Excluding NYC, the entire Eastern seaboard of the United States, including the major cities, seems to be operating just fine.
All major roads are open and due to reduced traffic, commutes are easier than ever. The public transportation systems of all major cities are running with some minor reductions of services.
Gas stations are open and gasoline is being distributed by trucks as normal. Trucking is moving goods throughout the country. Amazon is delivering, as is Walmart.
The ports are open, shipping is still continuing. In fact, there are even some cruise lines, believe it or not.
Walmart warehouses, Costcos, and grocery stores are open. Even liquor stores are open. Gun stores are open.
Every morning at 5am, in all major Eastern seaboard cities, crews of construction workers are showing up at building sites and continuing to build buildings. Electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, if affected at all, are certainly still working.
Even the garbage is being collected.
No major internet shutdowns. No major electricity interruptions. Tap water is working fine.
The phone systems – landlines and mobile – are working as usual.
As far as I know, agriculture and mining are mostly unaffected. There is zero chance of any shortage of food.
Despite what the media is fear-mongering about, there really isn’t any shortage of toilet paper. It’s just that people bought a bunch in bulk. So now they aren’t going to need to buy toilet paper for a month or two or three, leaving plenty for everyone else.
White collar jobs that happen on computers can be done at home, which is what is happening (no interruption in internet service, notice.)
Despite the fear-mongering, no health system “has collapsed” and health care is running as usual, if busier, and some non-essential health care treatments are being postponed. There is no shortage of drugs, or at least not in the medium and long terms. Any pharma manufacturing can be brought on line quite quickly.
Auto manufacturing has been going on as usual, until the union demanded it shut down because they didn’t want to get sick. But apparently no major deaths in the auto industry due to Corona-virus.
Of course, extremely non-essential, “fluff” aspects of the economy are gone. Restaurants – a luxury in the best of times – are all out of business. So are bars and specialty retail (which has been being replaced by online shopping for years now.)
No professional sporstball or concerts, etc.
What this shutdown has actually shown us is how few people are actually needed in our modern high tech economy.
150 years ago 80% of people worked in agriculture, now it’s less than 5%. Buggy whip manufacturing went to zero a while ago. What crisis? There’s always been a difference between the real economy of goods and service as “finance.” “Finance” is a social construct and at 20% of the economy, it’s long due for a complete collapse down the to level of, maybe not buggy-whip manufacturing, but at least agriculture. There are too many bankers and not enough workers.
In fact, there is a world-wide savings glut and the US has spent 50 years blowing inflationary bubble after bubble chasing returns that don’t exist. What makes people think that they should get interest on their savings account? You should be paying the bank to keep your money in their safe, because it’s safer than keeping it under your pillow where a robber might get it. Savings is not “investment.”
If you have extra money and you want to invest in something? How about buying a sewing machine and making clothing? Sure, it’s not a profitable business because technology and globalization has made clothing so cheap they can’t give it away. There are plenty of clothes. So, maybe the world doesn’t need your clothing, and it doesn’t need your “investment” either?
It seems something is out of whack here.
You know, there’s the old racist joke about black people: “obsolete farm equipment.” It’s funny because it’s true. But, frankly, there are a lot of whites that are pretty much obsolete when it comes to the economy too.
If we had a real Free Market, if we had Real Capitalism, a HUGE amount of white boomers would find that:
Their houses are not worth $450,000, more like $30,000.
Their 401ks are actually worth about 10% of the nominal amount. It’s only due to the Socialist Federal Reserve inflating the Fortune 500 that they have the money they think they do. Did your 401k fund invest in Uber? Uber hasn’t made a dime in profit. Maybe that wasn’t such a good investment.
No one really needs their investments. No one needs their savings. There is nothing to “invest” in and, frankly, all of their “savings” are actually just fiat funny-money anyway.
In a free market health care system, it’s not really worth keeping old people alive. Cancer? Expensive to treat. You know what is cheap? A pillow and a Latina nurse with a strong arm.
Really, under what economic delusions did people expect that everyone gets their own limo driver? That’s what Uber is.
Under what delusions did old white people think they deserved their own private nurse? Or expensive cancer treatment?
The people who actually contribute to the economy of goods and services are doing just that – creating goods and providing services. If you are living off of “retirement” or “savings” or a 401k – well, no one really needs your funny money. We have a global savings glut, remember? That’s why there is all the “leverage” – chasing returns that don’t exist, and can’t exist, due to high-tech and deflation.
If you “own your own home with a mortgage” – well, you don’t really own your home. The bank does – and the bank is bankrupt. Your home is worth far, far less than what you owe on it. That means you are bankrupt.
Why should the young provide you with personal services, like pouring your drinks, bringing you food, and fluffing your pillow, or lugging your golf clubs? Don’t the young people have better things to do than personal service for old white boomers? There’s a whole world out there.
It’s funny, they always say “money doesn’t grow on trees” – but that’s not really true. Money is made of cotton – it grows on bushes, which is a type of tree. Of course, now money is just an entry in a database. Do we really need the boomer’s money?
What actual ASSETS do they have?
Stock in a Fortune 500 company? Are they even paying dividends? But wait, they don’t actually own stock. They own shares in a fund, which owns shares in another fund, that owns stock. But all the Fortune 500 companies are up to their eyeballs in debt, and bondholders get paid before equity holders.
So, the equity isn’t really worth all that much.
Under real capitalism, we would have bankruptcies. The companies would be stripped of their assets, which would be sold to the highest bidder – and the real value is far, far, FAR less than the paper value. “Mark to model” was always a lie, a scam. Boomers are obsolete equipment. Frankly, they may have been more useful if they could farm.