Will Northam’s COVID-19 Restrictions Wreck Virginia’s Economy?

by James A. Bacon

Governor Ralph Northam is one of four governors in the United States to be slapped with an “F” rating by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a think tank associated with supply-side economists Stephen Moore and Art Laffer.

Northam joins Governors Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Tony Evers of Wisconsin, in the estimation of the group, for putting their state economies, state budgets, and even state populations in peril through continued shutdowns. 

The report assesses how the 50 governors have handled the shutdowns by measuring how restrictive and damaging their edicts have been for their state’s economies. States the report:

It may not seem of much consequence whether a state has opened in April or a governor like Ralph Northam has decreed that the Commonwealth of Virginia will stay closed down to the middle of June. But the start date emphasized in this study matters a lot. A recent study by Laffer Associates finds that states that open up earlier will have substantially better economic recoveries than states that stay closed for another month or so. …

That study finds that early opening states could be in recovery by the end of the Summer of 2020, while the laggard states could be in recession for six months or more. This is because businesses, stores, shopping centers, restaurants, and office parks are much more likely to fail if their doors aren’t opened sooner rather than later. Every day counts.

As an aside, excessive shutdowns have health consequences not captured in the daily death toll.

“Skyrocketing unemployment will lead to rampant substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide, drug overdoses, and other severe public health harms,” the report says. Citing research by Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, it states that each one-percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate is associated nationally  with 920 more suicides, 650 more homicides, 4,000 more people admitted to state mental institutions, 3,300 more people sent to state prisons, increases in domestic violence and homelessness, and 27,000 more deaths.

The study gives each governor a score “based upon the extent to which they are banning economic activities, restricting individual freedom of movement, and failing to provide a clear timetable around which citizens and businesses can plan.” Researchers considered the extent of the virus threat in each state to calibrate expectations by separating them into three tiers — high, medium and  low death rates from the coronavirus. “The D and F grade governors continue to arbitrarily ban activities without respect to any sensible risk versus benefit calculations — and are therefore taking the largest risk of all — the risk of catastrophic economic collapse.

Here is the study’s state-specific commentary on Virginia.

Click for more legible image.

It is a truism that people believe what they want to believe, and readers of Bacon’s Rebellion are no exception. I tend to be sympathetic to the Moore-Laffer supply-side view of how the economy works, but I’m also an empiricist. Predictions based on theories and mathematical models are fine, but let’s follow up to see how the predictions turned out. I hope the Committee to Unleash Prosperity does just that. In the meantime, Bacon’s Rebellion will endeavor to track the numbers for the economy and public health.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


45 responses to “Will Northam’s COVID-19 Restrictions Wreck Virginia’s Economy?”

  1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Well, goodness gracious, a report card from a think tank. Thank heavens for hard numbers; there’ll be no subjectivity there.

    Committee to Unleash Prosperity. Kinda reminds me of the Committee to RE-Elect the President.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Interesting – New York did not get a terrible rating like most of the other Dem states.

    I was trying to understand how New York differed from Virginia that gave Virginia the “F”.

    What I did not see was specifics about each state’s current economy so as to be able to confirm the premise that the stricter the lockdown, the higher the ACTUAL economic damage.

    There is a high level of subjective opinion to this “study” – which I think is a generous description of something that is pretty much partisan opinion masquerading as something objective.

    These two fellas…supposedly Fiscal Conservatives, I’d be curious to know their thinking on the trillions of dollars of bailouts… where is that “opinion”?

  3. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    He’s in good company. Larry hogan got a D by mr trickle down. Havha ha. Please tell me why i should take this seriously

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Dateline Washington DC: Pendantic pandemic pendejo proves proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.

      Someone take my thesaurus away.

      For the purpose of this blog, DC may be replaced by the capital of any State.

    2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      That “D” isn’t a grade. It’s yet another effort to label him as a Democrat. Plays better in the narrative.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    They actually had an opportunity to do a decent comparison of policies verses impacts but they just bailed and went back to hack politics.

    They’ve just become the “in-house” economists for the far-right crowd.

    I don’t know what I expected any different!

    You’d think that right now – that this would be the perfect economy for Supply Side economics, no? Where are these guys suggestions to do
    that instead of just ideological blather!

  5. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Listing the political affiliation and the election terms of the various governors does detract from the credibility of the economic conclusions, he said, trying to be diplomatic…..These guys are pushing nationally to suspend the FICA payroll tax. Apparently the recession is not doing enough damage to Medicare and Social Security funding all by itself.

    The 50 states had a wide range of mitigation strategies, so wide it is hard to compare. And NJ got hit far harder than Virginia, so far. No idea when they put that together, but Virginia’s deaths per million is about 80, not below 40….As is often the case with these “rank the states” exercises (or rank the universities), I’d advise caution. But the criticism that the state has lacked clarity is fair – and may be addressed later today. (Or not.)

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Waiting any day to hear that Social Security and Medicare Trust funds are within weeks of being drawn down and benefits will have to be reduced.

      And now, we want to essentially make it even worse…

      So get ready… We’re soon going to get the word that SS benefits will be reduced… and Part B will decrease from paying 80% to 75% or some such.

      Hey… is this some sort of perverse version of “starve the beast”?

  6. djrippert Avatar

    The other day you opined that Northam’s failures were probably more attributable to incompetence than conspiracy. Sometimes I wonder. I’m convinced that Northam himself lacks the work ethic and organizational skill to mount an effective conspiracy. Hell, he can’t mount an effective testing program. However, the Democratic Party’s two mighty pillars of virtue – Dick Saslaw and Eileen Filler-Corn – have decades of conspiracy training between them. And running the long con is a core competence of all Virginia politicians.

    First, make Northam the pigeon. He delays the opening “to keep the workers safe”. He under-estimates the economic impact to preserve this year’s costly General Assembly tax and spend programs and to make his delay look more reasonable. He agitates for more and more federal payola in a state that has become obese at the federal trough.

    Then it all hits the fan.

    By the time the depth of the COVID19 fiasco in Virginia becomes obvious Northam will have a “kick me” sign the size of a billboard taped to his back by Saslaw, Filler-Corn and the other members of Virginia’s Democratic Party leadership. What can Virginia’s voters do? Refuse to reelect him?

    Maryland says it will be $2.5B short on its $50B state budget in 2020. Virginia says it will be $2B short on its $135B two year budget. I wonder which state is telling the truth?

    The hook is set. In the run-up to what ought to be the most contentious national elections in living memory the General Assembly convenes to review the state budget and revenue forecast. Well Golly … we’re going to be $10B short over two years, not $2B short. Damn, too bad we didn’t reopen earlier when we had the chance. What to do? What to do? Blame Ralph and jack up taxes. Herring and Justin Fairfax will take turns sticking needles into a voodoo doll of Ralph Northam as they run for governor while Saslaw and Filler-Corn look approvingly on knowing that taxes, once raised to “temporarily solve” a crisis, will never be lowered. Well, not by Democrats at least.

    The fact that Virginia has just taken a big step toward the fiscal excellence shown by states like Illinois, New York and Connecticut will be noted only on BaconsRebellion as the Bezos Post and other chattering class outlets in the state bask in the warmth of fast rising socialism.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Actually not what I said. I was asking for those who were critics as to which it was….

      the criticism against Northam is downright goofy….

      A huge majority or ordinary Virginians do NOT think he is incompetent nor conspiratorial, so it’s reasonable to consider the source on this.

      So, first off, throw out the pre-existing critics – they’re just fishing for more stuff to tar him with.

      Next, recognize the partisans…yep, they’re still around and still doing their thing.

      So then, finally, we get to those who were more or less agnostic towards Northam but his performance during COVID19 has got them riled up.

      How many? two?… no.. more than that on BR… a few dozen maybe?

      Finally, if Northam cannot run again – what is the real purpose of the criticisms? Just to be flapping those gums?

      I note that apparently Hogan is no longer your hero like he was.

      why not?

      too much like Northam now? not a dimes worth of difference? kazooks!

      1. djrippert Avatar

        I wasn’t talking to you. I was replying to Jim’s article. Who taught you how to comment? Ralph Northam?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          oh. so sorry. 😉

    2. I’m not sure I credit Saslaw and Filler-Corn of being any more able to play “the long con” than Northam. But you’re right about one thing: If things turn out badly (and how can they not?) they won’t hesitate to blame it all on Trump… and Ralph. Sadly, you’re also right that higher taxes are all but inevitable.

      1. djrippert Avatar

        Saslaw has been playing the long con with Dominion for decades.

  7. TBill Avatar

    Virginia (Northam) is not doing much different than Maryland (Hogan). At least we allow fishing. Hogan is the worst performing Repub, the right-wingers say, but I guess he gets a D a notch over F for at least being Repub.

    It is hard to conclude too much yet. I would say the Dems key assumption is unlimited increases in taxes and utlities bills is necessary and easily affordable as needed to transform America into the Dem clean energy/clean mind vision. So the Dems need to realize crippling the economy jeopardizes their master plan. When we have affluence, which we had, we have the luxury to decide things on politics instead of economics/survival.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      “Virginia (Northam) is not doing much different than Maryland (Hogan).”

      Hogan, an honest and principled man, tells the truth. He gets things done. He’s successful small businessman and leader, in a business where trust is often key to success. That instills confidence and trust in him by others. So he leads people effectively.

    2. djrippert Avatar

      Fishing is allowed in Maryland via loophole. You can only fish if you are fishing for food. So, as long as you keep everything that’s legal you are fine. In fact, because Virginia canceled the trophy rockfish season in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland delayed the season (and reduced the catch limit) the fishing is better in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland right now. Just remember not to throw back that 40+” rockfish.

      What Maryland is doing that Virginia is not is testing at scale. Partisan excuse mongers like Larry can pretend that’s not true but the numbers are the numbers.

      Hogan has also said he would issue different rules for different parts of the state. Northam, once again today, said he will not issue different rules for different parts of the state. He wants to coordinate Virginia’s reopening with Maryland and DC. I’m sure the good people of Wise County are happy that their reopening will be coordinated with Maryland. I guess our governor failed geography as well as logic.

      Finally, Hogan is being honest with the budget projections. Northam is not.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        basically Md and Va are similar with a few exceptions. “testing at scale” means what? Are they contact tracing or just testing to be testing?

        what is the better outcome for Md if they are “testing at scale”?

        You said Hogan has said he will issue different rules – when?
        is there a plan yet? so basically he’s doing what Virginia is

        Maryland has western rural also – right?

        The only thing “partisan” about this conversation is those who want to make it so – I just don’t see that much difference on the main issues between the two states and the fact that they want to coordinate is proof they want to work together despite the fact that Hogan is GOP and Northam is Dem.

        All you are doing DJ is slinging guano to see what sticks…! 😉

        The basic problem with regional differences is how do you deal with travel?

        You open up rural Va/Md and the city folks are headed that way en masse to the B&Bs, campgrounds, restaurants, barber shops, etc.

        That could actually be a double-edge knife. Their economy gets good stuff but then if COVID19 strikes their hospitals will be almost immediately overwhelmed.

        Note – this has nothing to do with Dem and GOP… just simple realities that have to recognized and dealt with.

        I just don’t think Hogan nor Northam are doing an “awful” job – they both are careful and deliberate… Hogan is much better in front of the camera… and Northam is a wet noodle in front of the cameras.

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” When we have affluence, which we had, we have the luxury to decide things on politics instead of economics/survival.”

    that’s worthy of discussion.

    1. PackerFan Avatar

      Not sure I understand the point of your comment on fiscal conservatives and the bailouts. If the economy is shut down, what choice does anyone have other than the take the money if you have employees and bills to pay? This is a whole different animal than the prior bailouts and recession. Everything wasn’t shut down then.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Not “everything” is shut down though, by a long shot.

        A long, long list of businesses that are still up and operating is the reality.

        You still have your electricity, your cable, your water/sewer, your garbage pickup, your roads, your gas stations, your grocery stores, your home improvement stores, your insurance, your mail/UPS/Fed Ex, Your online retail including Amazon, takeout and drive-through, phamracies, plumbing, heating, auto repairs, cell phone, telephone, and more.

        So Fiscal Conservatives are in total agreement that the only answer is massive bailouts funded by borrowing money?

        Would you find that acceptable for State and local govts? i.e. to ALSO be able to borrow their way out of the downturn?

        If they could do that – then they could continue to fund education and public safety… right?

        If we do not bail out the States and localities, what happens?

        Isn’t there a legitimate thought about this from fiscal conservatives?

    2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Meaning that in the lifeboat of life, the poor cannot wax morality, but will resort to thievery and cannibalism. How Republican.

  9. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Crazy jd. it IS a constitutional right.
    Gillispie. No comment to your diatribe. Plus, I have to work for a living. What I do for BR is free. Jim Sherlock has done some excellent reporting, but how he funds it is his business. You have a lot of damned nerve addressing me this way. You contribute nothing to BR other than an occasional check and comment. I have been a professional journalist for 46 years.

  10. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Jim B? How about Donald Trump? Remember him? Totally blew out budget? Remember Bill Clinton? Sleazeball but balanced budget.

  11. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “Predictions based on theories and mathematical models are fine, but let’s follow up to see how the predictions turned out.”

    No, they are not “fine” if they turn out to be wildly wrong, inducing panic, and bad public policy, as happened in initial iterations of both the Imperial College of London model first released on March 16, followed by the University of Washington model issued on or around March 24th.

    See for example:

    “A widely followed model for projecting Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is producing results that have been bouncing up and down like an unpredictable fever, and now epidemiologists are criticizing it as flawed and misleading for both the public and policy makers. In particular, they warn against relying on it as the basis for government decision-making, including on “re-opening America.”

    “It’s not a model that most of us in the infectious disease epidemiology field think is well suited” to projecting Covid-19 deaths, epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health told reporters this week, referring to projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

    Others experts, including some colleagues of the model-makers, are even harsher. “That the IHME model keeps changing is evidence of its lack of reliability as a predictive tool,” said epidemiologist Ruth Etzioni of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, who has served on a search committee for IHME. “That it is being used for policy decisions and its results interpreted wrongly is a travesty unfolding before our eyes.” …

    For more see:

    Faulty modeling has been the rule, not the exception, with this Coved – 19 pandemic. The resulting harm caused by so many faulty models mounts daily.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Reports on why Coved-19 modeling has been so flawed to date are now found most everywhere. Here is another example:

  12. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    The best podcast on subject of flawed modeling and how it has adversely affected public policy and public health as far back as March 19, is the following lecture by Alex Berenson delivered back on April 24.

    I highly recommend this 50 minute talk titled The Failure of Expert Predictions and Models. It is highly informed on the practical consequences of these failures, policy and health wise.

    Click on the “The Failure of Expert Predictions and Models” 50:18 — Alex Berenson once Hillsdale College page pops up:


    1. virginiagal2 Avatar

      Alex Berenson writes thrillers. I went back, and his degrees are bachelor’s in history and economics. Not statistics, not math, not biology.

      I am sure he is a fine writer, but he’s no more qualified to opine about epidemiological models than my cat is. Being a Yalie does not make you an expert in every topic.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        makes no difference to bloggers, virginiagal2. They do a Google Search for the narrative they are looking for then claim it as a credible reference!

        Can’t figure out if the narrative is against any/all models – just opposed to all models in general or is pointing out some that are less than wonderful and pointing to others that are better or just anti-science in general.

      2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        Virginiagal. Your reply perfectly illustrates the point of why health experts cannot be trusted to set public policy, as I stated to you a least a month ago, saying you were “dead wrong”.

        Berenson does not claim medical expertise, he makes that absolutely clear in his talk, saying only that he can read obviously flawed numbers like any other intelligent person, myself included. Lessen to his talk. At a time of herd rush, he was one of few adults in the room. Many medical and statistical experts were not, hence the mass inaccuracies that have done so much needless damage to the nation in over reactions by experts failing to see big picture. This is very common is all such unfolding real life pressure situations.

        1. virginiagal2 Avatar

          I’ve read several things from Berenson. My personal take is that he does not really understand what he’s talking about, but he’s very confident about his beliefs.

          I did not say health experts should set policy. However, my firm belief is that lack of understanding of the underlying science will result in poor decisions that will needlessly kill tens of thousands of people. Possibly hundreds of thousands.

          The choice is not the economy or the virus. It’s not just people over 65 who are vulnerable. Risk starts trending sharply upward after age 49. People can die in any age group. It’s a huge number of people at risk.

          The economy cannot recover if people don’t feel safe, and the best way to make people feel safe is to keep them as safe as possible.

          Things like ramping up PPE production, making masks and gloves and disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer readily available to ordinary people, will help greatly in making people feel safe.

          Requiring masks cuts actual risk. Installing plexiglass partitions cuts risk. You need to provide guidance or employers will not do things in the most effective ways. That’s not big government, it’s trying to keep people from dying.

          Tracking contacts reduces infections and reduces risk. We need enough testing capacity to do it effectively. We need people to do it.

          What I expect is that poorly managed reopening is going to literally kill people who didn’t have to die. If we make poor decisions now, in about four to five weeks, you’ll see a spike in deaths.

          The parts of the economy currently hurting the most are largely discretionary. People will not go to a ball game or a conference or out to eat or to a movie or on vacation if they think the result could be hospitalization or death.

          The White House is currently reeling back leaked numbers from a preliminary estimate of one set of assumptions. From the Post, “ A draft government report projects covid-19 cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day.

          The document predicts a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14, according to a copy shared with The Washington Post. The forecast stops at June 1, but shows both daily cases and deaths on an upward trajectory at that point.”

          I don’t doubt that these were numbers associated with a specific scenario. I would guess it’s willy nilly reopening. There are many different numbers depending on level of mitigation. Worst case, the unmitigated numbers would be well over a million dead.

          I don’t think it will get to that, because we will respond. I do think a sharp spike in deaths will damage the economy more than taking extra care with reopening. If we do this badly, we will have both more economic damage and more deaths.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            re: ” My personal take is that he does not really understand what he’s talking about, but he’s very confident about his beliefs.”

            it’s a common theme among some folks… these days. e.g. “If I can read I can be a rocket scientist or epidemiologist without all that stupid years of schooling… …etc”

            the rest of what you say is simple intelligent reasoning and contrary to the wacadoodle anti-govt, anti-science stuff that is spouted here in BR on a regular basis.

            Keep offering your comments, please.

      3. LarrytheG Avatar

        I just would ask that virginiagal2 keep adding her views here. They are refreshingly reasonable and uniformly intelligent and much appreciated.

  13. Time to call upon the Superforecasters. I participated in the Good Judgement Project during it’s research stage (seeking time answer the question “can non-experts produce better forecasts than experts and if so, how and why?” ; now its conclusion has produced a service that is monetized.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Yes, Alex Berenson obviously is a very fine Journalist and book writer. Perhaps that’s one reason he left the New York Times, though he never even hints at that in his talk. He does mention that the wildly inaccurate March 16 Imperial College of London modeling report that predicted 2 million+ dead Covid-19 Americans, if not remediated, and one Million dead Americans, if remediated, was seriously and widely reported by the New York Times on March 17. And that this NYT’s reporting inspired a head long rush to New York hospitals by thousands of New Yorkers, whether with sniffles, flu, Coved -19 or simply imagining themselves ill. This hysteria mixing the resultant crush of people into stew pot quite likely ignited mass infections that might not otherwise have occurred. Hospitalizations went from 100 on March 15 to 1000 on March 25.

      Meanwhile, on March 23, speaking before Parliament, the prime author of the Imperial College Report reduced his death projections in Britain downward from 250,000 (remediated) to 20,000 deaths, but the American Main Stream Press hardly covered that fact. By then the Country was off to the lock-down races, lead by Governor Cuomo with his daily news briefings. And by then the University of Washington model came out to compound the problems and inaccuracies, and likely to create hysteria.

      That’s my take on Berenson’s findings. Don’t take it from me. Lessen to Berenson’s Podcast.

      1. virginiagal2 Avatar

        That’s actually not accurate , however. And it’s a pretty good example of why I don’t bother with Berenson.

        The initial numbers were for the pandemic, not for the first few weeks. We still have the potential for well over a million dead Americans. Britain is already way past 20,000 deaths. The only things that really prevent very high numbers are the precautions you take.

        Different assumptions and different scenarios for different time intervals produce different estimates. That doesn’t mean either one is wrong. Think of cash flow analysis. If I tell you that you will be a million dollars in the hole next year, and you cut headcount, putting yourself back in the black, the analysis was not wrong. The assumptions changed.

        What I’m IMHO seeing is a whole lot of magical thinking along the lines of an outsider thinking that, because the budget balanced, the headcount cut was unnecessary, and the budget fairy would have balanced it anyway.

        The difference is that if you mess up cash flow analysis, no one dies. If you think pandemics magically mitigate themselves, and make bad decisions, a whole lot of people could die. Unnecessarily.

        1. Virginiagal2, your comments are normally well reasoned, which makes them worth reading, but you have one big blind spot in this particular question. You are focusing exclusively on deaths caused by COVID-19 and ignoring the deaths — not measured but no less real — that result from massive economic distress and fiscal erosion. Extending your budget metaphor, you’re looking at one side of the balance sheet (COVID-19 deaths) but ignoring the other side (increased anxiety, depression, suicide, drug abuse and relapse, domestic abuse, social breakdown, stress, hypertension, etc.) Of course, you’re not alone. In conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the economic shutdown — monetary cost of the shutdown versus lives saved — NPR made exactly the same mistake.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            re: ” ignoring the deaths — not measured but no less real — that result from massive economic distress and fiscal erosion.”

            have you got numbers or are you just flinging stuff on the wall?

            Seriously – where are the numbers? What credible organization is calculating this?


          2. virginiagal2 Avatar

            I’m actually not. I doubt NPR did either.

            We have economic distress and fiscal erosion because we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

            Much of the loss of economic activity happened before the shutdown, including huge drops in travel and a big drop in restaurants. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to recover until people feel safe. People are not going to be scheduling personal services, or even elective surgery, if they can avoid it, unless they feel safe. That’s going to hurt the economy.

            Much of the economy has continued to function, but huge and uncertain dislocations in consumer behavior are really difficult to work around. The supply chain is particularly problematic. So is the job market when demand for workers changes abruptly.

            Much of the shortages and wastage is because the food and toilet paper and paper towels for home versus business are not the same items, are not supplied in interchangeable ways, and are supplied and produced in separate supply chains.

            If we need delivery drivers and not waiters, that’s a job loss, search, and change. It’s not immediate. And we have real job loss, from behavior changes. Those behavior changes are not just from lockdown. They’re voluntary too.

            Things are different, and the changes happened really quickly. Delivery and online retail and local farming are up. Airlines and restaurants and in person entertainment and personal services are down.

            If we get a bad rebound of Covid, we’re worse off than when we started. If we give up, we’re looking at potentially nearly 1.5 million people dead, many tens of millions sick, and tens of millions potentially hospitalized. That’s almost unimaginable economic damage.

            We will be able to get things going again better if we realize that protections for workers and customers are often very good for business, under the circumstances. That means ample PPE, possibly masking in public, lots of testing and contact tracing, encouraging telecommuting and distance learning, and figuring out better broadband for rural areas. Starlink, maybe?

            We have to work together to keep each other safe.

            I don’t have all the answers, and neither does anyone else. But if we treat it like a hurricane or other natural disaster, and focus on working the problem, it’s more productive than politicizing it.

        2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
          Reed Fawell 3rd

          Va. Gal2 –

          Fine and worthy comments. Thank you for them.

          I will respond to you as soon as Larry the G. and his side kick NN stop play acting in response to your comments.

          I regret to say that, based on past childish performances, this might be sometime in early June, perhaps as late as august, or even October or November, after elections.

          Perhaps, if need be, we can do this, that is engage in intelligent dialogue, outside BR, given current chatter.

          In any case, best wishes to you.

  14. LarrytheG Avatar

    So here’s what you are NOT reading in BR today : [excerpts]

    RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam extended the state’s business shutdown through May 14 but said he expects to begin rolling back restrictions after that, marking the

    first shift in the Washington region toward the next phase in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

    Northam (D) said conditions are in place to allow the state to consider reopening restaurants and some other establishments starting May 15, albeit with continued with social distancing requirements.

    Neither Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) nor D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) have said they are close to rolling back restrictions.

    Virginia officials have also been discussing reopening plans with leaders in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and Delaware, Mercer said.

    A spokesman for Hogan said he had no update on when Maryland might lift restrictions.

    That would mean that people could resume going to get haircuts, he said, “but you’ll need an appointment and you’ll see new safety measures in the salon.” Restaurants would have to use less seating so patrons can stay farther apart, and staff would wear face coverings and conduct more cleaning.

    Retailers and gyms would have to allow fewer people into their facilities, with more cleaning requirements.

    This phase of reemergence should last about three weeks, Northam said, before the state would consider moving to another degree of slightly more permissive conditions.

    Northam allowed doctors, dentists and veterinarians to resume elective procedures last Friday, the first step in the greater capital region toward loosening of restrictions that have wreaked havoc on the economy.

    “Governor Northam still needs to be held accountable,” Republican Party of Virginia chairman Jack Wilson said in an emailed statement. “Virginians have suffered. Every day that goes by under Northam’s inept leadership is another day tacked on to an already interminable lock-down. It’s time to reopen Virginia.”

    Republicans representing rural parts of the state that have seen relatively few coronavirus infections have suggested reopening businesses in their areas first, but Northam said Monday that the state should act in a unified way.

    Northam said the state is not planning to open up on a regional basis. Members of the business task force created by the governor overwhelmingly supported opening up on a statewide basis, not by region, the governor said. [from Patch]

    Northam chief of staff Clark Mercer said Northam, Hogan and Bowser will all speak again Tuesday. Virginia officials have also been discussing reopening plans with leaders in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and Delaware, Mercer said.

    “I have made the decision to go into phase one — unless something drastically changes — next Friday, and we’ll do that together,” he said.


  15. J. Abbate Avatar
    J. Abbate

    Northam should wear the rebuke by the supply-side think tank like a badge of intelligence and honest economics. Supply-siders have tried to foist their bogus economic theory upon us year after year, and evidently it works for some conservatives since their memories are weak or their economic background thin. Morris Pearl, a managing director at BlackRock, one of the world’s largest investment firms notes, “A number of economists have already dismissed Laffer’s signature supply-side economics theory as pure nonsense. For his dubious role as the “godfather” of Reaganomics, Slate dubbed him World’s Worst Economist. He’s been called a key part of the “Intellectual Rot of the Republican Party”. Esquire suggested that Laffer’s turn as the architect of disastrous Brownback tax experiment in Kansas should hang “like a dead possum” around his neck for the rest of his days.”

    We have experienced the failure of trickle-down. Maybe the magic belief that rewarding the 1% with tax windfalls will somehow and someway make its way into the wider economy is just to much to resist. The reality has been starkly different. Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in 2017: “Sam Brownback, governor of Kansas, slashed taxes in what he called a “real live experiment” in conservative fiscal policy. But the growth he promised never came, while a fiscal crisis did. At the same time, Jerry Brown’s California raised taxes, leading to proclamations from the right that the state was committing “economic suicide”; in fact, the state has experienced impressive employment and economic growth.” I foresee Northam steadily progressing to open up the State in phased stages that will allow for a balance approach taking health, safety, business and jobs into account so that Virginia citizens’ lives will not be put at risk from this still growing lethal pandemic.

    1. But @J. Abbate, if you’re going to bring weapons to take down Uncle Art Laffer, you cannot bring Slate and Esquire.

  16. J. Abbate Avatar
    J. Abbate

    @Lift – good point. Fortunately we do not require weapons to take down Laffer, just the ability to read, understand history, and perform basic math.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      ….which seems to elude some…. apparently…….

Leave a Reply