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Here’s something we often heard in 2020 from experts who wanted long and draconian covid lockdowns: “Yes, these say-at-home orders are causing economic turmoil, but if you don’t lock everyone down now—and keep them locked down for a long time—your economy will be even worse off!”
The reasoning was that without lockdowns, the covid-19 virus would spread out of control and that as a result, so many people would die—or become so ill—that virtually everyone would become too afraid or too sick to leave his home. We were told widespread economic collapse would then ensue.
As it turns out, there is no indication whatsoever that states with longer periods of lockdown and forced social distancing fared better economically than states that abandoned covid restrictions much earlier. Rather, many states that ended lockdowns early—or didn’t have them at all—now show less unemployment and more economic growth than states that imposed lockdowns and social distancing rules much longer.
The complete lack of any correlation between economic success and covid lockdowns illustrates yet again that the confident predictions of the experts—who insisted that states without long lockdowns would endure bloodbaths and economic destruction—were very wrong.
Lock Down or Else!
By late April 2020, many Americans were pressuring their governors and other elected officials to end the stay-at-home orders.
Yet, advocates for long and enduring lockdowns—after an initial period of claiming, “Two weeks to slow the spread”—insisted that lockdowns should be left in place indefinitely. In early April, for example, Anthony Fauci proclaimed that lockdowns had to remain in place until no new cases appeared. Similarly, former presidential advisor and physician Ezekiel Emmanuel flatly stated that there is “no choice” but to stay locked down for eighteen months or more.
Yet as governors and antilockdown activists continued to press for a “reopening,” the word “premature” became a go-to term for activists seeking longer lockdowns. We must avoid a “premature reopening,” we were told, or else the economic pain of not having a lockdown would be far worse than the pain of lockdowns.
In the Harvard Business Review on April 1, 2020, for example, the author concluded:
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This may seem strange, but the economy will be even worse if it is restarted prematurely, which, in turn, means that a pre-specified or national date for reopening the economy should be avoided.
That is, even talking about ending lockdowns was a terrible idea to these people.
In Salon on May 5, the author Amanda Marcotte writes:
There’s good reason to fear that by reopening prematurely, the economic damage will be even worse than if we pursued a more rational course…. Sick people can’t work. Even those who have extremely mild symptoms will likely be under quarantine (as they certainly should be) to stop further spread.
Marcotte goes on to explain that without lockdowns, death and disease will be so rampant that no stores will have any customers (or workers), so businesses will fail at devastating rates:
Business will be “open” and people will be employed or employable, technically speaking. But whether there’s actually work or any revenue coming in just because the doors are open is quite a different matter.
“You can’t reopen your hair salon if there’s no one there to do hair,” [Vox writer Emily] Stewart writes.
As painful as extending the current lockdowns would have been, adding more chaos and sickness will just make the whole situation worse.
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What Happened in the States That Opened “Prematurely”?
Did these predictions come true? If the advocates of extending lockdowns were right, we should expect to see far worse economies in states like Florida, Utah, Georgia, and South Dakota.
Indeed, when Georgia was the first state to announce an end to its stay-at-home order, the Atlantic proclaimed the move to be an “experiment in human sacrifice.” Surely, such widespread death devastated the local economy, just as the experts predicted.
At the same time, those states that kept lockdowns and forced social distancing measures in place much longer must have more vibrant economies today.
This, of course, never happened.
Indeed, throughout 2020, and into early 2021 (the most recent data) GDP (gross domestic product) growth is better in Georgia and Florida than in New York and California, and about the same as in Massachusetts. GDP growth in Utah—where lockdowns were sparse and weak—is better than in every other state. South Dakota, which never imposed a stay-at-home order at all, shows more economic growth than California and nearly as much as New York.
Indeed, if we look at states across the board, we find no correlation at all between the length of lockdown and economic growth. Moreover, keep in mind that both California and New York are among the states receiving the most covid bailout and relief money per capita. If anything, their GDP numbers should be among the best after receiving such hefty amounts of wealth, transferred from other states. And yet these states aren’t even doing as well as Georgia, the supposed land of “human sacrifice.”
With employment numbers (as of May 2021), we find a similar story. The states with the worst unemployment numbers are Hawaii, New Mexico, California, and New York. Once again, these are some of the states with the most strict covid regulations and lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Utah and South Dakota are among the states with the lowest unemployment rates. Georgia’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent was barely more than half of California’s rate of 7.9 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate for the same period was 4.9 percent.
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So why were the experts so very wrong?
For one, the data continues to suggest that lockdowns don’t make much of a difference in the total number of people who die from covid (per million).
[Read More: “They Said Things Would Be Much Worse in States without Lockdowns. They Were Wrong.” By Ryan McMaken]
Although the experts predicted health outcomes would be far better in New York than in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and a dozen other states with weak or nonexistent covid restrictions, things didn’t turn out that way.
So, not only do many states with harsher lockdowns have far worse covid death totals, but they also have worse economies. It’s just the latest illustration of the fact that the lockdown advocates were just making things up and were willing to say anything that pushed their vision for a centrally planned and centrally controlled society in the name of “science.”
Image by KCB1805 from Pixabay. Cross-posted from Mises.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
Many are struggling in this economy. My family is among them. Please support what we’re doing here and help us to continue to spread the truth Americans need to read and hear.
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
We Often Feel Like David Taking on Giants
Today’s Goliath is the Mainstream Media Industrial Complex that brainwashes the masses.
Our mission is very straightforward: To counter the false narratives and nefarious agendas destroying America today. It isn’t easy for obvious reasons; despite incredible growth over the last year we are still a very tiny fish in a huge media pond. But we’re fighting and we will continue to do so, Lord willing, for as long as we possibly can. The battle for America’s present and future is too important for us to back down to the giants that stand in our way.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page, PayPal, or our brand new GiveSendGo page. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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