Hey, no worries. Professional politicians and Deep State bureau-rats universally assure us it can all be turned back on again as easily as flipping a light switch. And when have those supergeniuses ever been wrong about anything?
GDP falls by 4.8 percent, bringing longest economic expansion on record to abrupt halt
Gross domestic product, which measures the output of goods and services, sank by 4.8 percent in the first quarter on an annualized basis, according to an initial estimate from the Department of Commerce released Wednesday morning.
It’s the steepest decline since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009. Economic growth was tracking at or above 2 percent until mid-March.
With most of the nation stuck at home, large swaths of the economy have shuttered, throwing 26 million people out of work. Consumer spending, which drives around two-thirds of economic growth, has plummeted.
While Wall Street had been steeling itself for the data, the worst is yet to come. First quarter data captured economic activity up to the end of March, but the second quarter will likely include three straight months of decline.
“You’re looking at something like minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent in the second quarter,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNBC on Monday, noting that the coronavirus is “the biggest shock since the Great Depression. It’s a very grave shock and it’s something we need to take seriously.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimated second-quarter GDP would be down by as much as 40 percent, for the worst quarter since 1947.
Economists say the U.S. likely entered recession — generally defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in GDP — in the second half of March, when lockdowns began.
“You’re going to see the economy really bounce back in July, August, September,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News earlier this week. “You’re seeing trillions of dollars that’s making its way into the economy and I think this is going to have a significant impact,” he said of the government’s $2 trillion dollar emergency stimulus package meant to buttress the economy.
A farmer named Shad Sullivan warned in a viral video that “[America’s] food supply is in trouble.”
Farmers are outraged that subpar imported meat continues to flow into America despite warnings to American farmers to put down their own livestock.
“Yesterday, the first shipment of imported beef from the country of Namibia hit the shores of the United States of America,” said Sullivan. “And yet this morning they are telling us to prepare to euthanize harvest-ready cattle.”
Sullivan questioned, “Am I the only one who sees a problem in this?”
Over 30 Million Americans Have Lost Their Jobs In The Last Six Weeks
In the last week 3.839 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time.
That brings the six-week total to 30.31 million, which is over 12 times the prior worst five-week period in the last 50-plus years.
Worse still, the final numbers will likely be worsened due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.
As Mises’ Robert Aro noted earlier in the week, the stimulus packages being handed out across this world provide us with an opportunity to document the anticapitalist process as it unfolds in real time, keeping in mind that when these inflation schemes fail, it will likely be blamed on capitalism.
And Trump, of course. After all, that was one of the main points of this whole disastrous exercise.
But no matter. The damage is done now; assuredly, there will be no going back to where we were from this, our New Normal. Wherever you sit, whatever you choose to believe, it all comes down to one thing.
I do believe I need to set up that song title as a new category here.