We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, May 2. 2020
We laid off 8 of our most effective employees last week. We are not sure we can remain a "going concern" after another month of this shutdown. No money coming in, no activity. We had about 40 employees in December, now down to 14. Painful to us partners, because we love these people and have relied on them for years. Like them, though, I just worry about my mortgage. That's my report from NYC today. A ghost town. Sad. I won't say what biz we are in, but it's neither finance nor real estate. We make useful things that businesses usually want.
Via Week in Pictures
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"We make useful things that businesses usually want."
I recommend a new line of work: marking up mail in ballots. They are useful things that those on the left will be in desperate need of in November.
How sad. I have a neighbor who works from home and he said to me that he's enjoying it. Doesn't have to go to his office. I had to remind him that there are people who work paycheck-to-paycheck, who can't work from home, etc. He seemed contrite, but I wonder.
My business is always dead in January and February. I plan for this. But the shutdown came in March and will continue for me until at least July 15. I’ve made $250 this year.
I feel for you man.
I'm sorry to hear this but not surprised.
My biggest concern has been the impact of the shutdown on small businesses. The trade-offs between the economy and public health are tough, and I don't have an answer, although I don't think government at any level fully appreciates how depressed economic activity negatively impacts public health.
I'm fortunate, in that I can work from home so my income continues. I'm also continuing to pay and use (as appropriate) our house cleaners, dog walker, yard guys, dry cleaners, etc.
Just looking around my slice of suburbia on this beautiful spring day, I believe as a practical matter folks will end the shutdown sooner than our state and local governments will.
My two cents, YMMV.
I ended it 5/1. That's when my consent expired. I'm getting angry at all the livelihoods and businesses being wrecked in the absence of evidence that huddling at home even helps in the long run. I doubt it does.
My consent expired two weeks ago. A quarantine is for those that are sick or at high risk. To mandate all are in quarantine is nothing more than hostage taking and those enforcing the mandate need incarceration themselves. There has been one case in the county and he is at home. I want to be left the hell alone. I would love to hit a restaurant but am limited to take out. Government no longer tolerates liberty even in the red states. It is past time for tar and feathers.
Is that sarcasm? I hope so. The man just said he had to lay off eight people on top of people he already laid off. I've got neighbors who've been laid off and two neighbors who've filed for bankruptcy. If it wasn't sarcasm, I hope Kharma catches up with you.
I take it for sarcasm, and it makes a good point: Some politician has decided whether what you produce is "essential." Everyone agrees on food; not everyone would agree on the trade-off between booze and whatever News makes, if we could get a straight answer about how they made that call, and how that call holds up after week 6.
"Essential" means "we know people will be put at potentially deadly risk by continuing to come out in public for this, and we can tolerate that risk." What's essential depends on balancing risks. 24 hours before a hurricane we cut off water and power. During landfall we quit running ambulances. The next day we open everything back up as quick as we physically can. Is it risk-free when we open back up? No, but there's a limit to how long we're prepared, e.g., to quit running ambulances, because dispatchers have to listen to the anguished calls for help. Someone's going back out as soon as the trees aren't falling any more.
These job losses aren't as easy to hear on the 911 tape.
Thank you, RetiredSOF, for saying what I was thinking but in a much more diplomatic way than I wanted to.
“We make useful things that businesses usually want.”
You should try making useless things that the government wants.
The most frustrating thing out of all of this is the government employees who keep getting paychecks while the private sector suffers.
The thing that strikes me about it all is how many people view this as a binary choice. Open or lock down. That’s it.
IMO, the ones who support opening up are being summarily deemed as uncaring about the health and lives of neighbors. They are being told they are selfish just because they “want a haircut.” I am sure the ones who support the lock down are being told they don’t care about the economy but their response seems to be a shrug of the shoulders and mumbling about how the state will help them out.
I would LOVE to see a breakdown of the percentage of people who support continuing the lockdown and whether their personal finances (not their 401ks) have been affected.
I’m a nurse and haven’t worked much the past five weeks. Our large hospital is running so far below capacity. I’ve have never seen it like this. Never imagined it would ever be like this. My pay had not been affected at all. But I look around and feel horrible about what has happened to so many people, their businesses.
Is it so hard to imagine this not being a binary option? Can we go back to work, wear masks, wash hands / surfaces like crazy, and just not go to crowded areas?
If you are at high risk, can you not support opening things up while YOU call YOUR doctor and see what their recommendation is for you personally?
This doesn’t have to be a one size fits all solution.
Your sensible, practical solution to a real world problem is noted. Unfortunately our government has no use for such things. They’d rather use a sledgehammer where a tack hammer is needed.
But (probably in line with your idea) I would support re-opening as aggressively as possible but with obvious and necessary restrictions to protect at-risk folks, which seems to be mostly (over 50%) nursing home residents.
I will wager most of us “openers” are also on that same page — not many “more deaths in nursing homes, please” types, I suspect.
Your approach (which I support) can't easily be implemented by government. It assumes that we'll solve the problem individually, among ourselves, the same way we approach economic decisions in a free market. Each person will figure out how careful he has to be, just as though he were post-transplant and immuno-compromised for six months. Everyone else will try to accommodate him within reason. It works because the immuno-compromised are a small minority, and the rest of the world can get on with growing food, etc. It also works because the decision-making is distributed and voluntary.
When the government is involved, it needs simple rules and a recognition that the police force can't analyze each situation for a week. It's the same problem central economic planners face. In the free market, billions of decisions can get made hourly, promptly, and in reasonable knowledge of the facts on the ground, because the entire population is in the decision loop. A central bureaucratic solution has to be rigid and slow; no government is big or smart enough to take on the analysis that a whole population can do. Granted, we still sometimes opt for the central solution, in a big enough emergency, but we're seeing how easy it is for the emergency response to do more harm than good, and how hard it is to return to the giant, uncontrollable, confusing, fuzzy process of individual choice. Why else does it so often take catastrophe and revolution to repair the error of slipping into socialism?
Exactly right Texan99 -- this all comes down to the centrally planned, top-down, static, statist model vs. the distributed, dynamic, bottom-up, profit-motive model, which we already know works 1000x better and is more efficient, cheaper, doesn’t reward graft, engender corruption, create inverse incentives or choose winners and losers.
This wasn't a decision for the government to make. It's a decision each one of us was to make and that was to quarantine if sick or if at high risk. The rest of us are being held hostage to the nanny state that has made sure it is getting a pay check and benefits while everyone else bleeds. Remember them at election time and focus on shrinking the nanny state.
Very sorry to hear that, News Junkie. Let’s all hope and pray for better leadership (hear that, guv?) to guide us out of this mess so that not just you but all business owners can get going as soon as possible. We’ve seen enough — unwind it, and be quick about it, which for government means weeks, not days ...
This is not an easy solution, but I hope we'll see migration from the states that do this right to the ones that don't. News Junkie, if you could re-locate to Texas you could open back up right now. Time will tell whether Texans later wish they'd opted for more job losses instead of a resurgence of disease. I'm hoping, of course, that we'll restore jobs and be able to deal with the level of infection. My assumption is that the infection is now past the point of hoping it won't march through the entire population, and it's only a question of bearing the losses we'll bear, while avoiding crashing the hospitals. If that's going to happen anyway, it's best not to destroy jobs, too. But it won't ever be easy seeing people die, or hearing the fatal diagnosis ourselves.
Sorry you had to go through this. I'm worried for my children and for the many, maybe in the millions, who will never recover from this financial hit. Though I understand the pressure the authorities were under, coupled with uncertainty, I sure wish there had been more thought given to the other vulnerables.
three people jumped off the Verrazano Bridge in the last two weeks; another jumped off of a twenty-story apartment building.
collateral damage? non-essential workers? deplorables?
who knows, who cares.
There is no evidence that someone committed suicide because of the lockdown and besides they were old and in bad health and were probably going to die soon anyway. (sarcasm)
FWIW, I wish you well, News Junkie.
What they have done to us is an outrage.
They apparently think they can put the economy into suspended animation and bring it back to life on a whim.
Take your business for example. Even if you open tomorrow, whose to say you can get your experienced help back? Furthermore, what if you customers aren't buying and your suppliers aren't supplying? And what if your customers'/suppliers' customers and suppliers aren't back in the game?
The economy is mind boggling in its complexity and to think it can be flipped on and off like a light switch is naive at best and criminally foolish at worst.
Thanks for the supportive comments.
We took a loan to get started, and will need a loan to survive.
Sh-t happens. We aren't leaving NYC.
I think your plight is real, and the plight of those let go even more so.
Did you have to accuse those who see things differently from you of not thinking and having the government think for them? How is that even remotely fair?
Or did you also find thinking too hard?
More smug self-righteousness from YOU, I see!
Not all of us are Ivy League trust-funders like you, ya know!
Some of us work for a living. We have to take off our gloves (not white, like yours), without help from the maid and get our hands dirty to churn out the means of our existence.
AVI is hardly an Ivy-League trust-funder. He recently retired from work at a state psychiatric hospital, but went back to work during the lockdown, a fairly scary thing to do, and not economically motivated.
I say this though I'm generally at odds with him about the justification for most aspects of the lockdown in most parts of the country.