A Broken Economy Means Broken People

“It was like a 98% drop in revenue overnight.  All the bills keep coming in, it’s hard to pay those bills.”John Rudolph, co-owner of Harry’s Coffee Shop and Diner.

“As of this afternoon, we’ve been forced to lay off our entire organization. Between all 5 locations that’s approximately 75 fantastic and very hard working people.”~Richard Walker, owner of Richard Walker’s Pancake House

We are estimating that about 60% of all our restaurants have closed. You can imagine how many thousands and thousands of employees have been affected.”~Jeff Rossman, President of the local chapter of the California Restaurant Association.

The above 3 quotes are taken from a March 26th La Jolla Village News article profiling local restaurants in my area.  Multiply them by 10 million and you get an idea of what the 30 million small  business owners around the country are going through, not to mention the 100’s of millions of people they employ (or used to).

Unemployment

According to this Wall Street Journal article, the total amount of unemployment applications during the three weeks since the economic shutdown began has surged to nearly 17 million.  Behind each of those applications of course is a human being who has suddenly found themselves out of a job, which means a group of people equivalent in size to the population of the Netherlands is now dependent on the government to survive.

This, to put it mildly, is a catastrophe and in a thousand other ways  than just financially.

As insanitybytes22 wrote recently in her fantastic post,  Economies are People!,

People who live paycheck to paycheck can often survive a couple of weeks, but then they find themselves unemployed, out of money for groceries, and the rent is due. People are already hurting under normal circumstances,  but now they’re hurting even more.

Put in the language of social justice and bleeding hearts everywhere, the economy is the difference between whether or not a battered woman can afford to leave an abusive situation. An economy is whether or not a case of child abuse is investigated or a kid is left to die. An economy is the difference between a woman choosing to have a child or choosing to have an abortion. An economy is whether or not you can send a 13 yr old to drug treatment or they just  go on the streets to sex trafficking and eventual overdose.

Yes, yes and yes.  There’s so much more I could add, not least of which are the negative effects of the enormous amount of stress of being out of work, which brings its own nightmares of anxiety, depression, loneliness, addiction and poor physical/mental health.  I cannot imagine having to suffer through any one of these things while isolated away from family, friends, church, therapists and doctors. Powder keg comes to mind.

There are also the compounding effects that occur when the incomes of so many people drop so dramatically overnight.  Lots of folks in this country, whether rich or poor, give significant amounts of money to charity, which in turns goes towards helping those most in need.  As millions of people become those most in need, these donations of course will drop off as well as government tax revenue that also fund programs for the poor.

It’s really just an ugly situation all around.

Let’s be clear, COVID-19 causes extremely harsh symptoms in some people and unfortunately those who succumb to it experience a particularly nasty and brutish death.  While the majority of people appear not to suffer this way, if at all, we must take the quickly spreading virus seriously and do what we can to combat it.

Shutting down the economy until a vaccine is found however is not a viable option and we have to stop pretending like it is.  Unfortunately fighting the coronavirus pandemic and saving the economy are intertwined in a sort of symbiotic relationship in reverse; what’s beneficial for one effort is detrimental to the other.  We need effective ways of doing both at the same time.

This could involve keeping those most vulnerable in quarantine and still enacting existing measures like the 6 foot spacing rule between people, limited social gatherings, practicing good hygiene, wearing masks, etc…while gradually opening up businesses and churches who will find creative ways to meet whatever new strictures get put in place.

I’m not a health or public policy expert by any means, but I do know a strong economy brings with it health, wealth and innovation, all things we desperately need to win the coronavirus battle.  Poverty brings much suffering and death, both physically and spiritually and will put our country in a much weaker condition to continue the fight.

A broken economy means broken people.

 

 

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11 Responses to A Broken Economy Means Broken People

  1. Dennis says:

    Broken economy means broken people because the powers that be are using broken models!
    Have you noticed how Congress “stepped up” to Spend our money? Wonder if they will do the same when it comes time to start cutting Spending? We all know the answer don’t we!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Yes Dennis, we’re going to see all sorts of government programs pushed out under the guise of emergency help. These are things that need to be decided in the voting booth, not during a national emergency.

      And yes the inaccuracy of the models being used to decided huge public policy decisions is really troubling.

      Like

  2. Amen, Tricia. Well said and thanks for the kind mention. I like how you put that, “a broken economy means broken people.” Many people just don’t understand that. The impact on Americans is going to be huge, profound. Where I love I’m watching businesses fold right and left, stores that have been here since 1885. It’s heartbreaking. A guy we know has his classic cars for sale in the parking lot of his shut down restaurant, just hoping to pull in enough cash to stay afloat until this lifts.

    I’ve seen some really good charts and research that show how global poverty has declined some 80% since WW2, mostly due to the surge in capitalism. It’s not just us in the US that are fueled by our economy, but a good chunk of the 3rd world, too. That’s something else most people don’t understand, back when I was a kid famine was impacting ten times as many people as it does today, hunger was a leading cause of death, and smallpox was killing everyone, and if something like Ebola had happened back then it would have decimated the population because there was no money to contain it, no Samaritan’s Purse with their private jets and teams of doctors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      It is so heartbreaking IB and the personal stories we are witnessing daily really put faces behind those numbers. You know I didn’t even think about the negative effects a sunken America will have on the world, but of course you are so right. This is not gonna end well if we don’t change course.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tricia, thanks for highlighting all the broken people. And there are a lot of them. But then again, this is a day of hope. May we all take the message of Jesus seriously and help all we can.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ColorStorm says:

    Good stuff T.
    Looking forward to a nice plate of pancakes. 😎

    Happy Easter too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    One of the things I don’t do well is describe the effect of the economic shutdown on people. So, when I point out that people still have feed, cloth, and shelter themselves, and the economic shutdown is making that impossible, that fact does not seem to register to with some people. Do they really think the government can fix that problem just by printing money?

    Check out Tricia’s post. Then think! If we cannot get rid of this virus — and we cannot — then we have to learn how to live with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Canuck Carl says:

    Our one little restaurant in my village has closed up completely. When the non essential business order came in to close up, they did offer take out. Just a week ago they walked away, not able to pay the rent.
    Just one business of thousands across our countries Tricia. It will be interesting what the new norm will be like. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I’m sorry about your village restaurant Carl. It’s heartbreaking to see so many business owners have to give up on their dreams and walk away from their livelihood like they did. And all the employees too who also will not be able to pay bills.

      Carl I feel as if this is the new norm and the negative effects will compound to really bad levels. I pray for those people and that I’m mistaken.

      Like

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