Lockdowns have consequences….
This article from the AP is bleak. There’s a lot there, but I’m only going to grab a few quotes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stuck in the grip of a viral pandemic, the U.S. economy grew at a 4% annual rate in the final three months of 2020 and shrank last year by the largest amount in 74 years.
For 2020 as a whole, a year when the coronavirus inflicted the worst economic freeze since the end of World War II, the economy contracted 3.5% and clouded the outlook for the coming year. The economic damage followed the eruption of the pandemic 10 months ago and the deep recession it triggered, with tens of millions of Americans left jobless.
The pandemic’s blow to the economy early last spring ended the longest U.S. economic expansion on record — nearly 11 years. The damage from the virus caused GDP to contract at a 5% annual rate in last year’s January-March quarter. Since then, thousands of businesses have closed, nearly 10 million people remain out of work and more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus.
“The economy is still struggling,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “How strong the economy is later this year will depend on how the virus evolves and the effectiveness of the vaccines and mitigation efforts.”
Zandi predicted that the economy will expand at a 4.4% annual rate in the current quarter and achieve annual growth rates later this year above 5%. But he cautioned that his forecast is based on the enactment of further federal economic relief, and he expects Biden initially to win congressional approval for only about half his $1.9 trillion proposal.
About 5 million jobs, Zandi estimates, will never return, forcing the unemployed in such industries as restaurants and bars to find work in other sectors.
I suggest reading the whole article.
Suffice it to say, with so many people still unemployed, does it make sense to kill the good paying jobs via the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline right now, or to open the borders to illegal immigrants who will just add more competition for the remaining jobs still available?