05.24.2021 0

Blue States Lockdowns Killing People & Jobs

We cannot let Democrats try to turn this sorry state of affairs into the new normal.

By Catherine Mortensen

The country’s latest unemployment and Covid death numbers make clear that Democrat governor’s heavy-handed lockdowns of schools and businesses killed more people and more jobs than did the limited government approach taken by red state governors.

As Americans for Limited Government has  demonstrated over the past year, lockdowns have been a disaster.

A group of conservative economists from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity crunched the latest jobs numbers from Department of Labor and found that all 10 of the states with unemployment rates above 7% have Democratic governors that locked down their states while nine of the 10 states with unemployment rates under 5% have GOP governors.

Source, Department of Labor and compiled by Republican National Committee.

The economists also looked at what percentage of lost jobs during the beginning months of the pandemic have come back for each state. The chart below shows that the red states, Idaho and Utah, have HIGHER employment today than on the eve of the pandemic. The 12 states with the highest percentage of jobs recovered are red states.

Eight states have only recovered half of their jobs. They are New Mexico, Hawaii, California, Alaska, Wyoming, Illinois, and New York. With the exception of Alaska and Wyoming, these are dark blue states that locked down stores, churches, schools, and businesses.

Source, Department of Labor and compiled by Republican National Committee.

In addition, on a per-capita basis, six out of ten of the states with the most deaths are led by Democrat governors. Given the fewer number of blue state governors in the country, this shows that blue states were disproportionally hurt by Covid.

Statistic: Death rates from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States as of May 21, 2021, by state (per 100,000 people) | Statista

And the suffering in those high unemployment states may actually get worse. According to a working paper published on the National Bureau of Economic Research website last December, a group of economists believes unemployment could lead to 1.37 million excess deaths in America over the next two decades.

The economists looked at the possible effects of pandemic-related unemployment on U.S. adults’ mortality rates and life expectancy.

The economists predicted that, over the next 10 years, pandemic-related unemployment could cause about 460,000 excess deaths in the United States, on top of the number of people killed by COVID-19 itself.

The total number of excess deaths could rise to 890,00 by 2035, and to 1.37 million people by 2040.

The economists — Francesco Bianchi, Giada Bianchi and Dongho Song  — came up with those predictions by analyzing how changes in U.S. unemployment rates have correlated with changes in U.S. mortality figures in recent decades.

Past studies have shown that unemployment can increase mortality rates by decreasing use of preventive care, increasing the suicide rate, and increasing the odds people will die from cardiovascular disease, the economists write.

Up till now, the economists write, pandemic economic impact studies have focused on how lockdowns will reduce mortality in the short run, by keeping people from dying in accidents as well as from COVID-19.

Over the long run, however, “the typical unemployment shock results in a statistically significant decline in life expectancy and increase in mortality rates for the overall population,” the economists write. “The effect of the unemployment shock on the growth rate of life expectancy and the death rate reaches its peak in the third year and remains elevated for a long time.”

The COVID-19 unemployment shock is more than three times larger than the typical shock to the unemployment rate, the economists say.

“We estimate that this unprecedented unemployment shock will result in a 3.01% increase in mortality rates and a 0.50% drop in life expectancy over the next 15 years,” the economists warn.

The number of excess deaths caused by pandemic-related unemployment could amount to about 0.25% of the projected U.S. population in 2035, or about 1 in 400 people, and about 0.37% of the projected U.S. population in 2040, or about 1 in 270 people, the economists estimate.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said it’s time to end the lockdowns and the extra pandemic unemployment insurance and get people back to work. “There is overwhelming evidence that Democrats’ heavy-handed lockdowns did more harm than good, in both the short and long-term. Closing schools at the request of teachers’ unions has hurt our children and made it impossible for many working parents to return to work. Now many workers are refusing to return to work, and those that are fortunate enough to work from home are refusing to return to their offices.

“We cannot let Democrats try to turn this sorry state of affairs into the so-called new normal,” Manning added.

We must get on with business because as President Calvin Coolidge once said, ‘The business of America is business.” If we neglect that, we’ll be just another pathetic and impoverished socialist state.

Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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