Believe it or not, there is good news in this economic mess.
One piece of good news is that individuals of all stripes are skeptical of this government solution: they may begin to question the wisdom of government economic intervention. This response can take many flavors, like questioning whether we can afford all of this, for instance.
With all the focus on our domestic mess, there’s a reduced risk of getting involved in foreign military adventures. Few people really think this is a good time to attack Iran, say. So this is positive. Avoiding war and violent conflict is positive.
One of the biggest pieces of good news is the strength of the market. In this case, I mean the market as in individuals acting and transacting freely. In times of incredible stress and strain (like now) when forces (like the federal government) continually oppose individuals acting freely, the market still delivers: cars, groceries, toys, clothing, etc. Supplies may fluctuate, but as long as prices have some flexibility, then many wrinkles get naturally smoothed out. I have yet to see a grocery store with empty shelves. It’s relatively rare to even see an item out of stock nowadays, barring a very unusual sale.
This is remarkable considering what little variety (and quantities) used to be in general stores, for instance, or what little variety American pioneers had in their civilization, or what absolute poverty (when compared to today’s relative wealth) mankind has lived in when compared to the prior and current centuries. The differences are remarkable.
Seeing the market under stress and still providing goods and services (I can still get a car wash, for instance, or cheap medication, or frozen vegetables, or a new car, or a showerhead, or thousands of other things) is a testament to its strength and durability, despite efforts which effectively disrupt economic activity.
Perhaps this is a crude metaphor, but I can’t help thinking of that scene in Spiderman 2, when the train is racing away to the edge of the track, increasingly accelerating. It seems hopeless. All are doomed. Spiderman tries a couple of things that fail pathetically. And then he finds something that works. He holds on for dear life, and the viewer is amazed at Spiderman’s strength and durability to withstand the crisis and save the train.
The market, similarly, performs very well under very stressful and tense situations, if given freedom to do so. Seeing it not catastrophically crumble and buckle and fail is to me some sort of miracle. I pray it will not crumble and buckle and fail until the appointed time, and I think we have (at least) several decades left before things start looking really really ugly.
May we be prepared when that day arrives!