DO you think the shut down was worth it?

Term limits would indeed be a good idea and have been tried before. Congress is who would have to vote them into law and they proved they were unwilling to limit themselves. If I recall correctly, several states decided to have term limits on their own Senators and Representatives only to discover that without seniority their Congressional representatives did not get appointments to committees important to their area.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 05:55AM by Flash.

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So... are you hinting that we should find some solution to the seniority/moving up the ranks/gaining helpful and/or unhelpful influence situation?

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
It doesn't sound like a hint to me. Limiting the terms of reps and senators is a great idea but only works if ALL are limited. If Senators and Reps in some states are not limited while others are, it would give unfair advantage to those states that do not limit the terms.
That was the major reason that the Supreme Court shot that down. It has to applyt to everyone or no one this is one time an either-or situation fits into politics.



@roflwofl wrote:

It doesn't sound like a hint to me. Limiting the terms of reps and senators is a great idea but only works if ALL are limited. If Senators and Reps in some states are not limited while others are, it would give unfair advantage to those states that do not limit the terms.
Two Six or Four those are the years that they are elected to now depending on which position. So two terms come out to four years, eight years or twelve years.

@BuffaloNY101 wrote:

Term limits in congress to start. 2 terms and done. And no flipping from the senate to the house or vice versa. Limit bills to one item each. Each bill needs to pass on its own merits.
Maybe we should make advisor positions for people who have served so many terms if term limits are set. I like my Senators. They have done a lot for my state. However, I understand and see other career officials that are really hurting our country. The Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House positions should definitely have terms.
Of course in the long run it comes down to the $$$ needed to be elected. I can't imagine that much of the people's work gets done as elected officials need to do so much currying favor of corporate and private interest to make sure their warchest for the next election is well filled.
@Flash wrote:

Of course in the long run it comes down to the $$$ needed to be elected. I can't imagine that much of the people's work gets done as elected officials need to do so much currying favor of corporate and private interest to make sure their warchest for the next election is well filled.

This in itself is another problem. These are supposed to be public service positions not a way to become filthy rich. You should not go into a political position that job is to represent the people and become filthy rich. It should be a job where you can make a living that's comfortable but not extravagant. Yes I was saying term limits in the us senate and house of represenatives but all states should also adopt term limits as well. The idea of one item bills would speed up progress. There is no reason these bills should have 100 to 2000 plus pages of item after item unrelated stuff.

Ex The CARES act should have been several separate bills. One for the Stimulus check. One for the PPE. One for the Kennedy Center. I doubt the Kennedy center funding bill alone would have passed. One for the extra $600 unemployment.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
One unfortunate factor in politicians' cost of living stems from some of the folks who comprise 'we the people.' Because political kids are targets for kidnappers, they must attend expensive, private schools and possibly have additional security measures in their lives. The parents might not be snooty or believe themselves better than others. They might only be practical and see this as a way to protect their kids to some extent. It is a high cost of service.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
As a general rule I am not opposed to legislation that covers multiple issues. Lets say that I am a Representative from Florida. A big issue for Florida is water quality and control. We have been trying to get the Everglades restored to its natural flows for about 50 years. There are promises of doing that and recognition of the importance of it, there just aren't the appropriations made to get it done. Yet in the long run the future of Florida rests on doing it to have both Gulf and Atlantic beaches unpolluted and have potable water for the thousands of new residents that Florida acquires daily.

Is it unreasonable that when a bill is brought up that has little or no benefit for Florida that I would not horse trade my support in exchange for something in the bill to help move along Everglades restoration? We are 50 states and each state has at least slightly different needs and priorities. Certainly 'pork barrel' politics has yielded substantial public waste or potential waste--especially in the highway that Byrd wanted named after himself and the $398 million bridge for Senator Stevens to an island with 50 residents--but mostly the notion of 'we'll help you if you'll help us' is neither corrupt nor abusive.
Do we want to add one tender, barbecued rib for careful perusal and consideration? Or, do we want to throw a whole pig farm on the agenda and spread the aromatic pig poo over top of the hot mess?

In a perfect world, all official bargaining is sensible and helps the nation.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
So, are politics allowed in General Chat now? If so, I'll just re: Shopetal quickly:

Regarding politicians and salaries, Singapore has an interesting system. Politicians salaries/compensation are tied to how well worker salaries, GDP, and the overall economy does. When those things go up, their salaries go up. When those go down, politician salaries go down. This has been praised as a reason their politicians work on behalf of the people vs. special interests. Although, Singapore is consistently rated the least corrupt country in the world, so there are already a ton of laws I'm guessing preventing political corruption.

I don't have anything against high politician salaries, as I don't think that is inherently wrong.

I just have a problem with legalized political bribery in America by big money donors. And, I have a problem with the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms and high paid consultancy positions later (which is basically pay back for serving your donors).

Big money in politics is horrible. It corrupts everything! We need public funding of campaigns and no corporate donations, no SuperPacs, and no outsized fundraising loopholes (like those dinners where you pay $10,000 for a plate of food to get access to politicians speaking that night).

Neither Trump (who flooded his White House with more Goldman Sachs alum than all previous presidents after saying he would drain the swamp), nor Biden are pure in this regard. Both have big money donors behind them. sad smiley It's depressing. We need a political revolution and to get money out of the system.
To bring this thread back on track:

[www.bloomberg.com]

[www.nytimes.com]

The OP asked if it was worth it. There's been talk recently of a Federal Reserve and MIT study done on the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and how those cities that implemented aggressive social distancing not only had fewer deaths, but recovered economically faster than those cities that did not lock down as rigorously.



Some other charts in the article too.

So, yeah, we do have some possible precedent/evidence that saving lives and social distancing may be actually be BETTER for the economy(ies).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 07:09PM by shoptastic.
It's not entirely counter-intuitive. It makes sense that if people feel safer, they're more likely to go out to shop/eat/etc. There is less disruption too from constant hospitalizations, deaths, and people having to be out of work from being sick.

Those wanting to force the economy back open prematurely possibly for political/financial reasons may end up losing more on the economic front ironically.
When the basic question here is whether we think the shut down was worth it or not, there inevitably needs to be examination of the reasons for the shut down, the advantages and disadvantages of the shut down and inevitably a look at who benefits/is harmed by it. Certainly when the shut down began the areas of high COVID were on the East and West coasts. By now the virus is impacting almost all of America. I and many others are staying pretty well isolated and taking appropriate precautions when we need to go in public. My sense is that the ones with the most to gain here are the politicians touting that they have the spread under control, when very obviously they do not. This leads naturally to a look at politics in this country and how we could hope to make it better. And this is not related just to those in office in 2020, but in the slow erosion of our Democracy over decades. My sense is that once again those least able to afford unemployment are being cast into a no win situation and that I see as a real threat to Democracy itself.
@shoptastic wrote:

To bring this thread back on track:

[www.bloomberg.com]

[www.nytimes.com]

The OP asked if it was worth it. There's been talk recently of a Federal Reserve and MIT study done on the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and how those cities that implemented aggressive social distancing not only had fewer deaths, but recovered economically faster than those cities that did not lock down as rigorously.



Some other charts in the article too.

So, yeah, we do have some possible precedent/evidence that saving lives and social distancing may be actually be BETTER for the economy(ies).

This is apples to oranges. They didn't tell people to stay home. They gave them masks and told them to stay away from people.

Also just found out that assisted living facilities aren't counted as nursing home deaths. So my state, the state of CT, can attribute 75% of it's deaths to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Good job Gov on protecting those places. Several of them had 100% of their patients affected.

NY started undercounting their nursing home fatalities too. They don't count the fatalities as a nursing home death if they started at a facility but transferred to a hospital and passed away. Only if they pass away at the facility.
@Flyy1220 wrote:

This is apples to oranges. They didn't tell people to stay home. They gave them masks and told them to stay away from people.
Hmmmm, this is a good point, Flyy1220. It looks like we're both only partially right. smiling smiley

Here is the original research paper. I had only read the articles referencing them at first:
[papers.ssrn.com]

It's downloadable for free and about 50 pages.

In the study, NPI stands for non-pharmaceutical interventions. The authors write:
@ wrote:

NPIs implemented in 1918 resemble many of the policies used to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including school, theater, and church closures, public gathering and funeral bans, quarantine of suspected cases, and restricted business hours. . .

For city-level NPIs, we rely on data from Markel et al. (2007), who gather detailed information on NPIs for 43 major U.S. cities from municipal health department bulletins, local newspapers, and reports on the pandemic. NPI measures consist of school closure, public gathering bans, and isolation and quarantine.
So, there is some overlap between the 1918 and 2020 responses, but not entirely, as they also write:
@ wrote:

The public health policy response in 1918 resembles the current response in the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, although measures in 1918 were not as extensive in terms of closing non-essential businesses.5
In footnote 5 after this sentence, they note:
@ wrote:

Rather than closing businesses altogether, staggered business hours were introduced to avoid crowding in public transport.
So, yeah, you're right that there isn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison. Non-essential businesses did not close altogether - some just had changed business hours. Although, we do see some overlap, such as banning public gatherings***, closing schools, closing theaters, closing dance halls, social distancing, etc. noted later in the study.

***I'm not sure how encompassing the term "public gatherings" is, as wouldn't some businesses essentially require public gathering?

So, yeah, we're both off. They did ask people to "stay home" in some cities (although, we can actually do stuff in 2020 too like get groceries, exercise, and see a doctor), but it wasn't as "extensive" in the closing of non-essential businesses.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2020 03:29AM by shoptastic.
@2stepps wrote:

Thanks for all of the replies guys and gals.

I agree, a very interesting read.
New Zealand shut down everything for 2 months and now is back to normal after only a few deaths.
We slowed everything down but didn't do near enough in order to "save the economy" and we will be dealing with this crap for the rest of the year.

Whose economy will be in better shape on 12/31/20?

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Iceland did virtually the same. They are back to no need for masks or social distancing and have reopened to tourism with tight checks at the airports. Iceland also used science and analyzed each positive test for viral fragments so they could identify from whom the new case got it. They have been successful in identifying contacts this way and getting folks isolated.

[www.msn.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2020 02:30AM by Flash.
The new narrative(s):

a.) Cases are rising, but deaths aren't.
b.) Cases are rising only because we're testing more.

re: a.) Maybe, but it's not at all certain what this means. Perhaps vulnerable people are staying in more. And, if they were to get misled and venture out, they'd die and you'd see the death rate go up. I tend to think there is a combination of things: more effective treatments are being used over useless ones; less overwhelming of hospitals; and probably more vulnerable people being smarter now and avoiding going out unnecessarily.

re: b.) Nope. The case positivity RATE is up. That means regardless of testing more people are getting infected. The % of those tested having it are up, so you cannot explain this away with increased testing.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2020 02:03PM by shoptastic.
The reopening has been a real eye opener about society and business in the US.

Groceries were allowed to stay open throughout. Their response has been price gouging, though they claim everything has been costing them more. (Kroger was expected to earn $1.09 per share for the period 2/1/2020-4/30/2020 and earned $1.22 per share. Highest earnings in years by far.)

Bartenders and beauty salons were complaining loud and long that they were 'at least as safe' as everyone else so it was total discrimination that they weren't allowed to stay open as essential services or reopen with the first wave. While thus far the beauty salons seem mostly okay, the bars are not. The bars have turned into party time with no masks, no social distancing, no interest in enforcing the rules and no interest in limiting occupancy. Several have been cleared out with warnings and the proprietors warned that next time will lead to lifting of their liquor licenses. One proprietor had the balls to tell the TV reporter that he didn't, "See the point. We are all going to get the virus anyway. We installed an extra sink so guests could wash their hands without going to the restroom. Just what more do they want us to do? If they take our liquor license we may as well just demolish the building because the only value is the liquor license and there is such a demand for them we would not get ours back unless it was court ordered."

Here in Florida our COVID numbers are rising fast and with 16% of tests positive, it is only going to get worse, yet there is not the political will to do anything except keep opening up. It is foolishness, it is irresponsible and I hope voters remember it when they go to the polls. These folks were elected to provide a safe and orderly society and their reluctance to do so is egregious.
@bgriffin wrote:

New Zealand shut down everything for 2 months and now is back to normal after only a few deaths.
We slowed everything down but didn't do near enough in order to "save the economy" and we will be dealing with this crap for the rest of the year.

Whose economy will be in better shape on 12/31/20?
Thailand - 70 million people
58 COVID deaths

They've had 28 days straight of no domestic transmissions and ready to ease restrictions on foreigners entering the country.

Some countries I do double eye takes on. They put America to shame.

ETA: And not to get too far into politics, but it would seem so easy to throw these numbers out at Trump later this year when he goes for reelection. I can see the ads already showing New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, etc. vs. USA in COVID outcomes. Shameful.

10x the # of Americans die each day from COVID than have cumulatively died in all of Thailand since the pandemic started.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2020 04:31PM by shoptastic.
Not just no, but hell no. There is a great strategy from Carnegie-Melon that came out awhile ago. Would have been MUCH better all around. Age-targeting: [math.cmu.edu]. Focus on those most at risk; leave the others working to build herd immunity. The link shows statistical analysis that the numbers would be much lower if younger people were working.

This isn't going away. The stupid lockdowns were to "flatten the curve." That happened.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
Welcome back, iShop!

It's tough. The U.S. has a large elderly working population (that's increasingly indebted too):
[www.cnbc.com]

@ wrote:

Total debt for Americans over age 70 increased 543% from 1999 through 2019 — the largest percentage increase for any age group, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Seniors have been “disproportionately harmed” by a deterioration in the country’s “modest social safety net,” according to a study.
For the first time in close to 60 years, 20% of retirement age Americans are participating in the labor force.
Seniors today are 2x as likely to work compared to 1985, as many cannot afford to retire:
[www.bloomberg.com]
@ wrote:

Just as single-income families began to vanish in the last century, many of America’s elderly are now forgoing retirement for the same reason: They don’t have enough money. Rickety social safety nets, inadequate retirement savings plans and sky high health-care costs are all conspiring to make the concept of leaving the workforce something to be more feared than desired.
Stories of grandmothers working at McDonald's are real. I've seen them!

It definitely would be nice, in theory, to isolate seniors at home and have young, healthy people working. Maybe we could have gotten a unique age-based herd immunity that way. I've seen discussions of that too. With so many working, though, that may not be possible. Although, the U.S. could have paid working seniors to stay home.

Then, I could imagine some citing age discrimination. How come seniors get to stay home and get paid for it? Why not those with diabetes, compromised immune systems, heart issues, etc., who are younger? ...Also, early on, we didn't have enough data to know who was most vulnerable. I posted that in France, half of all ICU beds were people under 65.

With a new virus, I guess the argument could be made that not enough is known and we may be endangering people we think are less likely to die by going for a young-person's herd immunity. Still, it's an interesting thought! A silver lining I have from the protesters, who were mostly young people, is perhaps they all infected each other and can get us closer to herd immunity. Then again, you never know who they live with/near and/or serve at work. They could just as easily infect seniors and the vulnerable around them too.
@iShop123 wrote:

Not just no, but hell no. There is a great strategy from Carnegie-Melon that came out awhile ago. Would have been MUCH better all around. Age-targeting: [math.cmu.edu]. Focus on those most at risk; leave the others working to build herd immunity. The link shows statistical analysis that the numbers would be much lower if younger people were working.

This isn't going away. The stupid lockdowns were to "flatten the curve." That happened.

A couple of problems:

1. That's not a strategy. It's a hey if we can only let young people get infected it looks better from a mathematical standpoint. There's no actual strategy for doing so. I didn't read anything that says HOW we will only let young people get infected.
2. They don't account for sickness, only death, at least that I could see. Currently in the DFW metroplex more than 50% of the hospitalizations are under 50 years old. And that's with some measures to control it still out there. This "strategy" seems to say let's just let everybody under 65 do whatever, which would exponentially increase sickness. The hospitals in DFW are already at capacity.
3. They don't account for future problems related to Covid.
4. They are acknowledging their system is very flawed "Our conclusions concern reducing transmission among the older population, and between the younger and older populations, below the level of transmission within the younger population. But some interactions between younger and older people are unavoidable; for example, some children live with older relatives. Mitigations must account for these interactions. Our model also simplistically assumes that the older population is the only at-risk population. In reality, public policy must be cognizant of the presence of other risk factors across age groups."
5. It would still be a strain on the economy for months whereas a full shutdown would only be a strain on the economy for 10-12 weeks, and that strain could be mitigated with a bit of planning.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Yea well they have found out that just because you were sick and recovered does not mean a lot because they are still having problems. I heard of a broadway actor that recovered and he is doing fine one day and the next he has to remember to breathe. And then he goes back to being OK in a day or two. So I think it is going to be a lot worse this next go around.
@shoptastic wrote:

What approach would you have gone for, Shopetal? .
Hindsight is 20-20. It's a horrible thing that so many have died. But we need to target those most at risk. Are you morbidly obese (BMI >40)? Over 70? In a nursing home? etc. Those people need different treatment than those young and healthy. Shutting everyone down made no sense.

Wondering how many of those under 50 in the Dallas area were morbidly obese. Dr. Nau, anyone?

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2020 09:52PM by iShop123.
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