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Thread: Long-term economics of the pandemic

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Long-term economics of the pandemic

    I've read a couple of articles lately that suggest that the post-pandemic economy will under go a big shift, and will never go back to where it was.

    Any prognosticators wish to weigh in on what the post-pandemic economy will look like? I'm not saying it's going to be good or bad.. this is not a "sky is falling" question. It's just in general: how is "business as usual" going to change..for good or for bad?

    To grease the wheels, here is what Forbes thinks.
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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    A lot of small businesses will close permanently. Already at work we are hearing contractors say some customers, when faced with a large repair, are choosing to close rather than fix the building. They said they survived one lockdown but cannot survive a second one which they fear is coming.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    A lot of small businesses will close permanently.
    Do you think the small businesses will be replaced with new small businesses to fill in all those shuttered storefronts? Or do you think corporate entities will be more able to fill the gap? i.e. will the little local clothing shop on Church Street in Burlington be replaced by Athletica/Gap? This is what I fear. It might take a long time for the business owners who otherwise might start on a shoestring to take that risk. Or will this change the face of small towns as retail shifts to predominantly online. What will Main Street look like then?
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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    The trend to offshoring will decrease because the cost of many employees going remote will benefit their employers. As Forbes noted, education especially post-secondary institutions will need to change to respond the reduced income of many and the borrowing costs of student loans have made them unbearable.
    Skilled trades will be in demand. Housing will change from bricks and mortar to unit prefabs assembled onsite to make housing affordable.
    The power of accountants who have ruined many industries by playing the numbers to meet short-term management desires will be reduced and local jobs will return.(OK, this is a wish)
    Food supply will be locally produced more often and develop as a small business. Hopefully this will occur in most communities.
    These are my immediate thoughts.
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    It is not a good time for commercial landlords, commercial real estate agents, commercial builders.

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    I believe there will be a definite divide in the workforce - those with the types of jobs that can be done from home and those that must be 'out in the world' to support those staying home... i.e. online warehousing, deliveries, manufacturing, etc. Staying home and working from home is great! But there is an large workforce that is out doing the physical work making many work-at-home jobs possible. I think a divide - socially and economically - is currently underway and widening in this regard.
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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Food carts are making a strong comeback, I see.
    And I hope home delivery is here to stay.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    I believe there will be a definite divide in the workforce - those with the types of jobs that can be done from home and those that must be 'out in the world' to support those staying home... i.e. online warehousing, deliveries, manufacturing, etc. Staying home and working from home is great! But there is an large workforce that is out doing the physical work making many work-at-home jobs possible. I think a divide - socially and economically - is currently underway and widening in this regard.
    The stay-at-home orders earlier this year really highlighted this divide.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    The businesses that I've seen closing so far are mostly those that were on the edge already, and Covid just helped to push them over. A lot of movie theaters were probably already on the way out due to the rise in popularity of in-home streaming services. I think that many small businesses that don't have deep pockets will close, but then as things turn around, new businesses will open up. There will probably be a less than 1:1 replacement for retail since people are doing more shopping online, but I would expect restaurants to rebound. This is probably a great time to open a bakery or gourmet shop or restaurant that is primarily take-out, especially if offering something different or better.

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    Of course those working from home also make not work from home jobs safer or enable it to be safer, as there's that much less virus spreading. Anyway none of that is going to last beyond the virus. We'll all be doing the 40 minute commutes to go 10 miles again (and that's a short commute). But if I was looking for a new employer and was not desperate I'd look into which ones allowed work from home in a pandemic, and preferentially choose them. Because if it's office work there is no reason it can't be done at home, and they showed they cared about their employees enough to allow it in the pandemic.

    I have no idea what the economics will be. I just hope things don't get harder for working people than they already are because it's ridiculous. Some things might recover fast due to pent up demand. But then there is the fact that people have accrued tons of debt for things like rent as evictions have been forbidden and people haven't been able to pay. So that's a lot of people with no discretionary income and maybe no ability to pay debt and in the worst case maybe no housing. Businesses and restaurants have closed, new shops have opened here even in a pandemic (one of which is so niche I wouldn't give it good odds an economic boom).

    Personally I'm more inclined to order online going forward, but I often do that direct from the manufacturer website and avoid the middleman. And maybe a bit less inclined to buy anything. It's not what I miss. It just made my life more hectic which I see clearly in forced un-hecticness (as did commuting but meh). Going to stores is just a drain! (although occasionally necessary). Even grocery shopping can be done once a week! I only miss people, including group activities, including strangers hanging out at a coffee house or restaurant. People are what matters, hey who would have known? And the ability to get out of the house now and then!

    I think in a way WE'VE ALL GOTTEN LAZIER! . Now I want my stuff to come to me, and maybe even want my bills paid online because I'm too lazy to mail them. I haven't gone to the bank almost at all (used to every 2 weeks) and just used a credit card mostly. All gotten lazier because life was so hectic we didn't even fully realize it was hectic and that it didn't have to be so hectic. I don't think this is good for the economy really. But I'm just tired of sacrificing myself for the economy.
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