Here Comes the Pain, Shared and Otherwise

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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56 Responses

  1. Pinky says:

    Interesting stuff on the rainy day funds. I haven’t looked at state budget data in a while, and it can be a nightmare trying to track down and reconcile.Report

  2. J_A says:

    I’d like to address a related but different issue that it’s also bothering me a lot in the last few weeks

    I’m lucky that my job can be done completely remotely. It’s actually been my practice for a couple of years now to only go into the office two or three days a week, because I can take calls and write emails anywhere. I’m being paid punctually, and, if anything, my workload has increased trying to address all the various issues COVID raises.

    Right now, we are about to re-staff the construction of a project in the Bay Area (*). There will be about 50 people working 10 hours a day for 5 months, in the middle of the middle of the COVID epidemic.

    We use union labor. The unions are supportive of going back to work. They need the work. The options for the workers are, risking falling sick and bringing it to their families, and not having any income.

    While me, I’m on my fourth week at home, and obviously I am not going anywhere near the project site for the foreseeable future (before last November, I used to spend about ten days a month there). I don’t need to do anything riskier than going to the supermarket for fresh vegetables twice a week and ride the bicycle to de-stress.

    But a lot of people have to go to work. Not just those that will build our plant, but those that are manning my supermarket day in and day out.

    And they are the lucky ones, they can still chose between money and risk. Millions more would want to have the ability to make that choice.

    And it is really starting to eat me inside.

    All I can do I make sure I say Thank You to every supermarket employee, and meaning it. Thank You for risking yourself and your family’s health.

    Because I draw the lucky number, and I can work from home

    (*)Under CA environmental law, you cannot do work that involves earth movement in certain areas between Nov 1 and April 15Report

    • Pinky in reply to J_A says:

      You, personally, aren’t doing anything wrong, either directly or indirectly. You have no need for guilt over it. You should have feelings of gratitude, though, and it sounds like you do.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Very good essay. One of the biggest issues that strikes me as different between the Great Depression and now is the amount of negative partisanship that exists these days for a variety of reasons and wondering whether that will hamper the response. The answer is it might especially when red state governors come late or not at all to the lockdown requirements and with Trump’s innate reaction to punish critics and reward lickspittle lackeys.

    The Great Cessation (not my term) is going to come for more than retail and service workers and potentially sooner rather than later but who knows when. BigLaw firms have already done salary cuts, furloughs, and lay offs:

    But there is potentially not much sympathy for lawyers. The thing about this crisis is that it is also causing places to become more isolated and authoritarian. We might discover that the post-COVID one is a lot smaller than the pre-COVID world. International travel and migration will be harder. So will the flow of goods and trade.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    For me, it all matters when we turn the corner. If we turn the corner on, oh, May 1st? Okay, that’s a pipe dream. June 1st? and then “everything can get back to normal”, then, for me, this was just a crazy few months. Hey, remember when we were on lockdown in 2020? Man, remember the toilet paper thing? Man, remember all the spaghetti sauce we made? That was crazy! Look at this little scar on my left arm! That vaccine scar is like my own personal moon landing!

    And we’ll be lucky to talk about how there were only plans for mass graves in Central Park and how we, seriously, dodged a bullet and how we need to move manufacturing back to the US of at least medical equipment, yes, even if it means tariffs.

    But I also think about our J-I-T Supply Chain and what happens if June 1st isn’t somewhere around where we know we’ve turned the corner. And, after that, things get dark.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      I don’t think things are going to turn back to normal on May 1st or June 1st. The issue is not going to be doing the lockdown and then having everything open up again like pre-lock down. Lots of issues are going to go into this too:

      1. Public officials will probably choose to ease back “non-essential” services with social distancing. My old barbershop was fairly big and busy. A dozen people could easily be waiting around peak times for their appointment or the next available chair. I suspect harcutters will need to open sooner rather than later but I suspect that just hanging out waiting for an appointment will not be allowed for quite a while. Will this barber be required to operate at a limited capacity and will that capacity allow places to remain open or not.

      2. There is also the matter of which businesses will be able to stay open. From what I’ve read, the relief planned so far is bulky, cumbnersome, complicated, and might not be enough to keep many small businesses alive. Another issue here is which landlords are going to think it is better to take a hit and have a viable business in locations vs. ones which will think “you did not pay your rent, get out.” We might get to a point where millions of people and many, many businesses do not have the ability to pay for rent or other loans. Especially in businesses that operate on thin margins like restaurants and bars. Even many large chains are arguing for rent strikes like Cheesecake Factory though arguably they have more leverage than a local restaurant.

      3. Will the public have enough trust that they can go back to life as normal?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’ve been to restaurants where you’re practically on top of the people at the neighboring table. “Intimate”, I think the term is. These places will have to go from having 2X tables to having X tables under a social distancing regime. Maybe less. That will change things.

        The AirBNB situation strikes me as having popped a bubble. I imagine that rents will change for housing, at least. The rent situation for commercial is opaque to me. There are a handful of storefronts in downtown Colorado Springs that have been empty for *YEARS*. I can’t comprehend that it would be cheaper to not rent these spaces than to lower the rent you’d want to charge a tenant. (I can see foregoing a month instead of changing rates. I cannot imagine foregoing YEARS.)

        I’d guess that there are some seriously effed up incentives there.

        As for trust… the question is “trust for whom?” I can see small communities gaining trust with each other. I can see them very much distrusting smooth-talking strangers who come into the community from outside of it.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

          There is some kind of tax deduction landlords can get for vacant commercial property (maybe residential too) but I am unclear of the specifics. If it is a large enough commercial landlord, it might just be worth it to keep x amount of property abandoned.

          Trust in that you are not risking a deadly virus if you stop by a bar for a drink or a barber for a haircut.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

          The restaurants stack people in like sardines because they have small margins. A lot of the restaurants have already failed, they’ve just not announced yet. And since a lot of states aren’t allowing evictions to go forward, the landlords currently have to wait to evict and its not like there are others opening stores right now. If the restaurant is in a high rent area and isn’t open now (which seems to be the case for restaurants whose food doesn’t reduce well to styrofoam), they probably are never going to reopen at this point anyway.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to PD Shaw says:

            Just focusing on restaurants right now, it seems like a policy set that compensated owners for the cost of keeping everyone on payroll+tips, froze rent payments, froze payments on loans, and froze creditors demands for other follow-on payments up from there, would go along ways to saving small businesses. IOW, if the restaurant economy is forced to stop, every relevant aspect of it up the economic food chain stops too.

            As it is, I’m aware of the small business provisions in the most recent bill (1% interest loans which owners are having a hard time accessing) but haven’t heard about any protection from creditors affected by the shutdown.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        1. For the ease back, it would be interesting to see how events that naturally gather dozen or more people in one place are treated. Social dances can easily attract fifty to a hundred people in one location. Dance conventions up to a thousand if they are big enough. Amusement parks will still needed to be closed for awhile, along with beaches and comic conventions.

        2. Considering the amount of people that are paying full rent, I think landlords are going to be more pragmatic about this one. They know that they aren’t going to find new tenants able to pay rent anytime soon, looking the other way or negotiating a deal will be the more intelligent path. If large chains are arguing for a rent strike than landlords have even less of a choice because the goal is generally to replace a small business with a big reliable chan business. If they aren’t paying rent during this time, evictions don’t make sense.

        3. Yes.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think that so many people are dealing with shelter in place relatively well now is because they are comfortable middle class doing jobs that can be done online. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t worried about Covid-19’s lethality but the full reality of the situation has dawned on them yet. This is still a picnic romp to them. If shelter in place goes on for a very long time or the economic damage is immense than they might not be so happy about it. I’m not an optimist at everything snapping back to normal on June 1st even if the medical situation improves.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I know that I am in an enviable situation. I am currently able to work from home and while I don’t know what July will look like if we’re still on lockdown, I am confident that the next month or two will be okay.

        So if things turn around soon, we move away from a “stay at home” back to a “social distancing” framework, I’ll be okay (and a huge number of my acquaintances will also be okay… they telecommute anyway or they do work that transitions really easily to telecommuting work). This will be a crazy thing that happened and rebuilding will consist of “okay, we’re pretty much obliged to eat out at our favorite restaurants for the next month”.

        And this will be yet another example of privilege providing padding to upper middle class kinda people.Report

  5. Swami says:

    When the president declared the emergency mid month I wrote down my expectations on what would happen in my journal (so that I could see how my opinions and views change over time). My expectation was that unemployment would exceed 20% virtually immediately, that the stock markets would drop by over 50% and that slightly more people would die of the flu (all strains) compared to last year (60k). In other words, all in, it would be a bad but not exactly catastrophic year for flu deaths.*

    We will see.

    Here are some not-so random points…

    1) Over 95% of those dying have significant underlying conditions. 50% have three or more.
    2) Somewhere between twenty and fifty percent show no symptoms, yet can probably transmit it
    3) Four fifths of those going on ventilators are dying anyways.
    4) Assuming we reduce social distancing requirements in the next 4- 8 weeks or so, all it takes is a couple of infected people to start the process again
    5) It is doubtful that a vaccine will be widely available before next year, if then.
    6) The economy could be closed for a long time
    7) This could snowball into secondary and tertiary issues as state pensions go bankrupt (sorry Illinois teachers), and those depending on the revenue streams of the unemployed also go under

    My take on the issue is that the proper course of action is a mixture of social distancing (masks, distance, work from home where possible, no cash handoffs, washing, no crowds or parties, etc) combined with MUCH better voluntary “quarantining” for those at risk. IOW, that ANYBODY with underlying issues would be granted safe shelter, food, energy, etc, etc, etc by the rest of us. Asthmatics, those with immune deficiencies, bad hearts, extreme weight or fragile age would be isolated — if desired — and taken care of by others with virtually no exposure to other people.

    This would still hurt the economy, would still lead to some people becoming unemployed, but it would also create massive jobs and requirements for food, shelter and such for the millions at risk who choose “quarantining.”

    Most businesses should continue, most employees should continue to work, and those losing work should be rehired into serving those desiring the safety of a quarantine (or replacing their role in the economy).

    * My logic was that we WILL take drastic measures and this would reduce “normal” flu deaths thus partially compensating for Coronavirus deaths.Report

  6. Aaron David says:


  7. Slade the Leveller says:

    The big question behind all this is will the American people be able to overcome its collective political madness to come out of this whole. We’ve got a president pitching patent medicine from a podium in the White House press room, state legislatures willing to risk the health of their own voters to make sure they win a seat on the state Supreme Court, and one half of the population watching what amounts to state TV, while the other half tunes in to what was once a respectable news network to listen to its snarky takes on the daily idiocy in the Oval.

    People are already starting to discount the estimates of how bad the epidemic could have been (see above), while not taking into account the prevention measures that caused those estimates to be overblown. COVID-19 has been a thing for all of 4 months and everyone’s an expert (except the experts).

    America is learning (I hope) just how badly we have squandered our wealth. If the coming years bring nothing else, my fondest wish is that we reconsider our budgetary priorities.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      I’ve been bingewatching Babylon Berlin, so take this with a grain of salt…

      It seems to me that this is all part of a continuum, where the same societal dysfunction that led to the election of Trump created this dysfunction.

      Its not like there is some alternate, competent and well informed American citizenry standing in the wings to take over once this is over. And its not like the President and Cabinet of Aaron Sorkin’s dreams just stepped out temporarily and will return in a moment.

      When the next crisis hits, whether it is some economic issue, a military confrontation, a natural disaster or whatever, we will see the same sort of response from Fox News, Mitch McConnell, and governors like DeSantis. And we will see the same 40% of Americans respond just the way they are now.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        America is dealing with the problem of what do you do when one or more of your parties and a decent amount of your population has gone off the rails. No liberal democracy has ever really come up with a good or really any answer to that. The last time we had an entire political party and a decent percentage of the population go off the rails, we got a Civil War as a result. We then attempted Reconstruction but the off the rails part proved to be to resilient and we gave up the ghost. You can’t freeze the Republicans out of power. The only thing you can really do is constantly defeat them at the polls.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Which is why I think the Democrats need to go big, really big, like a New New Deal big.
          Not like wonkish proposals, but a loud and bold declaration of Democracy vs. Fascism, like Roosevelt’s “Economic Royalists/ I welcome their hatred” speech.

          IMO, authoritarianism wins when it can present a clear and convincing case for order and stability at whatever cost. When authoritarianism is met with soft mewling and equivocation it easily steamrolls over it.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Which is why I think the Democrats need to go big, really big, like a New New Deal big.

            I dunno, Chip. The two big Dem victories from the Obama era were the ACA and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. The CFPB was gutted by Mulvaney; the ACA has been hobbled and may be completely dismantled depending on how the courts decide. When this is all over, they may not have survived for even four years of contact with the outside world.

            The biggest problem the Dems have IMO is the reliance on top-down national policies to achieve political goals. Most people in America, seems to me, have *very little* trust in the institutions of American (federal) government, and that includes Democratic voters. I think progressives who want centralized federal control over massive new bureaucracies are barking up the wrong vote-getting tree.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

              As opposed to which other vote-getting strategy?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Ahh, there it is again. Joltin Joe! (the default candidate) is the best that the Democrats can do, and is a demonstration that even *Dem* voters aren’t on board with aspirational progressive pipe-dreams. So the complaint (directed at me) is to identify another strategy that will appeal to dozens of millions of Dem voters *who already rejected the strategy you’re advocating*.

                Got it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’m just not clear on what you’re suggesting we do.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Oh, that’s easy. Run better candidates with better policies.

                {{Recall that the Democratic candidate four years ago lost to perhaps the worst person American culture is capable of producing, and stands a very good chance of losing to him again.}}Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                What makes you think a “better candidate with better policies” not congruent with who speaks loudly and forthrightly about how this is a battle between democracy and authoritarianism?

                And recall that no Democrat in American politics fares any better against Trump than the current frontrunner.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                And as I keep saying, that (stumblin bumblin slightly racist one foot in the grave) Joe Biden is the best the Dems can do is *itself* an indictment of the party.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                That just sounds like all the more reason to urge the Democratic base adopt a more a aggressive confrontational stance towards the opposition.

                I guess there are different ways to cope with the decisions of our fellow partymates.
                When they rejected Warren, I had to just accept the painful truth that most of my fellow Dems don’t want the Big Ideas howevr much I wished they would.

                And they may still reject my proposal for a loud and confrontational battle in favor of some middling Obama 2.0 wonkishness and “Lets all come together” stuff.

                But at the end of the day, as comrade Alinsky would say, you work with the terrain as it is not as you wish it were.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      state legislatures willing to risk the health of their own voters to make sure they win a seat on the state Supreme Court,

      Yeah, that primary election’s tomorrow. And everyone should be angry there. It’s not getting a lot of coverage..hopeful that will change tomorrow.

      I mean, in any sane universe, closing so many poll locations would be illegal…and the the fact they’re involuntary closed because they can’t find poll workers doesn’t magically make it okay. You can’t hold an election with so few polling places, it doesn’t matter why you don’t have them. Not that you should be holding an election _anyway_, but it’s entirely possible that no law covers ‘People do not want to stand in line for risk of infection’, because we never needed that before. But…the laws do, or should, require polling places to actually _exist_.

      Likewise, in case people don’t know, the Republicans have decided that all mail-in ballots must be postmark tomorrow. (Or, today now, it’s past midnight) Obviously, tons of people requested those, so many that a lot of the ballots haven’t been mailed to the voters yet.

      That’s right, the state government literally failed to give a ballot to all the voters who requested one. And this is people who requested them well within the deadlines…the system just got overloaded by sheer volume.

      That can’t _possibly_ be legal. To not give people who followed every single rule their ballot, and then have the election anyway. Or, rather, it can be legal, because all this is really stupid and states can do almost anything they want.

      It sounds like a really good lawsuit to me, but, as pointed out, this election is actually about putting more Republicans on the State Supreme Court, all the existing one who just voted for all this. So no state lawsuit is going to succeed.

      There is a point in society where guillotines legitimately start showing up. That point is about where the government does not give people ballots or open the polling locations so you can vote them out. Governments govern by the consent of the governed, if they don’t…well, the Republicans have been talking for years how gun ownership exist to fight tyranny. This all sounds pretty tyrannical to me…but of course it’s pro-Republican tyranny, done by Republicans, so doesn’t count.

      Hopefully, what this will instead result in is pretty damn strong Federal voting right laws.Report

      • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

        I think Joe Biden may have addressed this in his statement, but then again, I can’t really tell.


        Joe Biden: “We cannot let this, we’ve never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and … correct the public health.”

        I can’t believe anyone is seriously running him for public office.Report

      • Slade the Leveller in reply to DavidTC says:

        There was a hue and cry about IL (where I live) not postponing its primary, which was on 3/17. 3 weeks ago. Turnout was pretty low. The governor has had 3 weeks to get something going in the legislature up there and did nothing. He even admitted he had no power to do what he tried to do yesterday.

        I have no sympathy for the R’s in WI, but what the hell were Evers and his fellow Dems in the statehouse doing for the last 3 weeks? This is nothing short of governance malpractice. I have to think public opinion would have come out on their side.Report

        • JS in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

          >I have no sympathy for the R’s in WI, but what the hell were Evers and his fellow Dems in the statehouse doing for the last 3 weeks

          The GOP controls the Wisconsin statehouse. Totally. It was, in fact, a rather fun example of gerrymandering in practice — Dems got 53% of the votes, but 36% of the seats IIRC.

          So…I’m literally not sure how to blame the Governor. he lacks the power to either postpone or shift the election, he forced the Leg into session and the refused to do either — or even extend the deadline for absentee ballots even when it was clear the state couldn’t get them all out before the election.

          What stitches have Wisconsin Democrats missed here?Report

          • Slade the Leveller in reply to JS says:

            From what I’ve been able to read, there are no constraints on how many special sessions the governor can call. They’re a pretty regular occurrence, in fact. Keep at it, and hammer them in the court of public opinion.

            This is my problem with Dems. Their reaction is always, “Welp, they beat me fair and square. Nothing more to be done here.” Sometimes if you want to win the fight you have to take off the gloves.Report

            • JS in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

              That…doesn’t change vote totals.

              Your complaint seems oddly biased. The GOP has a working super majority of the State Leg and did NOT want to allow the extension of absentee ballots or the primary to be moved.

              Despite the Governor doing everything in his power — and, as it turns out, things that weren’t — to try to make it happen.

              And yet you come back with “What have Dems been doing this whole time” and charge them with governmental malpractice?

              And your response to “What should they have done” was “Keep calling special sessions” — until what? Magic happened? Voldemort showed up with the imperius curse?

              You say “Take off the gloves” — and do what, exactly? How? What gloves should they take off and why would it make a difference?

              A super-majority of the Leg says “No” and they mean it, despite multiple sessions and and actual pandemic and you blame their opponents who wanted “yes” for what, some failure of will?

              Is this Green Lantern politics now? A minority can force Legislation through if only they want it enough?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to JS says:

                Would it be biased to say that Evers’ actions and rhetoric, given that – as you concede – he had no power, made the situation worse?Report

              • JS in reply to Stillwater says:

                >Would it be biased to say that Evers’ actions and rhetoric, given that – as you concede – he had no power, made the situation worse?

                What’s worse than the current CF going on right now? What would have been different if he hadn’t signed an EO day before yesterday?

                What would have been worse if he hadn’t called a special Legislative session last week to either move to full mailed ballots or allow ballots to be accepted as late as April 13 since the government was not going to be able to get all the requested absentee ballots out by today?

                Or the week before, when he was asking — but not yet compelling — the GOP majority to do something about this, like postpone the election or something — which was only in their power to do?

                What, exactly, did he make worse with any of that? How has the situation worsened? What would have gone better without his actions and/or rhetoric?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to JS says:

                OK. So the answer is “yes that criticism would be evidence of bias”.Report

              • JS in reply to Stillwater says:

                “OK. So the answer is “yes that criticism would be evidence of bias”.”

                No, that answer was “What criticism did you have in mind? What did he do, what got worse, how are they related? Name it, and I’ll happily let you know if I agree”

                Be specific. You can be specific, right?

                I mean you had to have something specific in mind. What would be the point otherwise?

                Spit it out and we’ll talk.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to JS says:

                Oh, I just noticed all the panicky tweets sent out from Wisconsin Dems last night asking for retweets to spread the word on voting today and for people to start making calls to voters to inform them about the “new” deadlines and it seemed like they got caught with their pants down. Like they weren’t prepared for this. That’s all. Nothing specific really.Report

              • JS in reply to Stillwater says:

                “Oh, I just noticed all the panicky tweets sent out from Wisconsin Dems last night asking for retweets to spread the word on voting today and for people to start making calls to voters to inform them about the “new” deadlines and it seemed like they got caught with their pants down. Like they weren’t prepared for this. That’s all. Nothing specific really.”

                So…what should they have done? What would have worked better?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to JS says:

                It’s only an *election* JS. Not a big deal! Sorry I mentioned it!Report

              • JS in reply to Stillwater says:

                “It’s only an *election* JS. Not a big deal! Sorry I mentioned it!”

                So you didn’t have a point?

                You said: “Would it be biased to say that Evers’ actions and rhetoric, given that – as you concede – he had no power, made the situation worse?”

                I have asked “What did he do, and how did he make it worse”. And you’ve given me nothing to go on here other than “They seemed really unprepared to hold an election in a pandemic”.

                I agree. I also have to point out they tried really hard to move it, or make it mail in only, but were stopped.

                Again, if you want me to criticize them you have to tell me what they did that was BAD, or at least tell me what they could have done BETTER.

                We’re not talking hypotheticals. There’s an actual thing going on here, and people did actual stuff and made actual decisions. You clearly think there’s something to criticize here.

                So SPIT IT OUT for God’s sake. Why are you dancing around, refusing to commit? Give me something to work with here.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to JS says:


                I’ll cut and paste from an earlier comment: “I just noticed all the panicky tweets sent out from Wisconsin Dems last night asking for retweets to spread the word on voting today and for people to start making calls to voters to inform them about the “new” deadlines and it seemed like they got caught with their pants down. Like they weren’t prepared for this.”

                That’s the criticism. That the Wisconsin Dem institutions whose sole purpose is to win elections weren’t prepared *for an election*.

                Adding: And I think Evers gambit to delay the election, and his rhetoric about it, *obviously* contributed to their unpreparedness.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to JS says:

                Part of politics is moving public opinion. You telling me those 53% don’t know how to pick up a phone or write an email? The day to get the ball rolling wasn’t the day before the election.Report

              • JS in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                “Part of politics is moving public opinion. You telling me those 53% don’t know how to pick up a phone or write an email? The day to get the ball rolling wasn’t the day before the election”

                So yes, apparently you do subscribe to the Green Lantern theory of politics. If only the Democratic minority had had the willpower, they could have forced the GOP super-majority to vote their way.

                I mean you do see how damn ridiculous you’re being, right? One party –which consisted Governor and a small minority in the Leg — wanted to avoid public voting today. The GOP super-majority in the Leg wanted the status quo (public voting today). And it did, in fact, come up to a vote and one party voted “Yes, vote today” and one party voted “No, don’t have a public vote today”.

                And here you come, look at the mess, and say “Hey, minority who voted against this mess. THIS IS YOUR FAULT”.

                Oh, and they had a special session last week (called by the Governor), and of course before that the Governor urged to switch to full mail voting before THAT and the GOP super majority shot both down. It didn’t start “yesterday”.Report

  8. Saul Degraw says:

    We are now at the closed parks part of authoritarianism

    “Exercise, the outdoors, and sunshine are essential, not just as luxuries but as ways to sustain population health and resilience. That makes it important to set the right policies now. Once parks are closed, opening them back up will be harder. Authorities may dig in their heels and the issue may become more polarizing. Instead, we should start with sensible and viable policies as early as possible.”

    • Swami in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      In the larger scheme of things, it seems pretty shallow to complain about park and nature access, but I will anyways…

      The real problem is crowding. The problem with crowding is that it is an emergent phenomenon which isn’t ever intended by any individual action. Crowds are almost certainly good environments for viral spread. No argument here from me.

      So, in rational response to crowding concerns and the lack of social distancing, the various government authorities (including the Governor of California and the mayor of San Diego) close the parks and the beaches. Next thing we know, a surfer gets ticketed for paddling a stand up paddle board alone at Malibu. On the same day, I went to the beaches in Cardiff — to surf by myself at 6AM with nobody anywhere near me at a secluded cliff which has never had a crowd ever — and was met by a barricade of police tape and cops with masks on and ticket books in their hands.

      Somewhere between weekend party crowds and ticketing solo surfers there is probably a reasonable balance. I am OK with the ideas of closing parking lots (a crowd can’t gather easily if it can’t park), and having police shut down or turn away emergent crowds when they actually develop. I can even see the benefit of a no loitering policy on weekends on some boardwalks and tourist beaches. But fining solitary people trying to enjoy the outdoors is just excessive.

      I will put up with this through May 1st. After that, Civil Disobedience needs to be considered.Report

  9. Oscar Gordon says:

    On the back side of this, I wonder how much resistance we’ll see to ideas like a UBI, if for no other reason than such an event will certainly happen again, and the impact on states trying to manage unemployment claims on this scale (and claims that don’t fit the model, such as the self employed/gig workers/etc.)?Report

    • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      You will see a ton of resistance to it both from businesses who don’t want to acknowledge the centrality of labor to their enterprise, and from workers who still cling to their rugged individualistic myths. I would love to be proved wrong and will happily eat online crow if so, but human history (including our own) is replete with examples of people learning the wrong lessons from historical events.Report

      • Swami in reply to Philip H says:

        You may also see resistance from people who believe it will encourage inter-generational laziness and lead to a permanent class of non-workers living off the effort of others, thus causing a feedback loop of non-productivity and the collapse or at least decay of the modern state.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Swami says:

          Those people with that belief do exist, but their belief is based on fanciful thinking not data.Report

          • Swami in reply to Philip H says:

            So those opposing your opinion on the contentious issue of UBI are acting upon a misunderstanding of “the centrality of labor,” and/or operating under the myth of rugged individualism combined with a misreading of history, and a dollop of fanciful thinking with an absence of data.

            Glad we got that clarified.Report