Payne's Perspective: November 2, 2020: The Wealth Of Our Nation
The financial media once again circled the wagons to protect a narrative they had been pushing hard: the stock market wants a Joe Biden victory. To preserve this notion amid a tumbling stock market, the reporting was all about the rise of Covid-19 cases in Europe.
The increases had already begun weeks earlier. But they were tough to report, like stories about how well Europe handled the virus were used to promote how poorly America handled the virus. Most of these stories centered on the White House rather than local actions, which played a substantial role in determining the outcome.
There is no doubt rising cases of the virus are worrisome. And it could mean additional restrictions and isolated lockdowns, but it is hard to imagine such actions occurring in the United States. In fact, during the week, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron stressed to their citizens that their actions were not complete societal lockdowns.
Nonetheless, that’s the inference in the financial media: mass lockdowns in Europe, soon to be implemented in the United States. Some cities and states might push for more restrictions, but those cities are already in dire economic straits, which is fueling mass exoduses. New York says it needs $59.0 billion, and yet its severe lockdown after many mistakes has left it with 12% unemployment.
Maybe a Joe Biden presidency would embolden an executive order to a national lockdown, but Americans are against such actions, and not just for financial reasons. This is from the University of Michigan, titled Winter of Discontent.
Consumers were asked to identify their primary concerns about the coronavirus: their health, their finances, or the social isolation. Just over half of all consumers have consistently rated the threat to their health as their top concern from April to October. What has changed is finances dropping in importance and being overtaken by social isolation. Another round of enforced social isolation needs to be accompanied with programs that help counter the damaging impacts on mental health. It is not irrational for people to balance their desires for both physical and mental health by engaging in relatively low risk activities. Moreover, the level of risk can be reduced by changes in regulations for travel, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, and the like. This would be more effective than simply forcing the closure of all such facilities to customers.
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