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Masks. My opinions about things like wearing masks have changed dramatically over the past 10 weeks. Wearing a mask was something I snickered about when I saw Asians doing it. Wearing a mask was something you do as a kid or for Halloween. I had no plans to wear a mask and certainly not in public. Then I learned more. I'm now pro mask. For the first time yesterday I wore a mask and did not hate it. That's right, I concluded, "hey this is no big deal." I put on my fitted cloth mask with room for my big nose. I fitted it snuggly to my cheeks so I wouldn't steam up my glasses and I proudly went out in public. Upon return I thought, "piece of cake." I absolutely no issues with wearing a mask for the two minutes and 36 seconds I was picking up my take out food. On this same outing a woman waiting outside her restaurant. She had a nice patterned mask on a certain fire in her eyes. I wondered what might be underneath that mask. This was a woman of mystery. I was intrigued. Masks might just be sexy.


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Type 2 Economy Errors. Without a vaccine for the next year restaurants will be forced to operate at 50% of their capacity. Let's say that they can make that work with 50% of the people. That means that our best case scenario means that half of restaurant workers are out of work. And virtually every other industry with "spacing issues" will have the same problems. At the same time people are scared to come out of their homes. People are spending less. People are working less. That drives the tax base way down (sales tax drives much of the economy) and so that will mean cuts in city services and our schools. The economy is grinding to a halt like a train wreck that just keeps getting worse but it's happening in slow motion. Some argue for a strong Q3 recovery. Others don't. So even if I didn't have a degree in economics I would still conclude that there are two mistakes we could make right now. The first is to over-spend and waste money by putting too much stimulus into the system. The other error we could make is to put too little and watch the economy spiral down and follow it's current path. When you compare the cost and benefits of each error, you have to conclude that under-spending is way way worse than overspending.


Enter politics. The politics is all about who gets what. Most of the traditional stimulus options ends up getting spread across all Americans. And yet conservatives believe that the benefit should be spread across the assets evenly, not the people evenly. In other words, the "have's" believe that they deserve a bigger piece of the stimulus. This is why conservatives prioritize helping business "supply" as a higher priority than helping people "demand."


With that as background, here's the piece I can't figure out. In an election year why wouldn't the republicans want to err on the side of spending too much even if that's the price to pay to get elected. They have suggested that we should "wait and see" because it looked like there was plenty of money in the system and they are worried more about deficits than under-funding the economy. I think we can see with our own eyes that consumer demand is way down and just pumping the supply gas pedal doesn't mean that the demand road is in place to drive on.


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