How Bad Things Are in RI… Even Pre-Pause

Rhode Island’s queen, Gina Raimondo, today proclaimed that her dominion would be made to suffer a “two-week pause” owing to the intransigence of her subjects to obey:

She lamented that she has been “utterly ineffective” at getting Rhode Islanders to “follow the rules” in their own homes.

Yes, the problem is you and your refusal to take the governor’s words into your heart as you would those of a god whose watchful eyes were ever upon you.  As a reminder, she continues to justify her emergency powers based on a high number of daily discovered “cases,” largely owing to the practice of testing about 1.5% of the entire population of the state every single day, whether or not they have symptoms.  Also, hospitalization numbers are up, although the queen’s administration does not provide clear information about how many of them actually result from COVID-19 or are simply coincidental with positive tests.

As for deaths, not only are these only ambiguously associated with the new virus, but their trends do not correspond with the wave of “cases.”  Of course, that bloodbath is always forecast to arrive in the future.

However, one key number to watch in all of this illustrates a bloodbath of another sort.  Hidden under hopeful-sounding news about a drop in Rhode Island’s unemployment rate from September to October is this:

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 541,300 in October, down 18,400 from September and down 15,600 from October 2019 (556,900).

In the midst of a supposed recovery from the government-induced economic “pause” in the spring, nearly 20,000 more Rhode Islanders stopped looking for work.  They gave up.  They moved on.  For whatever reason they stopped looking, the state no longer counts them as workers.  That’s why unemployment went down so much.

In the not-too-distant future, when we tally the costs of COVID-19 and the government’s response to it, we may very likely conclude that the latter was more harmful by far.  There are 36,300 fewer jobs in Rhode Island than there were a year ago, and our governor is talking about tightening her shut-down policies and blaming our families in the process.

At some point, a self-respecting people have to say, “enough.”

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