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Friday, April 3, 2020

6.6 million new unemployment claims April 2nd

As the saying goes, "Records are made to be broken." But I don't think it's too often the case that it happens at the very next opportunity. Nevertheless, one week after the United States smashed its previous record for first-time unemployment claims with just under 3.3 million, it doubled the record on April 2, with over 6.6 million new unemployment claims, adding another 4 percentage points to the unemployment rate.

After that news dropped, the Congressional Budget Office (via TPM) updated its economic projections for the nation's economy. Among other things, it expects the unemployment rate to exceed 10% in the second quarter. If you remember, the peak monthly unemployment rate during the Great Recession was 10.0%, so exceeding that figure represents yet another win for Trump. So much winning!

In fact, University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers, writing in The New York Times, estimates the current unemployment rate to be about 13%. This would be the highest rate reached since the Great Depression, he points out.

The CBO report also expects that gross domestic product will fall by over 7% in the second quarter, an annualized rate of over 28%. "Those declines could be much larger, however," it adds. In fact, Wells Fargo economists are much more pessimistic and suggest a second-quarter GDP contraction of 14.3%, topping the current record for quarterly GDP drop, the 10% fall during the Eisenhower administration in 1958 Q1. So much winning!

Of course, these impacts would have been much smaller except for the illegitimate Trump regime's failed preparations and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After two months of minimizing the outbreak and assuring us everything was under control, the federal government is still not doing anything to ensure that supplies goes to the places most in need at a fair price. Indeed, the evidence from the April 2 nightly pandemic briefing/campaign rally suggests just the opposite. The federal government is flying in large amounts of needed equipment from abroad, then putting it in the hands of private companies which then force the states into bidding wars for the products! Unfortunately, my commenting rules prohibiting me from saying more; just imagine a string of obscenities.

In related pandemic news, as of 7:45am EST, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard shows the United States not just with the most cases in the world, but more than twice as many (245,573) as second-place Spain (117,710). The number of new daily cases continues to increase, as shown in this screenshot from the dashboard:

(Click on US at the top of the country list on the left, then select daily increase in the lower right.)

Yes, on April 1, the United States topped 30,000 new cases in a day for the first time, which was just shy of 3/8 of all new cases in the world.

And the most morbid statistic for last: With over 6,000 deaths so far, doubling every 3 days, the United States is set to pass both Spain and Italy in the next six days to reach the top spot for the most deaths of any country in the world.

Yes, I'm tired of all this winning. And scared, too.


  1. As the saying goes,"Records are made to be broken." But I don't think it's too often the case that it happens at the very next opportunity. Nevertheless, the day after Trump won the presidency that fateful night, the stock market responded by what is now known as the Trump bump. During the first year and a half of his presidency, the stock market went up by over 60% and unemployment among the most vulnerable demographics in America had reached an all-time low. The achievements and accomplishments under the Trump administration were certainly unprecedented.

    Unfortunately, the winning ended with news of Covid 19. Trump's initial response to covid-19 downplayed the entire issue and is deserving of objective criticism. Unfortunately the hyper-partisan media and Academia at-large squander their opportunity for objective criticism by lazily benefiting from hindsight in their criticisms. It's intellectually dishonest and tantamount to laziness because it ignores the most pertinent issue. China!

    A study by the University of Southampton examining non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in China shows that a range of early, coordinated and targeted measures are needed to help significantly reduce its spread. The research also found that if interventions in the country could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively.

    A team of investigative journalists is not required to understand the extent of China's impact on the situation.

    Medical professionals and scientists have had good reason to raise alarms regarding the possibility of a global pandemic emerging from China. Suffice to say, we've all seen the news reports regarding the wet markets, their concern was legitimate!

    During the course of the pandemic, China has continued to lie and attempt to position itself in a more favorable political position. Specifically, China withheld valuable data from the International Community, thus cheating them of valuable time to take preparatory action.

    The attempt by much of the media as well as the academic left to place all of the blame on the Trump Administration is tantamount to intellectual dishonesty. Remember kids, attacking Trump is fashionable. Holding China accountable for it's Reckless actions and blatant disregard for the well-being of the International Community. Well kids, that's racist.

    The halls of our universities have become Echo Chambers. They have completely lost all objectively and subsequently, all credibility.

  2. I commend you for poking your head out of the conservative echo chamber, which I occasionally take a look at myself. As I said on Facebook, I'm only blaming Trump for his actions and inactions, which have made the situation much worse than it should have been. China is certainly still a dictatorship and its case and death figures are surely understated, though we don't know by how much. Thanks for the comment.