Throughout American history, our nation has fallen and risen like a phoenix on a constant treadmill. Our legacy and country have waxed and waned through 47 recessions with 35 occurring between 1785 to 1929. That leaves 12 since and including the Great Depression and the Great Recession. The 21st Century is another history throwback so we know what is coming. It’s not time to panic but to learn what to expect. It’s definitely not time to use this pandemic for political purposes as we watched DC turn our slowly decreasing bank accounts into their advantage. We are the People and we are stronger than that. We will go back to the future to discover what our tried and true steps to maintaining We the People’s health and economic growth.
The Spanish Flu of 1918s post-illness recession is a clue as to what we could expect. There is a stark difference between 1918 and 2020, a world war is missing today. The mortality rates and shifts in people across the globe have minimized today by government shutdowns so the numbers affected will be different. The main similarity is the effect on business. Businesses then were losing $10,000 a day due to brick and mortar confines. These losses would not be regained since their products couldn’t be sold later. Again, the market then didn’t have a long shelf life like most items today. Merchandising stores like Target and Walmart sell food so their doors are open for sales. The clothes and electronics sections aren’t closed off so we are still able to keep American businesses afloat as we scan the store with our face masks on. The businesses most bruised then and now are bars, restaurants, and the service industry.
Technology advances mean we are still buying clothes, cars, trinkets, music downloads and more online. Businesses today can continue to sell and ship all from their own home. The shortage of labor from the Spanish Flu and WWI slowed the return of labor to employers which delayed a return to increased productivity. We will not have that same issue since our medical precautions enforced by the government may save our lives and industries. The starkest difference is the airline industry. Yes, we will bail them out since they are an impetus for American business.
This is all to state that the American economy can rebound easier today than in earlier pandemics. Even as the unemployment rolls increase our federal departments will continue to send checks and rent and mortgage assistance while food banks are in high gear. We will sustain throughout this economic downturn differently but some lessons are still the same, keep shopping and supporting your neighbors. That will make the biggest difference and you can do it all online.
The stimulus checks are another thorn in our sides. It turned into a political fiasco to maintain the political tribalism ahead of a presidential election we will surely have. The stimulus checks could have been sent sooner had it not been for the desire of politicians to receive credit for their work on it. That timing is exactly how the economy could take a downturn into a Greater Recession. We need all politicians to think of us and only us as we head into chartered territory meaning we’ve been here before. We were just here ten years ago during the Great Recession. We must re-implement similar strategies for businesses, employees, and homeowners without the political pandering to the people. According to history and current statistics, the pandemic will grow and possibly come in waves similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918. There is no time to waste. Prepare now for what we know could happen. We’ve been here before and know what to do to save our economy, our sick, and our communities. Stay safe and healthy America!