COVID-19 Recession: One of the Worst Economic Downturns in American History

The Day | World faces worst crisis since Great Depression

Great slump: By 1933, unemployment in the USA was at 25 per cent. Photo: The Day

Idaho initial and continuing unemployment claims drop again | Business |  magicvalley.com

Sean Harris holds a sign asking for help in Sept. 4 in New Orleans. Harris had just completed training to be a hunted history tour guide in the French Quarter when the coronavirus pandemic hit. He has not been able to find a job since. Photo: Times News

 

This year, 2020, is the worst economic downturn since the great depression.  It is one of the worst economic downturns in American history.  They say it is just the beginning.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  The worst is still to come. 

According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War [1].

The pandemic crisis caused bankruptcy to a lot of companies like: Aldo (Shoe Retailer), 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, California Pizza Kitchen, Chuck E. Cheese, Cirque du Soleil, Debenhams, Hertz Corp, Frontier Communications, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, GNC, J Crew, Lane Bryant, Lord & Taylor, Lucky Brand Jeans, New York & Company, Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg,  Pier 1, Sizzler, USA Rugby, Virgin Australia and a lot more [2][3][4].

Over 42.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic [5].  Eventbrite laid off half its workforce as events worldwide are canceled.  Airbnb cut 25% of its workforce.  Uber laid off around 6,700 workers in two waves and shut 45 offices.  Rent The Runway laid off all retail employees across the country.  Compass Coffee, a Washington, D.C. Starbucks competitor, laid off 150 of its 189 employees.  General Electric laid off about 10% of its jet engine workforce, around 2,500 workers.  The University of Colorado at Boulder laid off a handful of employees, and more layoffs could be on the way.  The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, IATSE, estimated that 120,000 jobs for film workers, including technicians, artisans and other crew positions have been eliminated. [6]

As of today there are 201K deaths in the US and 971K deaths worldwide [7].  Nearly 600 front-line health care workers appear to have died of COVID-19 in the US [8].  People are dying, mourning & starving.   If only the 30-Day National Lockdown was enforced.

Scientists have been warning us about the climate change.  Extreme weather, natural disasters, and strange animal behavior are clear warnings to us that something is wrong, but some leaders are dismissing it and their staunchest followers silence it. 

This uncertain time calls for careful analysis.  Look for the numbers instead of rumors.  Follow the public health guidelines to support the heath care workers to keep them safe as they save lives, spend wisely, and vote wisely this November 3, 2020 US election.

It is not for me to judge, but imagine if everybody thought this way, imagine how resilient the economy would be, what a powerful global community we would form.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. “COVID-19 to Plunge Global Economy into Worst Recession since World War II”.  The World Bank.  June 8, 2020.  https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/06/08/covid-19-to-plunge-global-economy-into-worst-recession-since-world-war-ii
  2. Shen, Lucinda.  “The 20 biggest companies that have filed for bankruptcy because of the coronavirus pandemic”.  Fortune Media.  June 29, 2020.  https://fortune.com/2020/06/29/companies-filing-bankruptcy-2020-during-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-19-economy-industries/
  3. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Companies_that_filed_for_Chapter_11_bankruptcy_in_2020
  4. Tucker, Hank.  “Coronavirus Bankruptcy Tracker: These Major Companies Are Failing Amid The Shutdown”.  Forbes.  May 3, 2020.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/hanktucker/2020/05/03/coronavirus-bankruptcy-tracker-these-major-companies-are-failing-amid-the-shutdown/#2b79a52e3425
  5. Lambert, Lance. “Over 42.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic”.  Fortune Media.  June 4, 2020.   https://fortune.com/2020/06/04/us-unemployment-rate-numbers-claims-this-week-total-job-losses-june-4-2020-benefits-claims/
  6. Voytko, Lisette.  “Coronavirus Layoffs: Boeing Lays Off 6,770 Workers Amid Pandemic”.  Forbes.  May 27, 2020.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/27/coronavirus-layoffs-boeing-lays-off-6770-workers-amid-pandemic/#25b30d3045bd
  7. “Cases overview”.  https://g.co/kgs/MQhEs1
  8. “Exclusive: Nearly 600 — And Counting — US Health Workers Have Died Of COVID-19”.  Kaiser Family Foundation.  June 6, 2020.  https://khn.org/news/exclusive-investigation-nearly-600-and-counting-us-health-workers-have-died-of-covid-19/
  9. “World faces worst crisis since Great Depression”.  The Day. 
  10. Ridler, Keith.  “Idaho initial and continuing unemployment claims drop again”.  Times News.  September 17, 2020.  https://magicvalley.com/business/idaho-initial-and-continuing-unemployment-claims-drop-again/article_caf91cfa-2794-5a5c-acfa-21d20ee7a5d7.html

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From Bankruptcy To Presidency

Before Pres. Trump became president, he filed for business bankruptcy four times: the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009 [1].  Also, Trump settled all three fraud lawsuits relating to Trump University in November 2016 for a total of $25 million after being elected president [2].

Despite the bankruptcy and lawsuits, Trump became president and still have the courage to run for the November 3, 2020 election.  Trump was not the only President who filed bankruptcy, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, William McKinley and Ulysses S. Grant also filed for bankruptcy.  William McKinley declared bankruptcy while serving as the Governor of Ohio. Less than three years later, he was elected President of the United States [3].

For entrepreneurs who are losing hope due to the pandemic crisis, especially to my friends who are struggling to save their companies and their employees, remember that Pres. Trump became president despite all the challenges, bankruptcies and lawsuits.

It is not the end of the world.  As long as you can wake up and breathe there is hope. There is always a solution.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. “Examining Donald Trump’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcies”.  American Bankruptcy Institute.  https://www.abi.org/feed-item/examining-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-chapter-11-bankruptcies
  2. Carroll, Rory.  “Donald Trump settles fraud lawsuits relating to Trump University for $25m”.  The Guardian.  November 18, 2016.  https://web.archive.org/web/20180531004725/https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/18/donald-trump-university-settles-president-lawsuit-25-million
  3. Mack, Adam.  “US Presidents Who Filed Bankruptcy – Part I”.  Mack & Associates.  https://www.kansasjustice.com/bankruptcy/blog/us-presidents-filed-bankruptcy

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The Four Destructive Seasons

The Four Destructive Seasons

A group of masked people

Medical staff and workers in Surry Hills, Sydney, in April 1919. Schools and businesses were closed, hospitals overflowed and masks became compulsory in public. Photograph: NSW State Archives and Records. https://www.theguardian.com

1.  Flu Season – The most severe flu season after the Spanish Flu in 1918 started in Wuhan, China has spread like wildfire during the Winter-holiday season from December 2019 – January 2020, which lead to Pandemic Crisis/Recession and National Lockdown from March to May 2020.   As of today, there are 910,000 deaths, 28.2 million cases [1].  Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession in the U.S., from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020 [2].  

Location of tropical cyclones - Met Office

Photo: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk

2.  Cyclone / Typhoon / Hurricane Season – Typhoon/Cyclone/Hurricane has caused severe damage every year.   According to the May 22, 2020 report, Cyclone Amphan caused an estimated $13.2 billion in damage and killed at least 80 people in West Bengal, and another 10 across the border in Bangladesh with as many as 500,000 families in Bangladesh may be homeless [3].  On the same month, Typhoon Vongfong/Ambo in the Philippines caused around ₱1.57 billion (US$31.1 million) in damage, killed 5 people and affected 578,571 residents [4].  The following month, Tropical Storm Cristobal caused US$675 million in damage and 15 fatalities [5].   Last month, Typhoon Higos hit China, with 200 people dead or missing in China this year and caused $25 billion in damage [6].  On the same month,  Hurricane Laura caused the deaths of at least 36 people in the U.S. and inflicted an estimated $8.7 billion in insured damage on southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico [7].  Hurricanes have caused a total of 117 deaths and  $14.67 billion in damages [8].

A helicopter prepares to drop water at a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Three fast-spreading California wildfires sent people fleeing Saturday, with one trapping campers at a reservoir in the Sierra National Forest, as a brutal

A helicopter prepares to drop water at a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020.  Photo: The Associated Press.  

3.  Wildfire Season – Summer finally has ended.  But it ended with ravaging wildfires.  Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.  August 16, Death Valley in California reported a high temperature of 130 degrees F.  If verified, this temperature would be the hottest August temperature on record for the U.S. [9].  Currently, 102 large fires have burned 4.4 million acres in 12 states in the U.S. [10].

7 New York counties under state of emergency as snowstorm slams Northeast -  ABC News

Snow covered vehicles line a street in Lowell, Mass., Dec. 2, 2019.  Photo: C.J. Gunther/EPA via Shutterstock. 

4.  Winter Storm Season – Summer just ended and winter is coming.  With the pandemic crisis and calamities happening, better to relocate if you are living in one of the coldest cities and will just put you in danger.

These 4 Destructive Seasons are inevitable.  Therefore, the government should take extra precautionary measures to protect the people in the future.  Everyone should also be alarmed and make plans according to these 4 Destructive Seasons:  

  1. Relocation – Families in hazard prone areas should relocate the soonest possible.  The government should have relocation programs for families living in hazard prone areas.  The relocation plan should make sure that the families can:
    • survive  and ensure quality of life,
    • provide quality education,
    • provide employment opportunities, like forming collaboration with social enterprises or non-profit organizations.  Another way is to cultivate the land to boost eco-tourism. 
  2. Travel – Travel only if necessary.  Always wear a mask even if your leader does not.  Be thankful if you can study and work from home. Our healthcare workers have to travel and work in the hospital despite the pandemic.  Stay at home to stay safe and keep our healthcare workers safe.   
  3. Patronize eco-friendly products and brands.  This way, we can encourage more people to focus on developing eco-friendly materials/products instead of destructive and toxic materials/products.  You can check out ways to Go Green, Go Clean

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REFERENCES:

  1. Ritchie, et al.  “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Deaths”.   Our World in Data.  Global Change Data Lab.  September 10, 2020.  https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths
  2. Kochhar, Rakesh.  “Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession”.  Pew Research Center.  June 11, 2020https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/11/unemployment-rose-higher-in-three-months-of-covid-19-than-it-did-in-two-years-of-the-great-recession/
  3. Sud, “Cyclone Amphan caused an estimated $13.2 billion in damage in India’s West Bengal: government source”.   CNN.  May 22, 2020.  https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/22/weather/cyclone-amphan-damage-intl-hnk/index.html 
  4. “Sitrep No. 15 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon “Ambo” (I.N. “VONGFONG”)”. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. May 27, 2020. http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/4048/Update_Sitrep_no_15_re_Preparedness_Measures_and_Effects_of_TY_AMBO_Issued_on_27May2020_12NN.pdf
  5. “Global Catastrophe Recap: June 2020” (PDF). London, United Kingdom: Aon. pp. 4–5. Retrieved July 15, 2020http://thoughtleadership.aon.com/documents/20200709_analytics-if-june-global-recap.pdf
  6. “Typhoon adds to southern China’s rain and flooding woes”.  The Associated Press.  ABC News.  August 19, 2020.  https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/typhoon-higos-hits-china-weakens-tropical-storm-72462400
  7. Steve Evans (August 31, 2020). “Hurricane Laura onshore insured property loss close to $9bn: KCC”. Reinsurance News. Archived from the original on September 5, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020https://www.reinsurancene.ws/hurricane-laura-onshore-insured-property-loss-close-to-9bn-kcc/
  8. “2020 Atlantic hurricane season”.  Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Atlantic_hurricane_season
  9. “Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.”.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  U.S. Department of Commerce. September 9, 2020.
  10. “National Preparedness Level 5”.  National Inter-Agency Fire Center.  September 10, 2020.  https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

Suburb: A Haven During the Pandemic

Photo: Boostrap Farmer77Photo: Garden Tower Project

The move in the suburb from the city in 2018 has been the most difficult decision.  We were supposed to develop the property in the suburb into a Training and Retreat Center.  However, it did not materialize until now, because a lot happened since 2018.   The first few months of 2018 were exasperating.  We have to go back and forth from the city (to attend to our mother dearest), to the suburb (just to meet the handymen for the repairs).  Last year was our major event, and this year, the pandemic crisis.

The property area is not secluded.  It is not in the middle of nowhere but at the center of two world’s best cities.  The property is just walking distance to commercial areas.  However, I seldom see people walking on the sidewalk, because the minimum lot size in the area is half acre.  Some have their own tennis court, pool and ranch.  I hear more of the birds chirping than people talking or vehicles passing.

There were people who think that living in the suburb is absurd.  Some even belittle the people in the suburb.  Maybe because most people in the suburb are entrepreneurs and farmers than working class.  Maybe because the city represents luxury, while suburb represents simplicity.   Or maybe, people have become materialistic and shallow that they prefer LV than nature’s natural beauty.

At first I regret the decision of moving in the suburb.  Thus, the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the overwhelming Coronavirus cases in the city made me realize that it is safer and better to stay in the suburb than in the city.

The suburb and rural are haven during the pandemic crisis.  You can just go out and breathe fresh air without worries of polluted and contaminated air.  You see more birds than humans.  You only wear mask when there are people around, but seldom you see people so no need to wear a mask.

Photo: Nature Hills Nurseryk6242.jpgPhoto: Bonsai BoyCannablast-organic-pest-control-for-vegetable-herb-flowering-plants_outdoor-and-indoor-growing-operations.Photo: Green Blaster

What happened to the New Philippines?

In 2016, I made suggestions for the New Philippines from my previous post.  However, the priority of the government has been infrastructure, technology and military rather than education, healthcare and agriculture.

EDUCATION

As I mentioned on my post 8 years ago about the K12 Program, the improvement of education should focus on cost effective programs for teachers and students, and not to add burden by adding more billion dollar infrastructure projects.

It is a must for everyone to learn how to survive alone by: doing household chores; learning to plant and cook your own food from scratch; learning to do first aid; learning to troubleshoot basic glitches; learning to build your own house from scratch using adobe or tree house; learning to sew your own clothes; learning to operate machines and vehicles.  I think these essential skills should be in the curricula.

Moreover, I think that every citizen who lives in an archipelago and in flood prone countries should learn how to swim.  Due to climate change, Ecology should be taught in all levels in K12 as major subject and not just part of Science.

HEALTHCARE

When I was in Egypt 11 years ago, I was amazed of the affordable pharmaceutical products.  I also love the Imtenan health shop where you can buy different flavors of honey and tea.  I was thinking  that I will be able to experience the same in the Philippines.  With the pandemic crisis, I still hope that the government in developing countries will improve the healthcare system by:

  1. Conducting further studies on herbal and food medicine that could fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.  I still believe that there’s an herbal medicine that needs to be discovered;
  2. Providing cost effective health and wellness programs;
  3. Subsidizing the local pharmaceutical products or remove its taxes.
  4. Providing quality healthcare for all.

AGRICULTURE

The influx of people living in the city has caused pollution and population explosion.   Despite the abundance of natural resources, I can’t understand the trade deficit.  Why import produce from other countries instead of strengthening the local produce?
Why farmers in the rural areas were striving to send their children to school, so their children can work in the city?

I think the government should support and promote the farmers and entrepreneurs in the rural areas, strengthen the agricultural industry by providing cost effective programs for the farmers and the country.

Mother earth provided us with all the food and medicine we need on earth, we just need to discover, plant, propagate and nurture.

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