Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:28 pm

[COLUMN] How to keep America safe and avoid a Great Depression

By Glenn Hamer | Chamber Business News

The Coronavirus pandemic has upended life all over the globe. Arizona has not been spared. How we deal with this mushrooming disease now will determine the course of the country for decades to come.

In an instant, an historically strong economy turns

First, it’s important to remember that the country was enjoying its best economy ever before the viral asteroid hit. We had record low unemployment. Wages were rising. Businesses were hiring. In Arizona we were enjoying perhaps the nation’s healthiest economy. Maricopa County was the fastest-growing county in the country, and Phoenix was the fastest-growing metro area. We were outpacing the country in job creation in tech and beating the nation overall with our diversified economy.

If you wanted a job, Arizona was the place to be.

Our state budget was at an all-time record high in terms of revenues and reserves thanks to the foresight of Gov. Doug Ducey and responsible state legislatures. 

But that was three weeks ago. The world has changed more dramatically and quickly than perhaps it ever has in our country.

Social distancing will save lives, buy time

The Covid-19 virus is real and it’s deadly; it’s particularly lethal for the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

As I write this, 793 people died today in Italy from the disease. In at least three states—New York, Washington and California—the are large clusters of infected patients.

The virus has not peaked. In those three states, the hospital systems are already overwhelmed and the worst is yet to come.

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