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The Economy

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by TigerVols, May 14, 2020.

  1. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    People are going to have to make a choice: their health or their livelihood. I don't envy anyone who must choose.
    Tweener, SFIND, PaperDoll and 3 others like this.
  2. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    As long as the dead remain disproportionately black and old, Trumpists have signaled quite clearly that they're happy with the virus and have no intentions for meaningful intervention -- either legislative or medical. They'll just pivot to Obamagate and anything else Alex Jones or Fox News or OAN or Mike Gundy tell them to talk about. Now we'll see if people are as eager to reopen Amurrica if, for example, there's nobody to serve them ice cream or beer in Biloxi or Mobile.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  3. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    The problem with that is that gated communities won't keep out the virus.
  4. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    No one should have to make that choice.

    Which is why we needed a much bigger, better-targeted disaster relief / aid package at the beginning of this.
    wicked and OscarMadison like this.
  5. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    This might be due to spending the past four years talking about little else, but the China angle and US discourse around China worry me. Josh Hawley is the latest example, but lots of people (not just Republicans) have been proposing decoupling from China and repatriating jobs to the US in the name of helping the working class. That might sound great on the stump, but in practice it's somewhere between infeasible and self-destructive. Those jobs went overseas for a reason, and that reason isn't because those business owners were all mustache-twirling villains straight out of a Nickelodeon cartoon. Bringing back the kind of manufacturing jobs the US 'lost' to China would require either Americans working for the kind of wages paid in China -- and that's assuming they're in a part of the US where they can live on that pay -- or convincing consumers to pay the prices necessary to fund a US standard of living despite not being willing to do so the first time around.

    Decoupling has its own issues. Wanting to reduce dependence on China and diversify is certainly understandable, but at the same time who else can do what China does? The likes of Vietnam, Myanmar, and Bangladesh lack the population base, infrastructure, and technical capacity of China, Indonesia is no less a hotbed of economic nationalism (and, speaking from experience, its infrastructure is diabolically bad), and India and the Philippines have geared their economies toward service and knowledge industries. Leaving China and building global value chains from scratch in one new country would be difficult enough, but replacing China's capacity will likely require multiple new bases of operation and thus multiple supply lines, regulatory regimes, etc. How many for-profit corporations would be willing to voluntarily put themselves through all that extra effort and expense in the name of doing their part for the good ol' red, white, and blue? Considering how many go to great lengths to offshore money and avoid US taxes, expecting patriotic fervor to win out over profit motives likely would not be a fruitful path.

    China is going to be a big talking point, both in the coming election and for many years to follow. I wish we could have a serious, policy-led discussion at a national level on the effects of having an advanced, globalized economy, including how to better mitigate the damage done to Americans and more equitably distribute the gains created by globalization. Unfortunately, I'm also old enough to know better. China will be just the latest club the major parties use to attack each other after years of scrambling to be the toughest on communism, crime, terror, etc. Anyone deemed insufficiently 'tough on China' will be dismissed as a panda-hugging elitist and a traitor to working-class Americans, which incentivizes more one-upsmanship and generates similarly frothy, nationalistic responses from China. China and its perceived allies will get the blame for hollowing out the heart of the US economy despite the fact that embracing global trade and accepting US jobs going overseas has been a bipartisan approach dating back decades.

    There are serious structural issues in the US economy that need addressing -- inequality, stagnant wages, increasingly precarious employment, rural America being left behind, overvaluing university education while undervaluing vo-tech/trade schools/community colleges, placing the burden of the transition to a knowledge economy solely on individuals, and more. A crisis as disruptive as the COVID-19 outbreak can be the kind of catalyst needed to push through fundamental reforms. Addressing these issues will require more innovativeness, humility, and coalition-building than I think the current political climate will allow, though. Instead, it seems like we're going to fall back on old habits and blame foreigners, subversives, and socialism for our problems.

    tl;dr -- TSP is correct.
  6. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Not just the home real estate market, but the commercial real estate market. Both will be big concerns going forward. For large companies, I think this forever changes the way people work. I know here, Capital One is going to allow people to work remotely for the rest of the year. The idea of having all of your employees on a large campus is going to become obsolete. Even in our office (13 people plus interns), when we get to Phase 3, we're going to have half of our people work remotely at a given time to lessen the risk of everyone coming down with it if someone gets it. I have it easier than others in our office. I'm not a front-facing, customer-service person. It's not easy for our accounting people to work at home because so many of the invoices/files they need are at the office and it's not feasible to just take entire file cabinets home. As a comms guy, I can do much of what I need from here, though I really miss the organic collaboration that occurs when you can just pop into someone's office and hash out an idea. Sure, you can talk on Teams, but it's not really the same.
  7. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Of 329 million US citizens, the worst choice to negotiate anything with anyone, but most especially with China, is Donald J Trump.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I'm curious what those "prices necessary" would be.

    The $7 shirt I got at Walmart wasn't necessarily because I refused to pay more. It's because Walmart decided it could lure more customers by having those shirts made in China and offering them at such prices.

    If China is no longer an option, and that $7 shirt becomes $18, I assume people will adjust. They'll still buy the things they need but won't consider them as disposable. Might replace the shirt every 2-3 years instead of every year. We are such a wasteful country.
    PaperDoll and OscarMadison like this.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I understand the sentiment here but of course some people should have to make the choice. Cops do. Grocery store workers do. Journalists do!

    Jobs aren’t just about money, either; they’re about meaning, too.
  10. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    You'd assume wrong. If that $18 shirt is the same quality as the $7 shirt, it's going to need to be replaced just as often. Very few people would be willing to take what would essentially be a 20 percent pay cut to buy all-made-in-the-USA items. We the People, as a general rule, don't demand higher quality. We demand Everyday Low Prices.
  11. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    My point is we replace a lot of things that don't necessarily "need" to be replaced. Because we can.

    And if China is out of the market --- this has to be a national thing, not a store-by-store decision --- then the consumer has no choice. He'll be "willing" to pay more because that will be the only choice offered. Just as Californians are "willing" to pay 85 percent more for gasoline than Texans.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  12. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    The cop - and the firefighter and the EMT and the soldier - all make that choice when they first put on the uniform.

    Grocery clerks and journalists and landscapers and accountants and most other lines of employment should be offered the choice to work or not during the pandemic.

    Not forced to choose between death and a paycheck.
    Neutral Corner and OscarMadison like this.
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