Let's Stay together!

March 22, 2020

The Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is as nonpartisan as it gets, there have been Democrats, Republicans, and Independents infected by this virus. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have died from exposure to this virus.

Given this, I’m finding it particularly troubling how some politicians are advocating for partisan relief packages. I’m hearing things like: we don’t want to just give people money we don’t want to create a welfare society and we don’t need to worry about the stock market, the stock market will take care of itself. Look, in the abstract many of those arguments are reasonable and sound, that’s not the problem. The problem is time we’re running out of time.

This crisis has the capacity to fundamentally change the world we know it. We don’t have time to debate the virtues of partisan values. If unchecked, this virus could shut down our country for months and kill millions of Americans. Right now, New York and California have shut down all but essential activities and services. Many states and municipalities are considering similar measures. That means will soon be several states and communities, where people can’t go to work. Some will be paid, some won’t. Some have savings, some don’t. While I have a great deal of confidence in our elected officials, I don’t believe they have the capacity to calculate the exact amount of aid each of these individuals and businesses will need. They just don’t have enough information.

Despite this, I’m repeatedly hearing, “we don’t want another corporate bailout.” But let’s take a straightforward example, McDonalds. McDonalds is publicly traded on the NYSE as MCD, that’s the “Wall Street.” McDonalds stock is owned by lots of individuals and institutions, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, that’s retirement savings for teachers. More than 90% of McDonalds restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent Franchisees, those are small business owners. McDonalds employs millions of people worldwide and hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, that’s “Main Street.” If McDonalds restaurants close across the country, employees are out of work, small business owners have no income, McDonalds stock declines, and retirees’ future is put at risk. This virus impacts everyone.

It’s time for all our politicians to come together and take decisive action. We don’t know how widespread this pandemic will be and we don’t how long our economy will be placed on hold, while our cities are locked down. Without this vital information, legislators can’t possibly formulate a perfect, precise response to this crisis. Therefore, they must help EVERYONE! NOW!

One final point. This is not an endorsement reckless action, or abuses of power. Our leadership is generally talented, intelligent, and entirely capable of preventing bad actors from using this crisis for their own personal gain.

Congress is taking action. They should do more before this virus does irreparable harm.

They oughta stay together.