Now that we’ve clearly solved all the problems related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, everything can go back to normal now. All we need to do is to open stuff back up and all the money will come rushing back in and our economy will come booming back. In fact, GDP will swell so spectacularly that everyone in America who wants a pony can have one.
Of course if you’ve ever utilized the gray matter that resides just behind your eyeballs, you know for a fact that’s nonsense. In three weeks, the numbers we’ve managed to slow by cooling our jets will change direction. So we’ll have more people ingesting this little bug, more people showing up to hospitals, more people stacking up in those refrigerated trucks. Meanwhile, what have you rebuilt? What have you reopened? Is it a decent restaurant experience when a person has to stand outside and count how many are allowed in? Barstools at eight feet apart? Are even half the people who used to go out and spend money going to go out and spend money? And where is all this money that people are going to spend coming from? Oh, right, I forgot, it’s from that generous $1200 check Uncle Sam sent to some of us. You, I mean, you. I still haven’t received mine.
Look. If this economy rebuilds and forgets, it is doomed. Because hard lessons have been presented to us via the events of the last month and a half or so. For instance. We know or are beginning to know what happens when 30 million Americans apply for unemployment in a month. We also know that many of those people had previously become accustomed to living paycheck to paycheck. We know that many of these folks will be unable to pay the rent. We are seeing lines for miles of people lining up for food handouts. We are beginning to experience the true cost of being a society that has forcibly fist-fucked its own middle class for 40 years. What that gets you is a middle class that just can’t. A middle class that cannot sustain an emergency worth $400 or more (and this emergency is worth more). And with such a whipped middle class, you have economic troubles that cannot be rescued with a $1200 shot. Had this country been investing in its middle class instead of fucking them with their pants on, we would have been in a much better space. Rents would not be skipped. Food handouts would not be necessary. People would still buy gasoline. The American economy would not have to orbit a black hole as it now must.
Any rebuilding must remember that or it is useless.
And it must remember too the truth this little virus belied, that is, who the true essential workers are.
And it ain’t me. I get to work from home.
I see the essential workers when I dare to venture out to my local Piggly Wiggly. And I hope not to see anytime soon the other essential workers, the nurses, the doctors, the respiratory therapist. And let’s make sure the rebuilding doesn’t forget them. Doesn’t forget that they are underpaid and constantly fucked. That nice person who hands you your McDonald’s bag is in danger just standing in that little kiosk. They should earn $25 an hour, and not in 2026. Today. And med school should not cost anyone a single thin dime, not for now and not from before. Forgive those loans today without argument. These people are giving more and risking more than they ever anticipated. Let’s at least make sure they can stop writing one check a month.
This economy can’t just re-open. It needs to rebuild. It needs to change. It can no longer leave most of its people living without means. We need our people strong, not counting can rebates as income. We need people building that emergency fund. More people. A strong economy isn’t Wall Street, and I’m saying this as an investor. A strong economy is that most Americans can last a year if everything goes to shit. And we’re not even close.
Rebuilding without remembering is not rebuilding. It’s shite. This outbreak points directly to a need for radical and immediate change. I am not sure our leaders are up for it. So we need to be.