California shut down again.

Economic performance, health outcomes, and educational achievements in California after a second round of shutdown. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We are a week into our second shutdown here in California.

Restaurants may only provide food to-go or for outdoor dining. The outdoor dining option only helps restaurants stay in business if they have enough outdoor patio space to have enough tables to seat enough customers to stay in business and then only if the temperature (during July and August!) is tolerable.

Churches are prohibited from having worship services inside. Churches who are rich enough to have lots of outdoor space to sit and well off enough to afford two sets of audio equipment can worship live. The first amendment has been partially suspended again.

Gyms, salons, and bars are closed.

On 7/14/20, the Wall Street Journal also explained the issue in a short editorial: California’s Second Shutdown.

The core issue:

A lockdown will cause more harm (economically, socially, physically, psychologically, educationally, and emotionally) than the pandemic will cause.

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New claims for unemployment at 7/11/20 continue at high level. Good news is new jobs continue to be higher than lost jobs.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I’ve been scratching my head for a long time wondering how the tally of new unemployment claims can continue at skyhigh catastrophe levels while the unemployment rate has not gone vastly higher than it already has.

Head scratching from another direction – Number of new claims is steady at a level that is at least six times higher than it was right before the pandemic started yet the number of people drawing unemployment is declining.

How can that be?

 

Think I have finally sorted out the answer after several weeks of looking at additional data:

  • The number of new jobs created each week is running far higher than the number of lost jobs.

To get to this point for yourself, compare the number of people drawing unemployment with the change from week to week, add in the number of new unemployment claims, and then plug the difference as people who have gone back to work meaning they have found a job. It is too early for people to dropping off unemployment because their allowed weeks gas run out so the change in people drawing unemployment has to be new jobs. Let me know if I missed something in this concept.

Here is my analysis of the number of people drawing unemployment, the number of new claims, and the resulting number of new jobs:

week new back to # drawing
ended claims work unempl.
6/13/2020   1.54    20.29
6/20/2020   1.48  2.54    19.23
6/27/2020   1.41  1.88    18.76
7/4/2020   1.31  2.31    17.76
7/11/2020   1.30  1.72    17.34

 

Data source

Weekly press release from the Department of labor: Unemployment insurance weekly claims

Number of people drawing unemployment

Here is the weekly tally of people drawing unemployment, which is revised in the subsequent week:

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Settled matters outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

John Trumbull: The Declaration of Independence painted by John Trumbull. Photograph by Thomas Cizauskas is in the public domain (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

 

Several statements in the opening of the Declaration of Independence are settled matters. The issues are resolved. They are final.

If those key issues are not final but are instead malleable or alterable or subject to revocation the consequences will be horrible.

A speech by Pres. Calvin Coolidge explained this idea back in the 1920s. Let’s expand the concept of those ideas being resolved issues.

Please consider President Calvin Coolidge’s Speech on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 5, 1926.

He lists the three resolved issues:

“Three very definite propositions were set out in its (the Declaration of Independence) preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that

all men are created equal,

that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that

 therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added)

He explained these issues are settled, resolved, final.

We can expand on those ideas. We need to bring them into further fruition. We can dive deeper into their meaning.

Setting them aside or replacing them means we go backwards. Declaring they are no longer true is regression to the ancient past.

More eloquently than I could ever describe, the president said:

“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”

Expanding those foundational concepts

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Text of the Declaration of Independence:

From the National Archives:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. (more…)

Happy 244th birthday America!

American militia reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the 1770s and 1780s, a ragtag collection of citizen soldiers waged a war of independence against the most powerful empire on the planet…

British Army reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

…and defeated them.

 

Two hundred forty-four years ago today marked the start of this wonderful, aspirational, fantastic, heaven-blessed, messy, delightful, powerful, flawed, and glorious experiment called the United States of America which has delivered unimaginable levels of freedom to hundreds of millions of people here in the US of A and contributed massively to the freedom of hundreds and hundreds of millions more around the world.

That experiment had multiple severe flaws baked into the design which are taking a long time to correct, yet the aspirational dreams then drove and still drive that wonderful experiment to constant improvement.

Before our independence, anything resembling a democracy had been absent for so many long centuries. Apart from the ruling elite, ordinary people were merely the subjects of their ‘betters.’  Common folk only had the very few rights and freedoms that those born to power consented to give them, like crumbs thrown from the table.  You and I would only have been able to do what those controlling us allowed us to do.

And then came those rabble-rousing founding fathers.

The results of this grand experiment in self-government, not tried before, has produced fabulous results.

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It is even more important this year to remember that we are the land of the free because of the brave.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

With our freedom under assault by many state and local politicians across the United States, it is more important than ever before that on this Memorial Day we remember those who shed all their blood so that we may be free.

A ‘thank you’ from me is so trivial.  I will demonstrate my appreciation for freedom purchased by others by exercising my freedom of speech today. Yesterday I exercised my freedom of religion. Today and tomorrow I will exercise my economic freedom, also called pursuit of happiness, by running my business the way I choose to do.

Following post was first published on May 29, 2017. It reprints an earlier post of May 30, 2011. I will update the discussion slightly. Deletions are struck through, new comments are in italics. This feeble tribute to those who have gone before will be posted across several of my blogs.

 

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

From May 29, 2017:

Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.

Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted.

I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom and the effort to crush slavery.

Because of their sacrifice, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:

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Economic destruction from lockdown continues to expand.

There is severe danger that a growing number of businesses are going to look like this over the next few months. Abandoned Safeway store [01] by Ben Schumin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The damage from the lockdown is spreading. More news is emerging about the devastation that took place in just the first full month of the closure.

The damage will continue to grow the longer the shutdown continues. At some point it will start compounding, growing at a faster rate out of proportion to the time that is passing. Keeping the economy closed now is unnecessarily so the compounding damage is a choice.

Merely a few of the articles in recent days:

  • Guess on GDP shrinkage in next quarter
  • Disproportionate number of poorer households hit by job losses
  • Collapse of tax revenue in New York state
  • Collapse of home sales in Southern California
  • Another retail chain announce store closures and another announces liquidation

It is imperative to reopen the economy in full, not just for ‘curb-side delivery.’ If we don’t open soon, I fear the following articles will be mild in comparison to what we will see in the future.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

5/16/20 – Fox Business – US GDP could sink over 40%: Atlanta Fed – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is forecasting a 42.8% drop in GDP for the second quarter of  2020.

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What word could be used to describe 44 million people filing for unemployment in just 9 weeks?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I don’t have any word that can describe this disaster:

New unemployment claims for week ending 5/16/20 are just under 2.5 million, seasonally adjusted. An additional 2.2 million people who wouldn’t usually be qualified for unemployment filed during the week for Panemic Unemployment Assistance. The new PUA tally is shocking.

The tally of seasonally adjusted new claims is 38.6 million since the economy was put in an induced coma.

Data:

Weekly press release from the Department of labor: Unemployment insurance weekly claims

3/21/20– Wall Street Journal – Workers file 2.4 Million Unemployment Claims

Summary of new claims and running total

Here is my running tally of the new unemployment claims.

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The United States is in a mass casualty incident because of the lockdown. Damage to public health will get worse. Part 2 of 2.

Allegory of where US economy is now and where public health is headed. COD Hosts Mass Casualty Incident Simulation 2016 81 by COD Newsroom is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The continuing lockdown is directly leading to a decline in health. Large volume of articles for many weeks now have been pointing this out.

This is second of two posts describing recent articles. Part 1 here. This will be posted on several of my blogs.

5/11/20 – Wall Street Journal – Medical Lockdown Will Cause a Disease Surge – Two practicing MDs point out that lots of people have not sought treatment during the pandemic for initial signs of some other form of illness. There will be a surge of people visiting doctors after the lockdown ends. Six or eight weeks of delay will not be an issue for many people but for others it will make their illness far worse and for some, unrecoverable.

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Remember that good ol’ “consent of the governed” thingie? It is evaporating.

Our very form of existence as the United States of America is based on the idea that the power of government is based on having consent of the governed. In other words we, free citizens, give government the power it has.

Phrased more eloquently, the Declaration of Independence declares:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …

We are beginning to see damage to trust in public policy and confidence in government. Governors who continue to keep their economies locked up when there is no consent to do so and no justification for doing so are whittling away at that “consent of the governed” concept.

Politicians urgently need to pay attention to this. There is danger of long-term damage which nobody is going to like. More on the risks at the end of this post.

The growing resistance to the harshness of state policies is becoming more visible with each day that passes.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Many churches planning to open in California on May 31

I just came across this issue in the news. It has been brewing for a couple of weeks.

5/7/20 – San Bernardino Sun – Evangelical church leaders vow to reopen sanctuary doors early in Southern California – A number of churches in Southern California will be resuming worship services on May 31. I recognize several of the quoted pastors as being from churches in my local area.

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Home detention is rapidly winding down whether politicians want it to or not. Free Americans did not consent to an unknown number of months of economic and health destruction.

It is past time to open the economy. Shopping by Antonio Tourino is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On my daily walk yesterday I noticed a girl’s softball team (high school or younger) practicing. In other corner of park, six or eight boys were in football scrimmage (high school age). At another park I noticed a boy’s baseball team (elementary school age) practicing and half a dozen high school age boys working on their pitching arms. Also saw a few coaches, one coach, six parents, one coach, and one coach. Not a mask in sight.

I have noticed surface traffic on main streets in my area is picking up over the last week or two. Have had opportunity to be on the freeway during evening commute time recently and noticed the traffic volume has definitely picked up over what it was a couple weeks ago.

Other indications compliance with statewide house arrest is evaporating:

5/16/20 – Daily Bulletin – Some Inland Empire businesses reopened – defying coronavirus orders – Reporter was able to find eight businesses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties that have opened. Officials report they received a number of complaints about some of those businesses.

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Some wild guesses on the near-term impact of the pandemic.

Lots of people are starting to make guesses on what the impact will be from the pandemic on different industries over the next few years. No guess is better than another, so here is some speculation for your consideration.

The longer the economy of major states stay closed by deliberate choice of multiple governors the worse the effect is going to be. At some point there will be a disproportionately compounding effect with every extra week.

Discussion in this post brings together speculation for

  • higher education,
  • retail, and
  • airlines.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Higher Education

A flood of articles are discussing damage to the higher education world. Eventually all colleges and universities will concede they have to refund something in the range of half a semester of room and board.

More institutions are getting pressure, if not getting served with litigation papers, to refund a portion of Spring 2020 tuition. Pressure is growing to discount tuition in the fall if classes are held online.

There is a growing probability there will be a severe impact over the next few years. One of many articles discussing the possibilities:

5/11/20 – New York Magazine/Intelligencer – The Coming Disruption/Scott Galloway predicts a handful of elite cyborg universities will soon monopolize higher education – One commentator perceives there has been a substantial drop in the value, price, and product of higher education.

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Intentional decisions by state governments increased death tally in nursing homes.

New York order sending people sick from coronavirus to nursing homes.

Multiple states, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania required nursing homes to admit or readmit people who were sick with COVID-19. A lot of articles have appeared describing the impact of these intentional policies.

In case you are like me and have a hard time believing reports that government officials would knowingly implement such policies, a copy of the New York order is provided above.

Just a small selection of the articles appearing of late:

5/13/20 – Newsweek – Pennsylvania Health Secretary moved mother out of nursing home as coronavirus death toll increased in state – The Health Secretary of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rachel Levine relocated her mother out of a care facility as the death tally of senior citizens in care facilities increased.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that ordered care facilities to admit people who were COVID-19 positive and thus contagious.

5/13/20 – Daily Wire – Some States Forced Nursing Homes To Accept Corona virus Patients. Many Died As A Result. This Is A Massive Scandal. – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and California all required that nursing homes take in people who were COVID-19 positive.

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Three million new claims for unemployment insurance last week.

Unemployment by Kevin Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0

New unemployment claims for week ending 5/9/20 are just under three million, seasonally adjusted.

The tally of seasonally adjusted new claims is 36.5 million since the economy was put in an induced coma.

Data

Weekly press release from the Department of labor: Unemployment insurance weekly claims

3/14/20 – Wall Street Journal – Nearly 3 Million Jobless Benefits Last Week – Seasonally adjusted new claims for unemployment were 2.981M in the week ending May 3. That brings cumulative new claims to around 36.5M.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Summary of new claims and running total

Here is my running tally of the new unemployment claims.

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Los Angeles County will extend safer-at-home order for another three months. Goal is to test every resident every day.

How much more of this will we see if L.A. County is closed for five months?  Poverty by Joe Green is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

“With all certainty” the safer-at-home orders that have shut down the County of Los Angeles will be extended another three months, through August 15. That will make five months of crippling shutdown along with devastation to the economy along with expected damage to physical and emotional health and the consequent increase in excess mortality.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

5/12/20 – Daily Bulletin – Ferrer: L. A. County likely to extend stay-home orders for another three months

Had to check that report against other media sources to make sure that it wasn’t just one outfit making it up. Turns out it is not an April fool’s day joke.

The county’s Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer later issued a press release which said the goal is to test every citizen of the county every day.  (These posts are going to start naming names for future accountability of the reasonably foreseeable, fully expected excess deaths that will take place.)

Current level of testing in LA County is running at 15,000 per day.

Testing in the United States is running about 150,000 per day.

Population of Los Angeles County is 10,040,000 in 2019.

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