Andy Caldwell crossed the line
Although I have disagreed with Andy Caldwell's views I have always acknowledged his right to free speech. However, his recent guest commentary was a bridge too far. The idea that a local talk radio host with no relevant education or training would presume to give advice on a global pandemic that undermines the CDC and the entire medical community is beyond irresponsible, it is dangerous.
As the entire world faces a pandemic that few if any of us have ever experienced, it is no time for unqualified people to offer their uninformed and unsubstantiated personal opinions. This especially true for a conservative radio host who has a public following. Caldwell's comparison to the flu, which has long been subject to effective prevention and treatment, or a virus from over 100 years ago, isn't relevant or helpful.
I agree that panic isn't helpful either and hoarding toilet paper is probably an overreaction. But those extremes notwithstanding I think we will all be much safer turning to the highly trained experts in the field of infectious diseases, our own local health providers, and our national, state, and local leaders.
Even Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have seen the light. Given the seriousness of this global pandemic we should not provide a platform for anyone who attempts to get attention by spreading false and dangerous information. Free speech is not absolute and Andy Caldwell crossed the line.
Economy and COVID-19 is big concern
The COVID-19 outbreak has got us all concerned. It has affected people and economies worldwide. In the US almost all commerce has been shut down in order to slow the spread of the disease. Anyone who has gone shopping in the last couple of weeks has seen the empty shelves where some essential items where previously stocked. Schools have been shut down. Hospitals and our health system will be stressed to the breaking point. Government resources at all levels are being stressed.
While I’m relatively healthy for my age, I am in a higher risk age group. I am a little more concerned about my health than I would be otherwise. While I’m concerned about my health, the health of my family, and, of course, everyone in our nation, what scares me even more is the financial health of our country.
The US GDP in 2019 was a little more the $21 trillion. The US federal dept is now over $23 trillion and climbing. It’s estimated the 16% of our debt is owned by foreign countries, including some who could be threats to our security.
China owns a big share of that. In 2019 the federal deficit was almost $1 trillion. The president and congress are now considering a stimulus spending package that will likely add another $1 trillion to the deficit. Politicians running for office this year are proposing free healthcare for everyone inside our boarders, free college for everyone, and forgiving all student loans. Social Security and Medicare is likely to be insolvent in a few years. At the same time, with the shut down of commerce in the US, the US GDP for 2020 is likely to be significantly less than it was in 2019.
The lower and longer it goes, the longer it will take to recover. Lower GDP means lower tax revenues for both the federal and state governments. How many more trillion-dollar stimulus spending packages can we afford?
Not only is the government financial health in danger, but over the last several decades our nation’s businesses have increasingly outsourced our nation’s manufacturing capacity.
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