Covid-19 may bring a new beginning on Main Street

Thursday I wrote about the massive transfer of wealth brought about by the economic reaction to Covid-19 pandemic.

Many readers reacted to my take on the job market coming out of this shutdown.

What the economy and the psyche of the American people will be in 4 months from now will be forever changed.

In what sense?

I’m not smart enough right now to put a label on it, but the American work ethic will be battered and bruised the longer this economic shutdown goes on.

The gig economy may have greased the skids for the younger generations to not look favorably on a career as a lifetime effort, but this current situation has taken that to the Nth degree.

Perhaps in the not too distant future the term “I’m working on it” will seem as quaint as “I do declare”.

A few asked why should American workers have allegiance to a company that at the first sign of trouble let the workers go?

Well, allegiance works both ways but for many minimum wage hourly workers there has always been great churn in the work force.

Moving up the pay scale ladder however, we are seeing companies trying to provide for employees as best they can by having the option of working from home. However that does not work for a majority of service industry workers.

How long does this economic shutdown have to last before the muscle-memory of the American worker starts to lose its grip?

I do not believe it lies solely in the American worker. It’s the American entrepreneurs who will need to step up to the plate. Main Street America will need to replace millions of shuttered businesses that just did not have the needed capital to withstand this crisis.

Start up businesses will be needed to fill vacant storefronts throughout the US. What they may be could be totally new, a fresh start. Yes we need a coffee shop on the main drag in town, but do you need three?

This could be a time of great change, a time to redefine retail.

As I said earlier, I’m not smart enough to know just yet how this will play out. But I get a sense a new beginning emerging.


Friday’s monthly jobs report is bringing fear and trepidation to Wall St with dire predictions of massive losses.

First, what did they expect when you shutdown the US economy? Of course there will be huge job losses. However, the tally reported later Friday morning may actually miss plenty of out of work people.

Why?

Well the labor survey is taken around the middle of March. The last two weekly reports of the month showed roughly 10 million new claims, but how many of those new claims made it into the report? Not as many as the analysts predict is my guess.

So while the reported number may look bad, it is not the totality of the carnage in March.