Wednesday, February 19, 2020
What You're Freaking About, Versus What You Should Be Freaking About
has a great post today about the greater lesson (and impact, in all likelihood) of the Kung Flu of 2020.
This has been the greater lesson all along: the problem is not the Kung Flu getting here nearly so much as it's about the second- and third-order effects, here, of Kung Flu rampaging across China, there.
This is the Mel Brooks Comedy Theory, applied to economics: "Tragedy is me stubbing my toe. Comedy is you falling off a cliff."
They have 400,000,000 people in China (at last report) on house arrest, most of them in their industrial belt. If you get anything made in China, you won't be getting it, probably for the rest of 2020.
No Keebler elves making your crap means no Keebler cookies. Or anything else. Multiply that times the second largest economy on the planet, and we have a problem, Houston.
But the beauty of the Invisible Hand is that (assuming people who aren't lunchmeat for brains running the show) capitalism starts doing workarounds ASAP for all the things China cannot provide.
Kung Flu is going to be the Third World Full Employment Act of 2020, and entire industries elsewhere are going to reap the windfall.
In the short term, expect scattered PITA, with a chance of disasterpiece theatre.
Bonus: GMTA. Peter adds another 2¢ at Bayou Renaissance Man.
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