WuHan Shutdown

Lots of people are arguing online about the virus shutdowns. The pro say we need to keep the shutdowns to preserve lives, particularly the lives of older people and those with preexisting conditions.

The cons say the shutdowns will ruin the economy. They often summarize by saying: you have to work to get money and you need money to eat.

I think they are truncating their thought. We do not work for money. We work for what money gets us.

When we work we serve the needs and desires of other people. Whatever we produce on the job is wanted by other people. In exchange they give us a claim on their work or output. That is money. It is a claim on their production, because of our production.

In this virus the government has shut down lots of business, and in an attempt to keep things going on in a normal way has distributed “Stimulus” checks to nearly everyone.

But the fact is, those people shutdown and sheltering in place are not producing what they would otherwise produce. In fact they are not producing anything. You can give them dollars to have claims on what other people are producing but they are producing nothing. So pretty soon, there will be a shortage of the things we want and need, no matter what the government does with checks and deposits. Not much is being produced for us to consume.

So there will be less for us.