I recently received an email invitation to the start of my Fantasy Football League’s 2020 season – which I found altogether odd.  Partly it’s because, unlike every other year, I’m having trouble mustering up much enthusiasm.  And partly, it’s because I doubt the NFL will play this year. Oh, I know that plans are underway and the league is all “Full steam ahead!”, but I’m starting to note the number of professional athletes who have started testing positive for the coronavirus.  Now how the hell does the league plan on keeping its players healthy and safe given it IS a contact sport?  And what about the players – and there will undoubtedly be some – who would rather not to risk it and choose to sit out the season?  And what of the infected players?  Hopefully they all make quick recoveries, but there’s mounting evidence that the virus can leave you with long-lasting health effects.

I realize we’re negotiating uncharted waters here and everyone desperately wants a return to normalcy, but I’m seriously wondering if we’re pushing too soon, too fast?  So far, we’re looking at over 120k deaths in the U.S., and that’s with a three month lockdown to mitigate transmission.  And we’re not even halfway through the year.  Meanwhile, states are opening back up and people are acting like the worst is over.

I understand the need to balance safety and the economy, but I can’t help but feel the solution to this lies in the Federal Reserve and their seeming limitless coffers. Trillions of dollars have been spent on bailing out billionaires, banks, big corporations, wealthy hedge fund managers, junk bonds, and zombie companies while a comparatively lesser amount has gone to helping small businesses and citizens in need.  In his 60 Minutes interview, Jay Powell claims the Federal Reserve can print up an endless amount of money with absolutely no repercussions.  If that’s the case, then why not direct that money to people who really need it?  Those who’ve lost their jobs or are unable to pay rent or their mortgages?  Why are regular people receiving deferrals while the uber-wealthy are being gifted boatloads of cash in the way of bulletproof stocks?

The prospect of Universal Basic Income is, of course, a non-starter because those in power will argue it reeks of socialism but – SPOILER ALERT: As the Federal Reserve artificially pumps up the markets, over-inflating stock values and removing risk for investors, they are effectively embracing socialism.  BUT only for the rich.

Government policy, along with the actions of the Federal Reserve, have worsened economic inequality.  They’ve overplayed their hand.  And, this time, I don’t think people are going to let them get away with it.

I’m curious what you all think.  How do you feel about the reopening, he Wall Street bailouts, and the prospective return of pro sports?  Are you venturing out and, if so, what kind of safety precautions are you taking?

7 thoughts on “June 19, 2020: Pro Sports, Reopening the Economy, and Selective Bailouts!

  1. I agree with you completely. And I think UBI is a matter of when, not if. As automation takes more jobs and the economy goes through huge shifts like the one we’re seeing, I think it will be inevitable. I also think the the economic effects of climate change will require new ways of thinking about the economy in a number of ways.

    Money pumped into “the markets” and into bailing out corporations usually doesn’t manifest into any noticeable gains for the majority of the population. It seems to go into things like stock buybacks or wherever. However, when the money is given to everyday consumers who are hurting, the money by necessity is almost immediately spent – pushing it right back into the economy to promote other jobs in a domino effect. That’s why I think things like the CERB are a great idea.

    Things are opening up here in NB as elsewhere, but we’re in a thankfully somewhat unusual situation where the number of cases was never very high. In fact, the whole Maritimes is back down to basically zero new cases per day. So, businesses are starting up again but with precautions in place. Personally, I use a mask when entering a business indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained, which is most places unless you go early in the morning. Not too much need to use them outdoors as anywhere I go there’s really no crowds outside. There’s talk of opening up a Maritimes travel zone within the next few weeks, which would be great. Of course, every time a person comes into the area from somewhere else increases the possibility of new infection. I sure wouldn’t want to be the person with the responsibility of making the decisions of what to do and when.

  2. Well,I don’t care for any sports at all, but it is sad so many are denied something they enjoy.

    I’m all for a basic income. Socialism is fine by me, we are a society, let’s act like it. I am sick of Trump and his cronies looting the economy and letting the average Jo sink into homelessness. The bailouts are reprehensible. Personally, I am okay as long as social security, my husband’s Navy pension, and my VA pittance hold out. Eat the rich, it is all they’re good for.

    Our state is seeing daily new increases in cases, we are beginning to push the limits of what can be handled. I rarely go out, and mask when I do. I am terrified. Many counties in Utah are going green, and we are NOT there yet. I don’t want to die because people want to go the Lagoon. It is crazy. I believe the worst is yet to come. And now I actually know someone who had and survived COVID. They live in upstate NY, didn’t tell any of us while they were sick. No ventilator, but his description is horrific anyway. Yikes.

    I just want my home repairs finished so I can have my bedroom back, and not just sleep in the basement. Bursitis and steep stairs do not mix well. As long as the kid comes to cut my grass, and I can get groceries delivered,and my wifi holds up, I am all about the happy hermit life.

  3. The Australian Rules football season started last weekend, three months late, in empty stadiums. Australia is essentially Coronavirus free. There’s some small community spread but most new infections are coming from overseas travellers returning home infected and are being detected while they’re locked up in quarantine.

    Travel is still being restricted between some states. We have a holiday booked up in Queensland for the first week of August (we booked it months before the apocalypse happened). It looking unlikely that we’ll be able to go. We’re also desperate to get down to our house in Tasmania. We’ve booked the ferry for late September when we expect the borders to be open again.

    Restaurants are opening with strict limits on customer numbers and seating arrangements. Group gatherings can have up to 20 people. My work’s office is still closed. The directive from the government is that if you can work from home you must work from home. So my office will remain closed until that directive changes from “must” to “should”.

    I see the situation in the US and my mind boggles! You haven’t even reached the peak infection rate and you’re talking about easing restrictions? Madness! Here in Australia I think people are now in the mindset of “It’s all over” but the virus is still out there! There is no cure. There is no vaccine. Opening things up again will result in more infections, guaranteed. It’s not a question of opening up quickly versus slowly . . . opening up will kill people, period. Governments have just decided that it’s OK to kill some people in order to save the economy.

    As far as the financial support situation goes, the US was pretty screwed in that respect anyway. I see billionaires like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey chest thumping about making huge donations to charity when in reality they’re setting up charitable trusts which actually make money! These people profit while making it look like they’re being generous. But what do you expect when you elect a racist, misogynist billionaire with no leadership qualities as president?

    Here in Australia the government is handing out money called “Job Keeper”. The money goes to employers in order for them to keep paying employees. The full amount must be passed on to employees but I’m sure there’s a lot of fraud going on. Hopefully the tax office will catch up with them come audit time! We’re also allowed to withdraw money from our superannuation (pension) funds if we can show financial hardship. Superannuation is compulsory here so anyone that has worked will have money saved for retirement. A lot of people who have been made unemployed have gone down that route.

    To be honest, I don’t think the economy here in Australia has been hit too hard. Tourism, airlines, hotels, etc are hurting. There will be casualties in the hospitality sector but a lot of restaurants and cafes have pivoted to takeaway only and are surviving. My local suburban cafes have never had it better since everyone working from home are getting their coffee from them rather than when they get to the office. Local manufacturing has had a boost due to foreign supply chain issues. People are still building houses. The commercial real estate market could be in trouble if companies start downsizing their office needs with a more remote workforce.

    It’s going to be an interesting couple of years seeing the repercussions.

  4. Isn’t the real problem in the US ‘unfettered capitalism’ and some political corruption? Looking from afar that’s what it looks like to me. There was an interesting segment on The Sunday Edition a couple of weeks ago (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/no-need-to-worry-about-a-deficit-when-the-government-can-print-money-say-some-economists-1.5594636) about a ‘new’ economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory. From what I’ve read so far it looks to be a restatement of Keynesian ideas, but if applied it may help to rebalance the system in the future.

  5. This is one case where hindsight will be a learning experience. A lot of pros and cons out there. A blanket approach for all areas doesn’t seem to make any sense. An example, my mom’s town has three that tested positive in the entire county. The population there is around 20,000 people, give or take.

    I don’t believe that anyone has all the answers but not moving positive covid patients into nursing homes would have been a great start. Como covered his ass with immunity from lawsuits on that count. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/26/andrew-cuomo-nursing-home-execs-immunity

    As for the financial side of this, our U.S. stimulus checks should have gone to those unemployed. I have several family members on disability and their income wasn’t affected. My income stayed the same as well, so I donated my stimulus check tot he food bank. We weren’t entirely selfless though, we used my hubby’s check to buy a treadmill.

    My son’s company got a bailout government loan to keep their business going. That loan, as I understand it, doesn’t have to be paid back if the company rehires a certain percentage of workers. I’m sure there’s fraud out there, sadly, there is always someone willing to take advantage.

    I go out as our town allows and I’m not scared. Then again, my antibody test came back positive, so I’ve probably already had it and recovered. I have a mild asthma and had a little problem with that afterwards but I’m not a demographic that is vulnerable. People with preexisting illness have to use their own judgement. I don’t blame anyone for being careful. I wear masks indoors or in crowded outdoor areas. Our area is not densely populated.

    My hubby goes in for a medical procedure Monday and I can’t go in with him. I have to wait outside (90F heat) or in the lobby. Then again, I’m not really sure I’m allowed to wait in the lobby. I’m not sure how they find me when’s he finished. What if I’m passed out from heat exhaustion in the parking lot? I pray they have a bathroom I can use. So many unanswered questions….

    1. Tam, give the medical facility your cell number so they can call you when your husband is ready to go. I’m sure they will have a new “pandemic routine” they are using to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Everyone has probably already asked all your questions. (Except the one about “if I am passed out…”

  6. The Federal Reserve has been pushing the economy to the brink for a long time and each bubble drains money from the poor in the form of inflation. This has become more apparent to more people as the COVID economy points out how the rich get to ride inflation like the stock market is their surfboard and people living pay check to pay check can’t keep their heads above water anymore. The Covid economy is an exaggeration of what Ron Paul has been pointing out all along.

    Even though the unfair wealth transfer has already happened, I still don’t see a bigger government program as the solution. Anytime the government gets bigger, the people with power figure out how to milk it for more advantage, just like they did with the bailouts. Any future will hurt at this point since warnings were not heeded, but the least painful solution would be actual limited government and real capitalism, not the corporatism we’ve been crushed under.

    Lastly, I suspect the people with power aren’t too worried that we can see what’s going on this time. A collapse was coming no matter what and they welcome the opportunity to blame it on a pandemic rather than their own greed. A reset to create a global currency, still controlled by central banking, may be their next move. That gets us closer to the end of history, where totalitarian control is so complete that no more revolutions or border changes are possible without divine intervention.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.