Lockdown is Killing Small Business Which Are Half of US Jobs and Economy

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the largest small business association. Small Employers are in crisis and half will have to shut down in less than 2 months without help. Small businesses are half of America’s economy and account for nearly half of America’s jobs. Brad Close, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, described the problem in an article in US Today.

Last Thursday, the Paycheck Protection Program — the historic small business relief initiative enacted by bipartisan majorities — ran out of money.

70% of small businesses applied the day the program opened on April 3. Within a week and a half, the PPP was nearly three-quarters gone. Most small businesses have yet to receive any money and are running into roadblocks when applying.

Just 5% of owners have not taken any action in response to the outbreak, a marked departure from more than half (52%) not taking action three weeks ago. Actions taken by most small employers are those related to recommended CDC steps to protect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace including talking to employees about hand washing and social distancing, and disinfecting and cleaning offices and workplaces more frequently. Another 56% have scaled down or adjusted business operations, and 26% have delayed payments to creditors.

Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

126 thoughts on “Lockdown is Killing Small Business Which Are Half of US Jobs and Economy”

  1. You can allow them to re-open but you can’t force their customers to visit them. The best thing to do is get the COVID infection down and keep it down. People do want to go out. I need a haircut. But they don’t want to do so at the risk to their live and their families lives.

  2. Some common sense should tell you. You can also gather data from other countries and states. Correlate the curve of the number of dead over time with the social distancing practiced. And you can draw your own conclusion. I have already drawn mine.

  3. An eternal shutdown makes life bad for the wealthy too.

    They can’t clean up if the prices never rise back up.

  4. Not clear why you think that chaos would break out at the end of the freeze?

    Unless you have all those missed payments accumulate and be due then. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that.

  5. That’s the other way in which a UBI fails.

    Of course UBI doesn’t include you. Not if you’re middle class. You get to participate, but only by paying for it.

    Oh, no, it’s universal. We are just going to hike up your taxes to pay for it. We assume you’re too stupid to be able to do the math.

  6. Sweden appears to be coming off peak headed downward on daily cases, hence it’s basically the same type of curve. Just to rewind a bit, remember we were all shown very scary looking bell curve plots from imperial college claiming that no lockdown = exponential growth, therefore health system implosion and flattening the curve and such. My sole point is and remains that Sweden opted to not lock down yet there was no exponential growth. Their health care system has not imploded. Compare Sweden to anything you want: there is no exponential growth and the case growth curves are essentially the same appearance. Everyone has been saying to me for the past 3 weeks “well you’re wrong, all hell is going to break loose in Sweden any day now” etc. And now the goal posts appear to be on the move: “Dude Norway has fewer deaths therefore lockdown is required and that’s the proof.” Well, no… I keep going back to why they were implemented. the stated goal of heathcare overload, exponential growth, and nobody has shown us neither the overload nor uncontrollable growth. Focus. Eye on the ball.

  7. “the curves seem roughly similar enough;”
    Really?? Norway peaked about March 27 at over 300 and has trended down to below 100 cases a day since then, Sweden reached a plateau about April 2, at around 500 and numbers have been fairly constant since then (you have to make allowances for Sweden’s weekly yoyo in reporting, today the yoyo is near the top of the string at 682 new cases).
    I think, as I said before, Sweden suggests that Western cultures can at least keep infection numbers constant without government imposed measures, but we’re not as good as East Asians when it comes to knocking the numbers down without governments imposing measures, we’re more individualistic with more rogues.

  8. There is no imminent vaccine and there won’t be for years. The flatten the curve tuff still has the same area under the curve. This results in the same count of dead. What we are doing is spreading the misery and fear out over time rather than having it on speed dial.

  9. We all know what the stated claim is, and with all due respect you’re doing nothing more here than repeating it. “Proof by repeated assertion” is not science; it’s nonsense. (It’s fashionable in climate circles to make dubious claims and then proclaim the science is settled; this is kinda what you’re doing here.) There is ZERO proof that lockdown is more effective than common sense measures being implemented. Look at Nebraska, not on lockdown to save the “virus denier” local population. The curve there is no different than states that have locked down. If the lockdown were the actual working mechanism then Nebraska ought to be showing a curve of uncontrolled growth and you would see the mass graves from space. Not happening. You’re simply regurgitating whatever the masters tell you. I’ve seen enough of your posts to know you can think. So do that this time too.

  10. Most new businesses are under capitalized which is the reason many of them fail. It takes time to reach the point where you can start to salt away money for a rainy day.

  11. You are right in that some of these businesses will re-open and survive. Brand is important. As for getting our money. Think of money as blood. If is stops circulating the body dies. It took many years to recover from the Great Depression. Most people think of money as a limited resource that can be used up. It isn’t, all money is is a promise. And you can make a promise today and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. It may cost you more tomorrow but you hope you will be in a better position to fulfill it then.

  12. Based on the current numbers, 50% of the people on respirators die. So not enough respirators double the number of people will die.

    The real game is to slow the virus down to buy us time to find a treatment or to find a vaccine. We don’t have to sacrifice lives to safe the economy. The economy will recover. All we may need is a few months.

    BTW, just because we re-open a restaurant won’t mean it will get customers.

  13. Lock down is not the end game. It was implemented as an emergency measure to prevent the overwhelming of the healthcare system and to give us time to craft a more effective strategy to deal with the virus. The virus caught us unprepared and was moving so fast we had to do something drastic to give us breathing room. In a few weeks, NY State will implement changes that will allow businesses to re-open. Re-opening businesses without been prepared will cause the infections to rebound.

  14. Well, you are in luck. We are currently running a tour of the refrigerator trucks outside of the NYC hospitals where the bodies of COVID-19 victims are stacked like so many cords of wood. You are welcome to visit. BTW, NYC today is America’s tomorrow.

  15. The really sad thing about our older relatives dying from COVID-19 is we won’t be able to say good bye. we won’t be able to visit them in the hospital. And we won’t be able to send them off in the grand style we normally do. I come from a very large family. We have dozens of people over 80. And we are not ready to see any of them go.

  16. You are right in the short term. In the longer term these people will get infected, some will die and some will live and hopefully won’t be able to transmit the disease.

    The rest of the population will do their best to avoid infection.

    And hopefully COVID-19 will fade away. On course it will take much longer because of the non-believers.

  17. The anti-body test has a high false positive rate. And it recruited people who already believed that they had the COVID-19.

  18. The anti-body test high false positives is misleading people. 90%-95% accurate means that the test could incorrectly indicate up to 10% of those tested were positive.

  19. The death rate is much higher for those over 60 than those under 60. Unfortunately, most First World countries have a very large percentage of their population over the age of 60. And a limited healthcare capacity which will be easily overwhelm. The death rate for those over 80 is about 50%, over 70 is about 10% and over 60 is about 5%. COVID-19 is currently burning thru the nursing homes like California in the summer.

    Letting COVID-19 wash over the population will be consigning your elder relatives to the grave.

  20. Pray tell, how are these people dying? Boredom? Or is it wives beating to death by their husbands? Or is it gun owners blowing their brains out?

  21. It ain’t the lock down. It is COVID-19 that is doing it. Undoing the lock down won’t put people into the bars and restaurants.

    All that will happen is that COVID-19 will quickly return to its job of infecting the entire population. Lots of people will die. And weirdly, the economy will still suffer as people hunker down trying their best to survive.

    My suggestion is to spend the money and find a treatment that will keep people from dying instead of rushing to reopen the economy.

  22. By the way you can compare Sweden to Norway and Finland if you like, look at cases per million, Sweden isn’t too different in that metric either. I figured it was better to compare Sweden with countries with more air travel to get a better picture or measure of how well social measures work.

  23. Hi Andrew, the curves seem roughly similar enough; the case acquisition rate in Sweden — if the lockdown was effective as advertised — ought to be exponential and appear radically different than other countries. It is not. There is no uncontrolled exponential growth. I

  24. Hi, I have a PhD in molecular biology of cancer and infection from the Swiss federal polytechnic of Lausanne, and although I do not work in a virology lab I consider myself qualified enough to discuss the subject. The fact that viruses and pathogens in general evolve to become less deadly is a common misconception: lethality is negatively selected only if it affects the spread rate. Pathogens evolve to become more contagious and resilient and to have a longer phase in which the host is contagious and asymptomatic. From the virus standpoint lethality is irrelevant. You can see it clearly with the HIV which before the available treatments has been 100% fatal for decades and had no problem in infecting millions. The common misconception that viruses become less deadly is due to an inversion in perspective: deadly viruses exert selective pressure on the host population. So over multiple generations weeding out the more susceptible hosts the virus becomes less deadly for that selected population, but if the virus get in contact with a second population it is as deadly for this population as it was at the beginning for the first one: for example native americans were more susceptible to many diseases considered mild in Europe and vice versa were more resistant to endemic strains of syphilis that were extremely virulent for europeans.
    Sorry for the long comment, I hope it helped to clarify the issue.

  25. Lethality is negatively selected only if it affects the spread rate. A sufficiently long incubation time can allow a 100% lethality virus to spread in 100% of the population, so no, lethality is not counter selected in the virus. It is the host population that gets selected for resistance.

  26. “WHO has backed the early USC and Standford findings.”
    If you’re suggesting that WHO backs the conclusions of the Stanford Santa Clara antibody study you’re wrong.
    “WHO states 2 to 3% of the world’s population have been infected with COVID19. That’s over 200 million people.”
    I can see why you think that, I’ve found claims that they think that 2 – 3% have antibodies, but they’re not claiming that those antibodies are a product of world infection levels. If you’ve got something first hand from WHO, rather than something butchered by the Guardian, I’d love to see it.

  27. It’s certainly a Rorschach test, you’re correct… the divide seems colored by how insulated one is from the generation of money. Gov workers and teachers etc have guaranteed work, so lockdown for the next 18 months until the vaccines appear, why that’s unfortunate, a bummer, but we’ll learn to get by.

    My friend George has an audio business supplying PAs etc for weddings, conventions, smaller concerts, ie large gatherings, and made a really good living from this. … perhaps I should say he *did* have such a business. It’s currently functionally illegal in his state, and extending a lockdown 18 months would erase the past 8 years of his life. Right now George has a family and a mortgage to pay and no way to do it. Lockdown for George isn’t an unfortunate bummer, it’s a f**king disaster.

  28. You don’t have to be rich to exhibit the behavior, some people do the exact same thing buying baseball cards; they buy things that will appreciate and sell them off as they retire. That a collection of medieval guns later nets $50k and an apartment bldg nets $500k is more a matter of scale. I think these things have become more prominent/visible since the time when savings accounts became useless. I submit the house flipping craze as an example. For the rich I don’t think many have Scrooge McDuck pools of cash, they’re the ones buying Monets and rare Bugattis and other real items that appreciate as an integral part of the investment strategy.

  29. You might claim that Westerners can do the job without a lock-down, but what does the evidence show? Infection numbers were taking-off in Italy at the end of February, two weeks later, after Britons had seen what was happening there, the numbers in Britain started to take-off. So despite ample warning the British didn’t do enough to control the spread without the use of government force. I wish it were otherwise, but that’s what happened, and the same can be said about American’s – who had just as much warning.

  30. “Try Sweden and Switzerland if you prefer”
    I don’t get your point, Switzerland has had a lock-down and Covid-19 numbers have been going down, Sweden has not been able to get the numbers heading down.
    There are countries that have gotten good control without a lock-down, notably South Korea and Taiwan, but Europeans don’t have as strong cultural beliefs around personal responsibility as East Asian cultures.
    Face it, while you and I don’t need a lock-down to get us to be good, there’re a lot of people in our societies that don’t have such levels of social responsibility – they don’t give a F.
    I do think though that Westerners are able to at least hold the line if infection levels are low, even if we’re too self interested to act, on the whole, to get much of a reduction from high infection rates.

  31. I’m coming the realization that at least one reason for the dramatically different attitudes people have here is that the actual “lockdown” is very different in detail from place to place.

    Add in that a person who is an “essential worker” at a stable, well financed employer is going to experience this completely differently from someone who is a casual worker at a shakey, if not bankrupt already, place.

    Thirdly, many people used their brains when the mass media urged everyone not to start stocking up, and immediately stocked up because if nightly TV and daily newspaper says X you immediately assume not-X unless proven otherwise.

    Now we have people who are saying “this current situation” but one person means “starving in my apartment, no toilet paper, all my credit cards are maxed out, no income, and I can’t walk out my door without being at risk of arrest”.

    The next person is saying “this current situation” but means “snacking on the vast store of food I bought two months ago, working from home in my comfortable pyjamas, of course I have toilet paper I’m not an idiot, and I’m getting in 1 hour of outdoors exercise in the beautiful autumn weather providing I stay more than 5 metres away from people which is easy because I live in a spread out suburb. In fact life is arguably better than normal”.

  32. Yes yes yes yes. Lockdown isn’t proved to be required to achieve desired effect.

  33. The cherrypick here is by you. Try Sweden and Switzerland if you prefer; I picked industrial countries at random with heavy air travel commensurate with industry. Nothing happens in Finland. Sweden and any similarly industrial nation with a known air travel load. The virus gets around quickly via air travel, it doesn’t get there via Finnish reindeer or teleportation.

  34. Hmm – I can’t tell if you’re being satirical or serious. But yep, if you’re rich, there are plenty of places to park your spare pocket change and make a profit.

  35. “Compare Sweden and Belgium. . ”
    Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway are more similar cultures, so you should compare their curves, it removes other factors. I don’t know what’s going on in Belgium but it’s trend line is at odds with all other countries in Europe that have gone for a lock-down.
    Which is why you cherry-picked it.

  36. Wait, I though we were all destined to be batteries… hey, Netflix is pre-Matrix. Which apocalypse is this again?

  37. No, pathogens always mutate/evolve to be less deadly; they soon discover that killing every possible host isn’t sustainable. Everyone has to make a living, even pathogens. They follow the same Darwinian path as you do.

  38. Actually, sparky, Farr’s Law from 1840 is doing a lot better in predictive power than the fancy schmancy numerical models you’re (rather ignorantly) crowing about.

  39. You are talking through your rear end. You are ignoring HARD FACTS because they do not back your narrative. WHO has backed the early USC and Standford findings. Other countries antibody testing is in line with this as well. WHO states 2 to 3% of the world’s population have been infected with COVID19. That’s over 200 million people.

    As for India, you are clueless. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a country like India to lock anything down. They might say they’ve implemented a lockdown but policing it would be impossible.

  40. Except that this is rubbish. Lockdown doesn’t change the number dead, the area under the curve (I’m assuming you can do math if you’re here) remains the same, just stretched out. What the lockdown is said to do is merely stop the overload of systems so as to stretch the misery out whilst waiting for a vaccine or jesus or any other equally unlikely miracle. Same misery, you just get it on time delay rather than speed dial.

  41. I’m saying the part of lockdown that works isn’t the lockdown, it’s the other stuff. The ‘other stuff’ sans lockdown would result in exactly the same trajectory were seeing now. Compare Sweden and Belgium, look at the curves. If you’re US compare Nebraska and Kentucky or anything else, same basic curves, Nebraskans are considered to be adult enough to comport themselves properly and go about their business without sickening everyone. If the lockdown part was effective then the curves would be different and you would see mass Nebraskan graves from space. If lockdown is effective then lockdown states like the People’s Republic of Minnesota should be completely different than free states. They are not. Christ this is like the civil war: free states, etc… Sigh.

  42. The mortality rate is unclear at this point because we don’t have accurate widespread antibody testing to determine how many people have been exposed. I’m aware of the studies done in Iceland and California which estimate the level of infection is much higher than testing data in done in most countries, and I hope it’s correct. At best however this would lower the mortality rate to 0.1% from the current best guess of 1%.

    For the US, assuming herd immunity is achieved at 60% of the population, the lower bound (0.1%) is therefore 200k deaths, and the upper bound (1%) is 2m deaths. Neither number looks great, but even the low number is too low because without any lockdown or social distancing, all those cases, and the 10x number of severe but survivable cases, would arrive in 3-6 months according to modelling. The lower bound would lead to 2m serious cases, which would overwhelm heath services and lead to many more avoidable deaths because there wouldn’t be the facilities or staff to care for all the patients. Conservatively, the 200k deaths would double to 400k, but it could easily be double that based on experience in other countries where the health system became overwhelmed. It’s the lockdown which has slowed the spread and stopped the US system from being overwhelmed in most states.

    Given that the economy will eventually recover from even the hardest of falls, are you willing to sacrifice perhaps half a million Americans to protect it?

  43. Basically you contradict yourself with:
    “the contention that lockdown is effective is unproven, it’s an assertion.”
    “Distancing and masks and hand washing are probably just as effective as full lockdown”
    Or are you claiming that distancing and masks and hand washing are probably just as INeffective as full lockdown?

    What you’re trying to say is that both lock-down and distancing etc are effective and therefore a lock-down shouldn’t be necessary. I don’t strongly disagree with that IF everyone voluntarily sticks with those measures and that distancing etc is well managed. But the division in the US also involves lots of people claiming that Covid-19 is a nothing burger and that even those measures are unnecessary.

  44. lost the argument as the stats don’t match what you’re saying.

    This is what I wrote in a post earlier:

    Now WHO has come out with figures of 2 to 3% of the world’s population has or had COVID19.

    Of course the angle the corporate media is pumping out is we are far from herd immunity so we must continue with our police state measures.

    What they’re not telling you is that 2 to 3% of the world’s population is between 150 and 225 million people. Officially the number of COVID19 deaths is 180k*. This puts the actual mortality rate between 0.08 and 0.12%. So in short, not very deadly at all.

    Also I’ve posted numerous times of why such a “deadly and contagious” disease isn’t ravaging developing countries. If it is as “deadly and contagious” as you make it out to be there’d be millions of dead and dying everywhere. You would not be able to hide this.

  45. Who’s lost the argument? The morons who call the virus fake, nothing more than a bad flu, a plot by god knows who to control free Americans? The morons who ignore hundreds of Universities and research centres, and thousands of scientists, who all say this is a killer the like of which we haven’t seen since 1918? The thin skinned idiot in the White House who’s more interested in his re-election prospects and investments than the lives of the people he was sworn to protect? The cheerleaders in FoxNews who parrot the President like sycophants for ratings?

    No. I prefer to read the analysis from experts at Imperial and Oxford who understand viruses, and who’s models guide accurately predict when infections and deaths will peak and publish their work for peer review by other scientists.

  46. Sorry I accidentally hit thumb down when trying to reply, my bad, I don’t know how to fix that.

  47. Not necessarily. Rather than structure savings as liquidity, savings as non depreciating assets become more affordable. So rather than having to put money in a bank for a small return one can buy an apartment building or golf course or whatever for a statistically more likely larger return. It’s not really a matter of having no savings but whether these are liquid or in assets.

  48. You’re apparently unable to comprehend much. The problem isn’t that small business doesn’t have a cushion to survive downtime. We all do. You can’t survive a single year without a cushion. Everyone knows this. However. What we do not have is a cushion to pay every employee and their health care for long periods of no income. And if you look (you won’t), neither do airlines, hotels, Disneyland, or any number of adversely affected BIG businesses. The problem is that lots of unemployed people having no money can’t afford goods and services and likely won’t even once the lockdown is ended, that is going to take quite a bit of time. Current unemployment in the USA is just shy of 22% (from Forbes.)

  49. is a Russian bot? Just cos you lose an argument makes the other guy a Russian bot?

    Have you dared to look deeper into the fatality stats? Are you incapable of critical thinking?

  50. Except that the contention that lockdown is effective is unproven, it’s an assertion. Distancing and masks and hand washing are probably just as effective as full lockdown and have the advantage of not killing small businesses.

  51. That’s not necessarily true, the data shows that smokers are actually underrepresented. 50% of the chinese men smoke yet were 8% of severe cases. Some countries have been playing with treatment drugs derived from nicotine.

  52. Now WHO has come out with figures of 2 to 3% of the world’s population has or had COVID19.

    Of course the angle the corporate media is pumping out is we are far from herd immunity so we must continue with our police state measures.

    What they’re not telling you is that 2 to 3% of the world’s population is between 150 and 225 million people. Officially the number of COVID19 deaths is 180k*. This puts the actual mortality rate between 0.08 and 0.12%. So in short, not very deadly at all.

    * I am dubious of the official death stats. As I’ve pointed out in previous posts they are very liberal at tagging a death as due to COVID19 when patients had at least 1 co-morbidity.

  53. I don’t disagree with that, but Americans will react if their ICU facilities become flooded. So even without a lock-down, with just masks and distancing, the rate of spread can be held constantly low as has happened in other countries.

  54. Where is this money? I haven’t received sh*t. Good thing I am still pulling down a pay check.

  55. I think that your estimation is low. The mortality rate of 1.5% is only accurate when people can get UCI beds and respirators to be treated and recover. Without social isolation to flatten the contagion curve, everybody will get sick at the same time, overwhelming the healthcare system.

    Without ICU beds and respirators to treat the sick, much, much more people will die that didn’t have to die.

  56. Do you realize that the deaths in New York are currently a 300% higher than what should be at this time ?, and you still dare to say they are overreacting ?.

  57. I can think of quite a few small businesses that I wished would go bankrupt and disappear… for instance every India call center filter that is supposedly there to apply my resumes to a jobs I’m qualified to perform…. which strangely enough also applies for visas where there’s a shortage of qualified Americans… Not that there are any obvious conflicts of interest for thoSe SBA companies receiving free hand outs because of coronavirus…

  58. It depends a lot on the country. Chinese adult men were quite affected because a lot of them are smokers. The US will also be heavily affected because of the prevalence of obesity and their related conditions (diabetes, hearth conditions, …).

  59. This shutdown is really showing the benefits of tropical reforestation. ie the trees keep growing. Some of my five year old Spanish Cedar trees are already 10″ diameter at chest height. If you do some conservative math based on a 20yr harvest (ie say only 1000 board feet per tree, 2′ diameter trees, 400 trees/hectare, $2/board ft) then 20 hectares (50 acres) of trees increases your net worth by about $2K/day.

    This year we’ll have planted another 7 hectares of Guazuma ulmifolia at a density of 2mx3m or ~1700 trees/hectare using the Inga alley cropping method. (ie interplanting rows with the leguminous inga edulis tree to shade out the weeds). They should have an average trunk section at least one foot square and 26′ tall in 10 years. (ie 1*1*26*12= 312 board ft) so if you do the math at just $1/board ft then it’s about $150/day/hectare. (ie 1700*312*1/10/365= ~$145). So 7 hectares makes your net worth increase by about $1000/day. The nice thing about these type of trees is that the re-sprout after harvest so no need to replant, ie continuous harvest. (I’ve got some teak & mahogany planted too but not a big fan, too slow.)

    Those numbers go way up if you process the lumber and make furniture etc.

    Land can be very cheap in the tropics. ($500-$3000/hectare). As noted in the book The Tree Solution: “those who calculate plant trees”.

  60. Remarkable how many Russian bots are on this site. Just a shame there are 2.5m people who have tested positive and 170k have died so far to prove the idiots and bots wrong.

  61. Little emperors strutting around their state houses utter decrees for the little people. Let them eat cake and chocolate ice cream, they say.

  62. Now is the time to test test test. Further testing is likely to show that the disease is largely asymptomatic and far more prevalent than claimed by officials. It is time to stop the totalitarian lockdowns.

  63. In many other countries, it has lasted longer than a month. And their economies are squashed flat and may never recover.

  64. Viruses are subject to natural selection as everything else. Who promotes to go back to work imagines the virus characteristics as static. They are not.
    The more people get infected the bigger is the probability space explored by random mutations and the higher is the chance to aquire a trait that makes the virus more contagious and resistent. You reopen the country accepting 100k deaths and by the time you get there it mutated and could kill millions. This is why you should do everything you can to stop it. Nobody knows what the virus could mutate into with a sufficiently large infected population

  65. Let’s take this clickbait title and break it down. According to a JPMorgan survey of 600,000 small businesses, the median small business (about $900/day cash-in) has about 27 cash buffer days. 25% of these firms have < 13 cash buffer days and 25% have > 60 cash buffer days.

    Will they be broke and close forever and ever? Will all the pizzerias in NYC disappear? Will every beauty salon and barber close? Will every restaurant in America close, forever? Will all plumbers go away never to return to fix the leaky faucets? Of course not.

    This crises is a cash flow problem, not so much solvency. It would be idiotic for banks who own the collateral to start running hair salons and landscaping services. Likewise, it is pretty stupid for tax money to go directly to these businesses. 20% of new small businesses fail every year. Why should they get our money? I feel for my local bakery, I really do and don’t want them to disappear. But they won’t.

  66. It could have equally been war, famine, earthquake, hurricane, terror attack … events happen that you can’t predict, which is why as a business you have to prepare for the unexpected. The emergency reserve for my business was 12 months (11 months left now).

  67. i am not a scientist, nor in the medical profession. But here in France, deaths by COVID this month FAR EXCEED anything remotely resembling fatalities by flu for the same period. Also, as in many other countries, healthcare professionals – perhaps because of inadequate preperation in terms of equipment – represent 10% of the people in intensive care. So this is NOT comparable to the flu. See here: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/16/health/doctors-coronavirus-health-care-hit-harder/index.html

  68. In many other countries it has already lasted much longer than a month, without their economies collapsing. Why is the USA so fragile?

  69. Yes, inept small businesses in important supply chains need to go away permanently.
    All the less than necessary ones are only temporarily constrained.

    Reading comprehension: It’s regarding 2 different subsets of businesses. What should be happening to one subset to permanently improve things in the long term vs. What is temporarily happening to another subset to improve things in the short term.

  70. Your rights ends where it violates the rights of others, don’t forget

    The 5th amendment spells it out: No person…nor be deprived of life…

  71. Looney toons.
    One second…

    They need to be purged once and for all…

    The next…

    , it’s not the end of the world if the unnecessary 20-30% temporarily goes away in the near term.

  72. even I have a sense of empathy for those that put blood and sweat into keeping the lights on

    No, you don’t.
    You’re simply infected with a particularly degenerate strain of cultural values. The prioritization of economics above all other concerns is a depraved ethic, people aren’t grist for the mill.

    Most people are still working, it’s not the end of the world if the unnecessary 20-30% temporarily goes away in the near term. The import parts of the machine is functioning just fine, nervous nellies need to calm down, file for unemployment and wait it out, better days ahead.

  73. “Germany has the most reliable data on the disease, and the mortality rate is estimated at around 3%.”
    I have to disagree, the most accurate and reliable data is from the Diamond Princess, the Theodore Roosevelt, and countries that have used testing to the point where they’ve tracked and traced the spread down to ground, such countries can be recognised by their low positive test rates and rapid decline in case numbers: Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland, New Zealand are some examples, these countries have located the majority of the cases they’ve had, their fatality rates are between 0.5 and 2.2%, which is nothing to celebrate.


  74. Unfortunately even a minority keeping this virus in circulation will thwart efforts to get it under control, and while a lock-down can last a month it can’t last much longer than that without becoming economically impossible to sustain. With no unity the defeat in Vietnam all over again.

  75. Most people in Western countries must think Americans insane.
    Over the next month most of the people in Western countries and most other countries are going to do the patriotic thing and do the hard yards to sit this virus on its ass and eliminate it. People in Italy, Germany, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan are going to do what needs to be done and they’re going to wipe this enemy out. In America that’s not going to happen, Americans are going to ignore the basic math and fight against the measures needed to defeat the enemy – and they’re going to lose, as they did when they became divided against their enemies in Vietnam. At a 1.5% fatality rate and 67% infection rate to herd immunity about 3 million Americans are going to die unless they come to their senses.
    Incidentally, Vietnam, along with the rest of East Asia, is also knocking this enemy on its ass just as the North Vietnamese did to America all those years ago.

  76. Its NOT a left wing idea many right wingers have advocated it because of well ECONOMICS.
    The idea isn’t new. As Frum notes, Friederich Hayek endorsed it. In 1962, the libertarian economist Milton Friedman advocated a minimum guaranteed income via a “negative income tax.”

    Because `working` is only one way of making money, do you think Amazon for instance is automating to make less money?

  77. “The tests are also cited to be 90 – 95% accurate.”
    They’re likely more accurate than that but still not accurate enough for those results to be meaningful.
    The problem is that in the Santa Clara study they took 3300 to get a 1.5% positive test rate, which is 50 positive tests. But if the tests were 95% accurate with a similar percentage rate of errors each way, lets say 2.5% of true negatives were test positives and 2.5% true positives were test negatives, if the true rate were actually 0.1% positives what would those error rates cause the final test results to be?
    Of the 99.9% of true negatives 2.5% would read as positives, so 2.5% of 99.9% = 2.4975% would show as positives, and of the 0.1% true positives 2.5% would read as negatives, so 2.5% of 0.1% = 0.0025%. The sum of these would be 2.495% as positives.
    That is, with those errors, a 0.1% true positive rate would show up as a study result of 2.495% positives.

    This is a common problem with sample studies with very small positive true rates and what appear to be small experimental errors, the errors become dominant.

    Without doubt two of the best data sets we have for assessing asymptomatic rates are from the Theodore Roosevelt and Diamond princess, both of those data sets show asymptomatic rates of 50 – 60%.

  78. As the owner of a small business I ensure that I personally always have enough cash reserve to (a) pay my taxes and (b) survive for 12 months if all of my income stopped.

    I thought this was normal. Apparently not.

    If you don’t have reserves, it doesn’t mean you’re being efficient and competitive, it means you’re over-leveraging and taking on way too much risk.

  79. Pffftttttt. The test advertised for people who thought they might be showing symptoms, this ‘random sample’ was tested, and they showed up as 55x more infected. Well I never.

  80. More conspiracy theory nonsense.

    Germany has the most reliable data on the disease, and the mortality rate is estimated at around 3%.

    India does not have millions of deaths because it has one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, which, combined with its international travel ban were imposed far, far earlier than in other countries. As we know, the exponential nature of virus transmission means that actions taken early are disproportionately effective in reducing the number of cases/deaths.

  81. There is a global pandemic.

    It has a lethality rate, based on the evidence from Germany, of around 3%.

    Even with current measures, the USA has the fastest rising numbers of cases and mortalities in the world.

    People in the USA – thankfully a minority – are now protesting to make other people go back to work and risk their lives.

    Your haircut does not take priority over other people’s lives.

    Your conspiracy theory does not take priority over other people’s lives.

  82. It’s not that. Look at the disaster in the Repo market, going back to September, and the 100s of billions, maybe a trillion by now, created by the Fed to bail out the banks (again) and even hedge funds and foreign counterparts (to keep the dollar as the word’s reserve currency). This is how TPTB will create a reset of the economy, while making sure they retain their own wealth and power. Blackstone is the Fed’s OS, deciding much of what bonds and other assets to buy, including their own. Blackstone is the country’s largest landlord, having gotten that way in the 2008 crisis. They will be even bigger now. The failure of small businesses is of little concern to people like that.

  83. You’re talking about the current approach, and what was done in 2009? Yes, pretty much that’s the case – wealth transfer to the banks and corporations. Impoverish the masses but keep the money flowing to the wealthy debt and property holders.

  84. At 2 months plus 1 day, your rent is due again, your monthly mortgage payment is due again – but it’s all shifted out one month. The term of your mortgage ends 2 months later. Your lease ends 2 months later. No double-payments or similar problems. It could also be done on a case-by-case basis.

    Of course the longer we drag out the shutdown, the longer the ‘freeze’ would need to last as well.

  85. This isn’t a normal downturn, it’s a forced error by government.

    The 5th amendment spells it out: No person…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    I’m against the lock down, but you can’t just force people out of business and then blame them for not having savings.

  86. More antibody test results are showing the virus is a lot more prevalent than official stats. Santa Clara is 50 – 85x higher and LA County is 28 to 55x higher. The tests are also cited to be 90 – 95% accurate.

    What does this mean? It means we’ve been duped that’s what this means. We’ve lost our liberty, lively hood, sanity and god damn everything else to go with it 🙁

    I called this early in the piece when I posted about India not having millions of COVID19 cases/deaths. It made no sense. If the virus was as deadly and contagious as they said it was it would have ravaged India (and other poorer countries). It hasn’t. They’ve lied to us.

  87. Nonsense. What happens on 2 months plus one day? Chaos and pandemonium. You have to think about knock on effects.

  88. Because it’s unconstitutional and socialist/statist nonsense. Somebody has to go to work everyday to pay for slackers like you.

  89. Stanford and USC studies show we have up to 55x more infected with Wuhan virus than the current numbers reveal. Once again, OVERBLOWN. This is a bad flu season, nothing more. I don’t want people to die, and yes, some get pretty bad symptoms, but this also happens with the flu, but we aren’t closing down the world every year to fight the flu. Studies from Italy and Germany show pretty much the same thing.

  90. Oh my god are you for real? They are the businesses that run on a shoe string budget. They are focused on providing services over profit.

    I work in the high tech area of a mid-size essential business that has not been effected, but even I have a sense of empathy for those that put blood and sweat into keeping the lights on.

    You are either a troll or dead to the world.

  91. In which case it’s failed the test run.

    Turns out, giving everyone free money runs out of money real fast. – Who’d have ever guessed????

    With this radical, unexpected flaw in the UBI plan now revealed, perhaps it’ll get put back in the “Nice idea, but…” drawer next to the gold standard, universal conscription, and replacing all the cars with llamas.

  92. I’m not a subscriber to the fetishization of small businesses, they’re parasites more often than not. They need to be purged once and for all from all important supply chains.

  93. I think the Republicans more than willing to poison the well of UBI.

    And the Democrats are so attached to Global Warming that this current situation is a wet dream come true.

  94. This is wealth transfer plain and simple. Drag it out until the perfect moment… foreclose on assets/capital. Win/win. Not much mystery.

  95. Why have an UBI test run during Trump’s presidency?

    It makes we wonder if maybe, possibly, finally… some amazing technology rapture of quantum computer AI super-intelligence has been created. We have been saved from drudgery. Thinkers are no longer needed. And we can just consume Netflix non-stop.

    Or on the other hand… perhaps our ‘leaders’, the followers, and the rest of us are equally skyrooed.

  96. You may not have noticed, but it’s at least a month too late for that ‘solution’.

    Now we’re talking about how to avoid an economic implosion – a chain reaction of bankruptcies that pointlessly shuts down a structurally functional economy that otherwise COULD just start up again as people go back to work.

    So far most everyone EXCEPT the debt-holders and rent-takers have experienced the pain. Which is odd, because as a class they are the ones most able to survive a couple month delay in getting paid, with no net loss of income. But they are the ones that have the ear of politicians, so doing this is unthinkable…

  97. It is a fake. Everyone is jumping on board to use it for their pet project. Cuomo in NY State is using it to destroy the president in November. But in the process Cuomo has destroyed NYC and NYS tourism the idiot.

  98. Uhhhh. Duh!

    Moron governance…

    Oh heavens no we can’t spare anyone, so we will bankrupt everyone.

  99. Except our entire economy has been structured around incentivizing the exact opposite. It’s no accident that we’ve seen interest on savings accounts way under 1% for the past decade.

  100. It’s not too late to institute a 2 month freeze/delay on all debt and rent payments. It would still help.

  101. Yes. Yes. And they should have enforcement Accountants and monthly business licenses that don’t allow a company to even start up until they have 6-months of reserve funding accumulated. The enforcement Accountants could order shut-down when finances get below a certain ‘minimum healthy level’, therefore losing their licenses. Because hey these little mom-n-pop shops are a hazard and a nuisance and a high risk economic catastrophe waiting to happen. All these little cafes, restaurants, main street clothing shops and boutiques, pizzerias and ethnic eateries, art and craft places, book and music stores are really just an economic time bomb waiting to consume us all. ((OH SHOOT, DID I LEAVE MY SARCASTIC PRICK SETTING TO ‘ON’ – DAMN IT))
    Small businesses are the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit of all western countries.

  102. The problem is that if you don’t have the cushion you could be more efficient and more competitive during good times. Of course, when the sh hits the fan you are out. But while the music plays it is all good

  103. if all the news outlets will have a daily crawler showing how many people have died as a result of the lockdown

  104. Retail (non-grocery) and hospitality are crushed for the foreseeable future:
    “…Reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. hotel industry reported significant year-over-year declines in the three key performance metrics.
    • Occupancy: -69.8% change to 21.0%
    • Average daily rate (ADR): -45.6% change to US$74.18
    • Revenue per available room (RevPAR): -83.6% to US$15.61…”
    Changes versus regular years, per graph, is insane.

  105. Businesses that cannot adapt will fall by the wayside, and rightfully so.
    Everyone should retain reserves during good days to help cushion the inevitable bad days, at least half the population should be able to manage that. If you’re a professional and your setup cannot coast for at least 6months without falling down, you should acquire a responsible adult to manage your affairs.

Comments are closed.