Fast breaking developments and some possibly-useful insights:
1. Peter Diamandis’s team is working on a super-rapid "Ventilator XPrize" to produce open source designs for a DIY medical device that almost any practical/skilled person might assemble from Home Depot parts, to help patients with trouble breathing. Those numbers might peak hundreds of thousands higher than hospitals’ ability to cope. Stay tuned for an announcement.
2. As for saving the economy, everyone is talking about pumping liquidity at a scale never before seen, as both Congress and the Fed wave their hands and invent trillions of dollars that did not exist before! Prop up banks and airlines and banks and hotels and banks and hedge funds… oh and $2000 for all Americans. And while the latter might help with the human misery index, none of this is actual economic stimulus because:
(a) the rich don’t spend OR produce, and Supply Side has proved to be utter voodoo.
(b) such fixes do not invent money velocity when no money is moving.
== Call it the Pothole Solution! ==
There is a kind of stimulus that could actually help. It’s the same stimulus I and others have been urging for 10+ years and Republicans have blocked, at every turn, This would seem a perfect time for investment in ... INFRASTRUCTURE, the kind of actual productive work that has the very best economic multiplier effect with well-paid jobs that ripple through the economy and that actually build stuff we’ll actually use for a century.
What? you don’t think infrastructure work can go on while the nation hunkers down to avoid germ spreading? Oh for Pete’s sake, I’m not envisioning massive bridge or dam projects. But even during a plague, plenty of jobs can be managed with a lot of “social distancing” among workers! For example, small teams of 2 or 3 workers can get plenty done with very little human contact.
The crux: there is zero reason any city should have any remaining potholes or bad sidewalks after Covid 19, since very small teams can head out to handle such gigs while streets are relatively empty. Likewise, empty schools can be repaired and fixed up by teensy teams, spreading out in vast numbers.
A much better use of government subsidy money than just fire-hosing cash in all directions.
3. Blatantly, this semi-crisis -- (a disease with very high infectiousness but moderate to low death rate (so long as hospitals and ventilator supplies hold out)) - is going to leave us better prepared for the next - possibly much worse - nasty thing to hit. (Especially if we euthanize (figuratively) the treasonous and insane-stupid political party whose pathological fact-hating and lying got us into all this.)
One industry to dramatically change will be meeting-ware and systems for work-from-home, including ways to manage such workers. We are nowhere near the capabilities that were predicted for 2020, largely because managerial castes were unwilling to put in the effort. That will change. As will Augmented Reality… (in part by using my patents).
So will the movement toward local-sourcing. Expect a push for highly automated factories near major U.S. cities using cheap natural gas to transition toward self-sustainable production chains. If handled well, we'll see globalization end gracefully, with autonomous production and even food-growing in urban centers and massively reduced shipping costs.
If it’s handled badly? Massive unemployment and then revolution.
As for freedom, I do not expect any of these emergency measures to affect our root instincts of individual eccentricity that have been drilled into us by 70 years of TV and films. What might do that is if the traitors regain all power and finally eviscerate the one branch of government they couldn't control under Trump - the Civil Service.
Next time, I’ll share with you some wisdom about markets and all those concocted trillions.