Yes, the Coronavirus is a real threat, and is now a global crisis. Economies are crashing, businesses are shuttered, people are unemployed. Toilet paper is impossible to find, as is Lysol, Clorox, and other disinfectants. But, naturally, politicians never let a good crisis go to waste.
In today’s press conference, President Trump hinted at implementing some of the favorite socialist programs that were touted on the campaign trail thus far by the Democrat candidates. Universal basic income, student loan forgiveness, and massive bailouts are all on the table. The Fed is printing money by the billions, and money can be borrowed for free essentially.
The repercussions of this crisis will be long lasting and hard hitting. There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program, after all.
Congress is reportedly looking at a Universal Basic Income proposal today that could mean as much as $4,000 per adult and $1,000 per child very soon. It could mean more than that, as Trump announced he’s looking at “more” than what’s been suggested. We’ll have to see what Secretary Mnuchin and Congress announce later.
Lizzie Warren and others are on Twitter demanding student loan forgiveness. Trump has already suspended interest on those loans, and I find it hard to believe a bill escapes the House without Democrat pork stuffed into it. Do we really think Trump would veto a stimulus bill at this point, regardless of what’s in it? I don’t.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, has signaled he won’t let the Senate recess until something massive and bold is passed.
Yes, the economy is in a downturn. This will lead to a recession, I have little doubt. Printing trillions of dollars in an effort to stop the recession is fool-hardy, but that won’t stop them. Trump is on the political ropes, so to speak, so large stimulus is to be expected. Whether it saves anyone is yet to be seen.
What you and other free marketers can do – continue to support your local businesses. Buy gift cards that you’ll use in the future to help the business maintain some cash flow. Stop in and grab some take-out, or order delivery. Help your neighbors as much as possible. Wash your hands. Take care of each other.
Hopefully, some good will come out of this crisis too. We’ve seen Governments suspending harmful regulations, schools move to distance learning models, and communities banding together to help each other out. When this is all over, remember that these regulations aren’t necessary if they can be waived in an emergency to improve efficiency. Distance learning and off-site schooling can work most students. And, most important, we can help each other as a community better than the government can help us.