care” are closed and my parents are high risk, her dd has moved in with her other grandparents for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know what channel was left on the other day, but there was an interview with a salon owner in GA. He was talking a bout how they’re unable to responsibly open simply because of the amount of toilet paper and paper towels they would have to secure.  Obviously there are other precautions involved as well, but (what used to be) simple paper products are their own barrier!

Personally, one of my concerns, thanks to this board, lol, is the use of public restrooms. I was thinking about places that seem reasonable to go if/when they reopen, like the zoo, the drive-in theater, even a beach somewhere. But someone is inevitably going to have to use the bathroom, and I have no idea when my mindset is going to switch to the acceptance of that.

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9 hours ago, StellaM said:

One of our states where numbers are very low has moved, after 4 weeks, to allow small gathering of up to 10 people.

Surely that can satisfy the need for communal experience.

God knows, as a low income introvert who spends very little on either stuff OR experiences, a gathering of 10 people seems like a party to me.

We actually have always been allowed gatherings of 10 (and the wording was kind of vague - the police wouldn’t enforce it - except weddings which is only 5).  I think WA and QLD opened up to that level today as well.  And elective surgery is opening up here as well.

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8 hours ago, StellaM said:

One of our states where numbers are very low has moved, after 4 weeks, to allow small gathering of up to 10 people.

Surely that can satisfy the need for communal experience.

God knows, as a low income introvert who spends very little on either stuff OR experiences, a gathering of 10 people seems like a party to me.

This is one of the things that actually confuses me, though!  Well, maybe confused isn’t the right word, but still.

So a doctor from Hospital A, a nurse from Hospital B, a cashier from a grocery store, a chef from a restaurant, a daycare worker, a nursing home janitor, a meat packing plant worker, an EMT, a delivery driver, and food pantry volunteer are “allowed” to get together for a party, bringing or taking home whatever exposure is involved to all their families.

Or my very locked down family of 6 can hike with a very locked down family of 4, and that’s considered equal.

Look, I know that so much of this is going to come down to the idea of trusting other people’s risk assessment. The thing is, I don’t.

The set up is hard to explain, but my community uses group postal boxes in bunches.  Our regular mail is in our outer ring of little boxes, but most parcel boxes are on the inside of the group.  While our mail carrier is there, the inside is roped off so people can’t get go inside while she’s doing her thing.  Makes sense.
I couldn’t get my package yesterday because the inside was roped off. Okay. Meanwhile, two old guys were standing outside the ropes, within less than 2 feet of the mail carrier, chatting her up, all 3 unmasked.   Sure, they obeyed the ropes, but definitely not the spirit of them!

Meanwhile, the neighbors to one side and across the street have both had relatives from NY in and out every weekend.

My trust level is WAY low.

 

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10 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

My family’s in Georgia, and it’s a mess.
One of my sisters went back to work on Friday. Because schools and other “big kid care” are closed and my parents are high risk, her dd has moved in with her other grandparents for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know what channel was left on the other day, but there was an interview with a salon owner in GA. He was talking a bout how they’re unable to responsibly open simply because of the amount of toilet paper and paper towels they would have to secure.  Obviously there are other precautions involved as well, but (what used to be) simple paper products are their own barrier!

Personally, one of my concerns, thanks to this board, lol, is the use of public restrooms. I was thinking about places that seem reasonable to go if/when they reopen, like the zoo, the drive-in theater, even a beach somewhere. But someone is inevitably going to have to use the bathroom, and I have no idea when my mindset is going to switch to the acceptance of that.

 

I worry about needing bathroom just in planning out grocery trips now!  It’s around a 45 minute drive so I find myself adding up expected drive plus store time and really carefully planning out my coffee before leaving — how much, how long before departing...  And I’d like to be well hydrated, but ... maybe not on shopping days. 

 

 

my mother is pretty high risk just from age and lives where she has to do her own shopping etc. it is close to Georgia so people from Georgia shop at same stores. We are concerned they will be much more likely to carry infection up with them soon due to what seems like premature opening, or that people from her state will go over Georgia border to do things they can’t do in  own state and bring back infection

There are states, or parts of states, I feel pretty good about seeing Open this week or next...  but Georgia isn’t one of them.  

We are wondering if my mom should keep shopping at her usual supermarket which is just off an interstate between Georgia and where she is, or go to some smaller out of the way store. 

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4 hours ago, frogger said:

 

Then there is the fact that if you prevent something, people never see it. They don't know what they missed out on. The virus "isn't that bad" and destroying the economy is worse. So even if you do a great job, everyone hates you. 

This quote is from the German virologist running their response from a Q&A

“Q: What keeps you awake at night?
A:
 In Germany, people see that the hospitals are not overwhelmed, and they don’t understand why their shops have to shut. They only look at what’s happening here, not at the situation in, say, New York or Spain. This is the prevention paradox, and for many Germans I’m the evil guy who is crippling the economy. I get death threats, which I pass on to the police. More worrying to me are the other emails, the ones from people who say they have three kids and they’re worried about the future. It’s not my fault, but those ones keep me awake at night.”

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/26/virologist-christian-drosten-germany-coronavirus-expert-interview?__twitter_impression=true
 

I linked it already but I think it’s worth quoting here as well.

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1 hour ago, Bootsie said:

There will be ways the economy shifts as what people want to purchase shifts, but that will not protect the economy from faltering.  Much of what your seeing as changes, such as restaurants marketing their takeout more (most already had takeout), are at the retail delivery level.  While those are the parts of the economy we come in contact with during our day-to-day life, and what has been most visible to us as we have had to change our daily lives, much of the economic activity occurs before retail sales to customer.  

If the lawn furniture company cannot have its production line running, it does not matter of people would spend money on lawn furniture rather than going on a vacation this summer, the lawn furniture will not be available.  The lawn furniture company cannot have its workers in its production facility.  The lawn furniture company cannot get a new machine to make its furniture because the machine maker cannot have its workers in its facility.  In order to make more lawn furniture the company has to buy a new factory, but what bank is going to lend money during an economic recession?  What company is going to expand at a time of economic uncertainty?  Added risk makes it hard for companies to attract the capital they need.  

The lawn furniture factory would potentially be deemed essential here.  There’s a very liberal definition of essential going on.

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I may have already said this because the threads are long but our health person kn my state said here was if they can keep the r0 at or below one for a few days they will look at dialling restrictions back gradually.  If it spikes above 1 they will lock things down again.   That way things won’t get out of control.  That seems to be what they’re doing with allowing elective surgery now.  You do need good testing and data and a fast decision making process for that to work though. 

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