China and Russia are open for business and working at close to capacity, as America shutters most all business and industry in states such as Pennsylvania, New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In many cases only select manufacturing companies are allowed to operate, which means most manufacturers will be short of parts and services necessary to produce goods.
Our leaders are creating an economic crisis and a major national security risk with limited data. The cure is far worse than any perceived impact by COVID-19. Our economy is both fragile and interdependent, an economic reality not understood by our leaders as they order mass closings of many states’ business and industry.
Thomas Sowell wrote, “There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs.” Sowell was informing us that wise and sound judgments are imperative during any crisis.
An opinion piece by John P. A. Ioannidis, professor of medicine, epidemiology, and population health at Stanford University, is headlined, “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data.”
This season the flu has killed 22,000 Americans versus 388 dead from COVID-19. This the hard data available. There has been no national discussion about the flu but complete panic on the coronavirus.
The restaurant industry, which is the largest employer in America, is closed in most states. Now we will begin to witness the industries that support restaurants and hotels begin to shutter.
Marriott Corporate in Bethesda, Maryland, has furloughed 66 percent of its employees and cut the pay of the remaining employees by 20 percent. Such actions by major employers will have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy.
The Big Three automakers and their suppliers are closed, which means hundreds of thousands of workers are laid off and at home. This will quickly lead to more layoffs and many small business failures. There is no amount of government money that can make up for an economy closed and workers staying home.
We all know that food and supplies are critical to families. Most individuals assume these products and services will be available. But as we have witnessed, when demand exceeds supply and businesses are shuttered, supply runs out.
Supply of goods and services is quickly becoming a more important national issue than the COVID-19 panic. The virus will not adversely impact most Americans, but they will sustain substantial financial losses and at some point supplies will run out.
Schools can shut down, and sick people should stay home, along with older or at-risk individuals, until the panic subsides, but the healthy must be allowed to work.
Every family, state, city, and business can make the best decisions during this crisis, but we cannot have simplistic top-down mandates.
We are quickly moving toward a supply problem. Just-in-time inventory means we make products as needed. If the producers are closed, we run out of goods quickly.
Wiring $3,000 to most Americans may seem like a solution, but unless we have a supply of the goods families need, the money will not help. The best way for families to have income is for America to be open for business and not risk shortages and civil unrest. It is noteworthy that liquor, ammo, and guns sales are robust.
The federal government has no money and is $23 trillion in debt. Now Congress contemplates a $2 trillion economic bailout, which is pushing the limits of how much Congress can borrow and will eventually create a major financial meltdown. The solution is a robust economy producing goods, services, and financial stability.
All healthy Americans who want to work must be allowed to return to work no later than March 30. This common-sense approach will allow new production and for the healthy to support those in need.
I urge our President Trump to speak to Americans from a Midwest manufacturing plant, away from the Swamp, and appeal to all governors and Americans to overcome their fears and take reasonable precautions, but allow America to open for business by March 30.
Bob Luddy is CEO & Founder of CaptiveAire.