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Re-opening the Economy is a Necessary, Delicate Balancing Act

Brett Davis

Posted on April 21, 2020 17:08

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The roadmap to recovery provided by the federal government allows state and local authorities to drive forward as they see fit. Make no mistake; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

It's axiomatic that America (and the world) cannot stay shuttered indefinitely due to the novel COVID-19 – aka coronavirus – pandemic. With the economy in freefall, unemployment surging and food and water supplies under siege, the response to coronavirus threatens to kill more people and do more harm than the actual virus itself.  

With the cure auguring to be worse than the disease in the form of unemployment approaching Great Depression-era levels – at least temporarily – and government spending trillions of our dollars on rescue plans, a blueprint for gradually re-opening the economy is imperative.

That's why it's encouraging to see that the Trump administration has laid out a plan for "Opening Up America Again" based on various criteria and certain metrics. As acknowledged in the plan itself – which is more accurately described as a series of guidelines – governors and local leaders have most of the real say in deciding when and how to implement a step-by-step process in their states and counties for getting back to something that is a least closer to normal.

In addition to the actual information contained within the three-phased guidelines for state and local authorities to follow when re-opening their economies, the plan for ending lockdowns and stay-at-home orders offers something of a psychological boost to a population battered by mostly overall bad news on the pandemic front.

These guidelines offer a glimpse of light on the other side of the darkness. That's extremely important at a time when people's livelihoods and everything they have worked for is in danger of being destroyed by a government-mandated shutdown of the economy. When it becomes a crime to make a living and provide for your family, expect ordinary citizens at some point to break the law and re-open their businesses. Will government shut them down? They're going under anyway.

Add to that the petty tyranny of certain overzealous agents of the state during this pandemic, and you have a brewing recipe for disaster in terms of civil disobedience and worse.

Methodical steps to open up our towns, cities, counties and states, combined with more localized restrictions and targeted responses to coronavirus, could be part of what staves off an honest-to-goodness massive rebellion down the road, a notion that like so many other things would have seemed unthinkable only a few short months ago.

Still, let's not kid ourselves about moving forward – a good thing – from here. It will be messy, course corrections will be required and it most assuredly will not be painless. Business leaders – not just politicians – from around the globe caution against expecting a suddenly robust re-opening of the economy. Be prepared for things to never go back to quite the way they were before coronavirus.

The way back won't be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. We got this, America.

Brett Davis

Posted on April 21, 2020 17:08

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Source: The Guardian

With 400 public health offices forging ahead with testing, the country is a model for others to emulate As the coronavirus...

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