While infections have dropped from a daily peak of about 700 in early August to just two new cases on Wednesday, the economic and social impact of Melbourne’s second lockdown since the crisis began has been enormous. Australia’s government estimates 1,200 jobs have been lost on average a day across Victoria state, while demand for mental health services has surged by more than 30%…

Only being allowed outside for an hour a day was awful,” said Tessa Patrao, 27, who is finally back at work as a primary school teacher after the 112-day stay-at-home order. The second lockdown was even harder than the first, particularly as much of the country had returned to normal, she said…

While governments in the U.K., Italy and Germany have faced protests against second lockdowns, Victorians have been largely compliant. That’s in part down to the popularity of the state’s Labor government, which won the 2018 election by a landslide, and the high approval ratings of Premier Andrews. The carrot-and-stick approach taken by authorities has also helped, with A$1,500 payments for people who couldn’t afford to self-isolate and court-imposed fines of as much as A$20,000 for repeat breaches of isolation orders.

City Locked Down for Three Months Has Bleak Lessons for the World – Bloomberg


A$11,200,000,000. That’s A$11.2 BILLION. Gone. In three months. An hour per day outside of exercise, what prisoners in maximum security prisons are allowed. It is generally the bare minimum that state courts in the US (Apodaca v. Raemisch, Reid v. Inch, Anderson v. State of Colorado Dept. of Corrections) will accept as not being cruel and unusual punishment. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s a single, Australian city representative of a medium-sized metropolis here. You say you cannot put a price on life, and despite the entire insurance industry and justice system proving that wrong with actuarial tables and your fellow American’s rendering civil suit verdicts every day…still the screeching continues. The result of letting economic policy be dictated by medical professionals has been as disastrous as letting medical treatment be administered by economists. As fiscally misguided as Paul Krugman is, I suspect he is an even worse heart surgeon. Yet that is where we are, with emotional pleas by the fiscally ignorant driving public policy. I watched it during the second debate, the entire first part of it devoted to Dementia Joe assuring boomers he will shut down the country, and Trump unartfully making the case for America to not commit economic hara-kiri.

So what exactly will this cure look like? Europe is doing dark and locking back up as winter approaches, which will likely require the respective governments to leverage any and all possible assets they haven’t already to pay their citizen’s gas and food bills during the winter. Even assuming essential workers are excepted, undoubtedly causing the effects of the pandemic to linger, the loss of income across the middle and lower classes will push untold people into insolvency. The upside of having a homogenous population and no immigrant population functioning as a permanently subsidized underclass is that this financial meltdown will not have class and race lines along which to fracture in addition to the usual religious and political. Wait, that’s not right.

Here in the sunny New World, we have to do everything bigger and better. The upside is we are energy independent and possess the ability to refine our own petroleum. We also grow a LOT of food here. Despite all that, we are highly dependent on retail and service industries and quite a few of them are clustered in certain areas. California thinks it has a homeless problem now, it can be a lot worse. The reduction of expendable income by even a few points has had major implications for the retail industry and that ripples out. The creditors holding JC Penny and other bankrupt retailers are now getting literally pennies on the dollar. That affects you as the lending industry readjusts to these hits. The ironic thing as this financial damage from earlier in the year starts to really hit as YOY and 2020 fiscal year numbers start to trickle in and the DOW readjusts to the current economic outlook. The interesting thing to observe will be when 401(k) losses start to force those most at risk and most loudly clamoring for draconian restrictions back into the workforce. As capital flees the travel sector and retail, that has secondary and tertiary effects on the support industries from lending agencies to logistics to entire sectors of the agricultural industry. The first world economy has never seen a situation like this and people who pretend to completely understand every outcome given the level of interconnectivity and complexity with intra-national economy as well as international are lying. The cure is worse than the disease in my opinion, and the sheer number of people quickly being pushed into poverty and subsistence right now is absolutely criminal. The sheer greed of the electorate in the US has prevented most states from going full retard, but a Biden presidency virtually guarantees it.

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