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Thomas Gallatin / Apr. 23, 2020

U.S. Job Losses Hit Great Depression-Era Mark

Over 26 million Americans have registered for unemployment since the China Virus hit the nation.

The Labor Department released weekly numbers on jobless claims today, and as everyone anticipated, it’s another horrible report. Some 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of jobless claims since the China Virus pandemic shut down the nation up to 26.4 million. For shocking perspective, the U.S. has now erased all job gains since the Great Recession, and it happened in just five weeks. Is it any wonder people have been protesting the lockdown measures across several states?

CNBC reports, “With virtually all other economic indicators pointing to the worst downturn since the Great Depression, jobless claims are seen as the most current way of measuring how deeply conditions have been impacted by social distancing associated with the coronavirus. The total is far worse than anything the U.S. has seen before, with the previous one-week peak of 695,000 dating back to October 1982.”

While the initial wave of jobless claims primarily came from the lower-income service, restaurant, and hotel industries, that’s changing. Bloomberg notes, “White-collar employees largely escaped the initial wave of coronavirus layoffs, often because the nature of their jobs meant it was easier to do them from home. But even companies that managed to stay afloat have seen a big squeeze on revenue and profits, as large areas of the economy are shuttered. That’s triggering a second round of job cuts or furloughs, with office workers taking a bigger hit this time.”

Democrats are obtuse, as usual. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was questioned during a press conference about the growing economic crisis that has resulted from his continued lockdown order. He lashed out by suggesting that, in lieu of protesting, laid-off workers “go take a job as an essential worker” because hardship “doesn’t equal death.”

Reporter: “These are regular people who are not getting a paycheck. Some of them are not getting their unemployment paycheck. And they’re saying that they don’t have time to wait for all of this [coronavirus] testing and they need to get back to work in order to feed their families. Their savings [are] running out; they don’t have another week. They’re not getting answers. So, their point is: The cure can’t be worse than the illness itself.”

Cuomo: “The illness is death. What is worse than death?”

Reporter: “What if someone commits suicide because they can’t pay their bills?”

Cuomo: “The illness is maybe my death as opposed to your death. You said they said, ‘The cure is worse than the illness.’ The illness is death. How can the cure be worse than the illness if the illness is potential death?”

Reporter: “What if the economy failing equals death? Because mental illness that the people stuck at home…

Cuomo: (interrupting) "No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t equal death. Economic hardship. Yes. Very bad. Not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house. Very bad. Not death. Domestic violence on the increase. Very bad. Not death. … It’s your life. Do whatever you want. But you’re now responsible for my life. You have a responsibility to me. It’s not just about you. You have a responsibility to me, right?”

Reporter: “They’re [asking], ‘Is there a fundamental right to work if the government can’t get me the money when I need it?’”

Cuomo: “You want to go to work? Go take a job as an essential worker. Do it tomorrow.”

As bad as that was, America’s favorite socialist, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was arguably even more out of touch. AOC once again displayed her complete ignorance of basic economics as she argued, “When we talk about this idea of reopening society, you know, only in America does the president — when the president tweets about ‘liberation’ — does he mean ‘go back to work.’ When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot people should just say, ‘No, we’re not going back to that.’” She then ridiculously asserted, “We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.” Evidently, AOC believes that the relationship between working and earning money is either entirely coincidental or flat-out oppressive. In her case, the former might be understandable, as she receives a $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary no matter what she does or doesn’t do.

Finally, everyone needs to brace themselves, as this economic crisis looks to be closer to the beginning than the end. And you can bet the Democrats are readying Joe Biden’s campaign to push for the biggest “tax the rich” campaign in generations. They will use the economic shock, massive job losses, and debt as fodder for an enormous surge of the Left’s political playbook favorite — class warfare.

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