Economic Freefall Ensues, but Did It Have to Fall to This Extent?

AP Photo/Richard Drew

A pair of traders work in their booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The deepening coronavirus crisis is sending stocks into another alarming slide on Wall Street, triggering a brief, automatic shutdown in trading for the second time this week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Wuhan virus is a problem, but thanks to the measures taken to stop its spread, we’re now faced with a much bigger one.

As the Daily Caller has highlighted, unemployment is surging as businesses cease operations, forcing themselves to lay off workers. These laid-off workers are now flooding employment offices and overwhelming websites:

The massive surge in layoffs has overwhelmed employment offices across the country, Politico reported. Job-loss projections may get up to 4.6 million, and a recent NPR/Marist Poll showed that 18% of households have already had someone who has been let go or seen reduced hours because of the virus.

New Jersey saw 15,000 people who applied for unemployment benefits on Monday alone, far higher than normal. These surges were also seen in states like Connecticut, Ohio and Rhode Island, according to Politico.

Almost 8,000 people sent in unemployment papers over the weekend in Connecticut, and Ohio surged with over 45,000 new laid off workers in a week. These increases have caused unemployment websites in Kentucky, Oregon and New York to crash.

Businesses large and small have been affected by the novel coronavirus. Local bars and restaurants have been forced to shut down and most airlines could be bankrupt within three months. Amazon is perhaps one of the notable companies that is hiring during this country-wide cut-back. It announced that they will be adding 100,000 more American workers as more people turn to online shopping in an attempt to avoid the virus.

Rest assured, the fallout from our economy going into freefall will be far worse than anything the virus brings on. Any gains that President Donald Trump brought to the economy have been wiped out in a matter of weeks. While the virus is something we should take seriously and attempt to stop the spread of, the problems caused by the sudden poverty of many will take years to correct.

The only hope that can be given right now is that Trump is still president and as such, will institute policies that will likely bring us back to center sooner than later. Vice President Mike Pence has promised that once this pandemic is over, the economy will come roaring back, and I have every reason to believe him.

That said, this roaring back won’t just be an overnight thing, and in the meantime, we have people who are suffering now. Businesses decades in the running are now shutting down over fears of transmitting a virus that is, for all intents and purposes, far milder than many we’ve faced in our past.

What’s the lesson here?

It’s my honest view that humanity suffers most at the hands of its own panic. Legitimately needed reactions become overreactions. While a dip in the economy was unavoidable, the way many major cities forced shutdowns of businesses both big and small was likely an unnecessary measure. Precautions could be taken, however, the way we welcomed government authority into our lives with such enthusiasm lead us to be okay with it stepping in and controlling nearly everything. As is usually the case, once the government takes more control, everything starts going downhill.

I’m not sure how long this pandemic will last but it’s already lasted far too long. I don’t know how long it will take to recover economically, but it won’t be fast enough.

Either way, no matter how you look at it, local officials could have done better in their response. We could have measured our reaction and made sure that even in hard times like these that America still continues soldiering on instead of locking ourselves down in such a way that we pressed pause on an economy that shouldn’t have been paused to this extent.

But this is the result of herd mentality and panic. This is the result of media sensationalization and allowing politicians to operate without pushback.

I ask that many of you join me in praying for those whose lives have already been ruined by this economic shutdown and for those struggling to stay afloat in it.


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