Issues & Insights
U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez

The Bitter Fruit Of Pandemic Paranoia

One media report says “the U.S. economy dropped down to a slower gear in January” due to the Omicron variant. But that’s being overly charitable. This is President Joe Biden’s economy. And his party’s. Leaving them in charge of federal policy beyond 2022 will lead to years if not decades of regret.

Surveys of senior business executives provide “the first clear indication of the damage done to the U.S. economy in the first month of the new year,” MarketWatch said Monday. “A ‘flash’ index of service-oriented companies tumbled to an 18-month low of 50.9 from 57.6 in the final month of 2021 … a similar gauge of manufacturers dropped to 55 from 57.7 in December – a 15-month low.”

The article goes on to say “Omicron clearly dented the economy in January,” as “millions” missed work “and the virus disrupted already strained supply chains.” The hardest punches connected on the jaws of “restaurants and other businesses that ‘serve’ customers directly.”

It didn’t have to be this way.

Biden swore he was going to shut down the virus but not the economy. The former was a promise no one could possibly keep. The latter, however, was easily reachable.

But rather than urging a return to pre-pandemic conditions – “to terminate the pandemic state of emergency … end the controls, the closures, the restrictions, the plexiglass, the stickers, the exhortations, the panic-mongering, the distancing announcements, the ubiquitous commercials, the forced masking, the vaccine mandates,” as has been sensibly suggested – Biden tried to achieve the impossible. He demanded mass vaccinations, told the unvaccinated to drop dead, and in general stoked fear of a variant that is clearly more transmissible but not as lethal as its predecessors.

Yes, the administration, having learned the limits of its powers over a virus, and afraid Biden’s broken promise will sink Democrats in the fall elections, is now pivoting to a “let’s learn to live with it” position. But it’s too late. The crash has already occurred and the smoldering wreckage still too hot to touch.

The strident left will of course accuse us of being evil capitalists who place the economy over human health and life. That’s an ignorant position (which is exactly what we expect of the reactionaries who are either part of or aligned with the Democratic Party). Nothing has boosted the health and lifespan of humanity more than a prosperous economy.

We know this in part because even what seem like mild economic setbacks are deadly. The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us that a “typical unemployment shock results in a significant decline in life expectancy and increase in mortality rates for the overall population.”

But there’s been nothing routine about the COVID-19-related shutdown shock. It’s expected to be two to five “times larger than the typical unemployment shock.” The number of additional – and we’ll add “avoidable” – deaths is likely to exceed 800,000 “over the next 15 years.” 

Voters have a chance this fall and in 2024 to repair the damage they wrought in 2020 by electing Biden. For the future of our republic, they need to tune out everything the Democrats tell them.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

7 comments

  • Democrats can’t help themselves. At heart they are all totalitarians, utterly convinced they “know better than you do” how to live your life. They cannot be dissuaded nor reasoned with – it is a cult of utter conviction with them. The only choices are to accept it (unacceptable), vote them entirely out of office (preferable), or of course the final option, which I would prefer not to see in this country.

    One more answer would be a national divorce – an amicable one this time. That would only be possible with Republicans in charge of all three branches.

  • How hard is for the author to acknowledge that the whole covid thing was a, I hesitate to say “god-sent”, event for the communists to finally take full control of every aspect of our freedom and destroy the bill of rights? Because that is exactly what it was and continues. There will never be an end to this until the real Americans rise up and throw these cretins out one way or another.

  • When there are Democratic politicians that claim grocery stores, that work on 1% margins, are price gouging, you know that our “leaders” are clueless.

  • Nothing at all has happened to the economy due to COVID.

    Everything that has happened to the economy has been due to government panic blamed on COVID.

    Very, very different things.

  • The Covid-19 virus has turned out to be the most powerful political tool of the 21st century for the Democrats. They used it to steal the 2020 Presidential election by requiring mail-in ballots with no chain of custody, and they used fear of the virus to obliterate the economic and social backbone of our country. Is there anything else left for them to destroy?

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Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 




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