With studies showing that the American economy can expect to reach an unemployment rate of nearly 20%, one can be certain that the economy and the way of life Americans once knew is gone with the wind. The only thing that can be certain in these uncertain times is that dramatic changes are imminent. These changes will be especially seen in the American market and should be just as notable in the U.S.'s relationship with China.
First of all, China should be held responsible for the global economic halt, as coronavirus likely originated from the wet markets of Wuhan. These unsanitary, unregulated markets infamously sell a variety of exotic animals not typically consumed by humans, including cobras and bats, and were responsible for the SARS outbreak.
Many experts have pointed to the wet markets of Wuhan as the source of COVID-19, and China's concealment of the virus also hurt containment efforts; the Communist Party of China even jailed the first doctor who warned people about the virus.
China should face sanctions from nations across the globe for these actions and should face some financial responsibility in assisting the containment and rehabilitation of those infected across the planet.
As far as American markets go, business leaders have two major concerns. First of all, manufacturing can no longer be so dependent on Chinese labor. China is not only notorious for its sweatshops and poor living conditions but is also known to have ridiculous health scares, such as the COVID-19 and SARS.
Additionally, the current global pandemic should be a hard lesson that secondary and tertiary means of outsourced manufacturing across different parts of the globe should be established. Not only would this allow for continued business in the face of a localized crisis, but it would strengthen the economy and living conditions of manufacturing countries such as Mexico.
Business leaders should also be seriously concerned about the government-induced halt on business and the government’s encroachment on the American lifestyle. With New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell creating a mandatory lockdown, and entire states such as California enacting similar measures, the government is forcibly preventing the economy from moving.
Meanwhile the government, both locally and nationally, will likely try to pump money into banks to prevent the banks from foreclosing on the loans people can no longer pay, as they are forced to stay home by law. Even more concerning, it can be expected that local business across a myriad of services will likely go bankrupt, as their workforce is required to stay home.
This is a worrying overreach of the government, and for those companies that survive the mandated quarantines, it will be a fight to get government to loosen its grip on the free market again. Of course, this is assuming that people will comply with their government for much longer, as people can only watch their bank accounts drip dry for so long.
The sad truth is that these are hard times and will likely not be comfortable for a lot of people. The markets will change dramatically and so will the U.S. The greatest comfort in these times is that America has endured harder times, and Americans have always risen to the occasion and fought through the conflict.
The modern American is well-connected with their neighbors through the internet, food supply lines are still strong, and there is hope that the virus will die down in the summer. This virus is strong, but Americans are stronger. Let us all have faith. While this fight will not be easy, it is far from impossible.
Brett Landry is a 21-year-old political communication senior from Bayou Petit Caillou, Louisiana.