Pro Perspectives 4/24/20

April 24, 2020

As states look at reopening businesses, I suspect we’re going to see how obvious the political undercurrent is in this fight against the virus.   

All of the numbers out of New York today continue to be on the decline.  Less hospitalizations. Less getting to the severe stage. Less deaths.

As we discussed yesterday, the antibodies test done in New York show far more people likely have had the virus, which makes the death rate much lower (more like 0.5% of infected).  And we have trials that have been underway on treatment options, the results of which, should be public very soon.  And despite the continuous noise surrounding treatments, the anecdotals appear to be aligning with the results (less intubations).  

This all favors reopening American businesses. 

With that, there is now a political race against time.  The sooner economies start opening up again, the weaker the case is for the Democrat’s push for mail-in voting.  This (mail-in voting) will likely be the determining force in the November election (mail-in or walk-up voting).   With that, the Democrats will be in a war for “election reform” in the next aid package.  The bargaining chip for the Republicans will be aid for state and local governments.   My guess is there will be no “next package” anytime soon. We will see. 

Much of the aid has yet to make it’s way into the economy anyway.  By the time the unemployed finally start receiving money, many of them might be back in a job.  On that note, consider this:  The median family income in the United States is about $62k.  For a family with two unemployed (formerly low income workers with two children), the family stands to receive an annualized income of about $80k, for staying at home.   I suspect they might fight for more money when they do go back to work. Wage inflation is coming.