It is amazing how fast the economy slows down. The stock market drop is in the news, of course, but it is the retail industries that will take damaging if not fatal blows if the coronavirus spreads into communities. Restaurants, malls, movie houses, bars, big box stores, etc. all will suffer a drop in income as customers begin to curtail public exposure.
Miami public schools are investing in 200,000 tablets so that schools can switch to online classes. Mike Allan, a journalist at Axios, reminds us that children who depend on school meal programs will be vulnerable if schools close.
The virus is the headline story but it has added more burden to the world economic situation. For example, Japan and the European Union each had only one percent growth in 2019. The G20 now has a compounded issue because the virus will interfere with international manufacturing. Television news noted that Apple, maker of the iPhone, already is behind in production because China has shut down factories.
And, on a long term economic issue, as salaries remain flat housing and rental prices continue to climb and many utilities are increasing the price of service by 20-25 percent. There are very few programs that support those who can no longer afford to pay water, electric and fuel bills. Only a handful of local jurisdictions have legislation that prevents utilities from stopping services on delinquent customers.
Mariner takes note that lack of confidence in Donald’s decision-making process was a concern should he start a war. It turns out he is just as incompetent managing a pandemic. Mariner has suggested in past posts that those running for public office must pass a psychological profile exam. Dictators and narcissists need not apply.
For the few among us who have play money, the cash pouring into our ‘democratic’ political system grows astronomically as three billionaires compete for the presidency. Citizens may have noticed that the candidates with more or less normal wealth are being squeezed out of the race. Mariner sees no candidate capable of tackling the immense issues of today’s world. The choice is which one will do the least damage. Unfortunately, no matter who wins it won’t make any difference if last-century republicans still hold the Senate.
At least issues of the moment have given everyone a break from thinking about global warming, artificial intelligence and government corruption.
Cheer up, in mariner’s town this Sunday it will be 65 degrees and sunny. Spring is nigh, folks.