By William S. Lind
As I write this in late April, the most probable course of the coronavirus (a.k.a. Flu Manchu) is that it is at or past its peak medically and case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths will decline steadily hereafter. Economically, the country will have one bad quarter and come back quickly.
But there is another possibility. The country will not recover economically, or at least will take a long time to do so. While the medical threat from the virus will diminish, the public’s fear will not. Restaurants, bars, stores, hotels, etc. will reopen, but people won’t come in adequate numbers so that anyone can make a profit. Instead of businesses rebounding, business failures will become more numerous. That in turn will create growing unemployment. At the same time that demands on state services increase, state revenues will plunge further. All over the country, individuals, businesses, cities, and states will be screaming for more federal help as other sources of money dry up.