The effects of strict lockdowns implemented in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reluctance of Democrat governors to ease them can still be seen despite the nation being in the “end stage” of the pandemic.
Last year the “experts” predicted that states that locked down the hardest would recover the fastest economically because it would let them mitigate the damage to the economy the virus itself would cause. It’s now undeniable that lockdowns simply exacerbated the economic damage the virus caused, and was hardly worth the cost when you compare the similar coronavirus deaths rate in the most and least strictly locked down states.
Just as the “experts” were on seemingly every other issue pertaining to the virus, they were catastrophically wrong about the economics of lockdowns.
As The Daily Wire reports:
As indicated by the Back-to-Normal Index, a project of Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business, states that avoided or quickly removed aggressive COVID-19 responses tended to outperform states that lingered in reopening.
The economies of South Dakota and Florida are performing at 106% and 101% of pre-COVID strength, respectively. Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Idaho are all functioning at 100% pre-pandemic capacity. Other top states for economic recovery are West Virginia (98%), Nevada (97%), Montana (97%), Iowa (97%), and Arizona (96%).
Meanwhile, states that aggressively enforced their lockdowns are trailing the nation in economic recovery. Operating at 79% of pre-pandemic capacity, New York ranks last in the Back-to-Normal Index. Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Oregon follow as the states with the most sluggish returns to normalcy.
The same trends are evident in states’ unemployment rates. CNN Business data reveal that while both South Dakota and Nebraska boast unemployment rates of 2.8%, over 8% of workers in New York, California, Connecticut, and Hawaii are currently jobless.
The economic divergence between red and blue states peaked back in October, with unemployment 59% higher in blue states than red.
The greatest challenge to the recovery now has been a national labor shortage that has been compounded by enhanced federal unemployment benefits. Those will end in twenty-five Republican-led states this week.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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