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COVID-America: 73,400 Dead; 33 Million Jobless; Stocks Soaring

It’s not a huge surprise that the string of huge spikes in jobless claims continues. In the last week 3.169 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time (slightly worse than the 3.00 million expected).

That brings the seven-week total to 33.48 million, which is over 12 times the prior worst five-week period in the last 50-plus years.

And of course, last week’s “initial” claims and this week’s “continuing” claims… the highest level of continuing claims ever

Breaking down the jobless claims by state shows some odd aberrations with a major drop in Florida as Maryland, Oklahoma, and new Jersey lead the rise…

And as we noted previously, what is most disturbing is that in the last seven weeks, far more Americans have filed for unemployment than jobs gained during the last decade since the end of the Great Recession… (22.13 million gained in a decade, 33.48 million lost in 7 weeks)

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be hurt even more due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

As Mises’ Robert Aro noted earlier in the week, the stimulus packages being handed out across this world provide us with an opportunity to document the anticapitalist process as it unfolds in real time, keeping in mind that when these inflation schemes fail, it will likely be blamed on capitalism.

The combination of increasing the money supply in order to pay people not to produce goods or services has consequences that not a lot of people are talking about.

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