MAYDAY MAYDAY
By Karl Arnold Belser
1 May  2020

WORLD IN DISTRESS

There are now thirty million unemployed in the United States which is 18% of the US workforce. Further, first quarter GDP fell by 4.8%. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. Since the second quarter of 2020 is going to be worse than the first, the US is certainly in a recession.

This economic situation is similar the world over. Each part of the world is trying to adapt in order to survive. The parts are separated in order to control the spread of the Coronavirus. For example, New Zealand, where my brother lives, has completely eliminated the Coronavirus by shutting its borders and making any person entering undergo a two week quarantine. Isolation works.


New Zealand can isolate itself successfully because it is primarily an agricultural product exporter to China. Most parts of the world are not that  lucky. In fact much of the world is globalized such that countries are interdependent..

A possible mega trend is that extreme nationalism might occur in which each country or part of the world makes most of the things it consumes. This might mean that the United States will have to redeploy the unemployed to make many things that the US imports. This will take time and a rethinking of the minimum wage. Maybe there should be no minimum wage with a government supplement to achieve a minimum basic income.

THE CHINA SOLUTION

China has already implemented its social credit system. It can track every person using a combination of facial recognition and telephone GPS tracking. China is authoritarian so it can dictate what people have to do.

I have read that China is assigning each person a color code. Green means unaffected. Red means affected and contagious. Yellow means that by GPS tracking or photographic means a person has come close to a red person. The government can force the red and yellow people to quarantine. Further body temperature checks can be done of  every person as they enter work, stores and transit systems. This method has allowed China to more or less completely recover in a very short time.


It looks like people in China are amalgamating into a larger entity by means of the Internet analogous to how cells in the human body work together for the survival of the larger body. China and the rest of the world are in economic competition. The law of nature is competition , survival and reproduction.  China as a nation appears to be adapting in order to survive in the world with epidemic disease.

The people in the west might consider the methods that China is using to be draconian because they deprives everyone of privacy in the name of public health. The question now is can the west figure out a better way.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

Today is May Day, my father's birthday. It is also a call for hhelp because the US is still in chaos.

The press is criticizing President Trump for the current situation, like some smarter person could have avoided it. Trump, by constitutional law cannot tell the states what do do in closing or opening up their economies. In fact California, the largest state with about 40 million people, is in good shape with only 4.3 deaths per 100,000 people, whereas New York, the second largest state with about 30 million people, is the worst state with 114.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The press thinks that the governor of NY is great and that President trump is at fault for not closing down the country sooner.. In fact the fault is that of Andrew Como the NY governor for not taking action sooner. The politics in the United States is insane.

There is no talk in the United States about implementing anything different than wearing masks and social distancing. Hence it will be unlikely that the US will come back to full economic activity any time soon. It looks to me like China has scored a dramatic economic win with respect to the US. I guess it might be possible that the US recovers,, but the best guess I have heard are that it will take more than a year if at all. Recovery for the US depends on getting a vaccine, which is problematic.
       
Last updated May 1, 2020
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