American Democracy's Achilles Heel: A Pandemic

India's lockdown policy took the economy down the toilet to stay

The Belt & Road Today

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A Fact

Subcontinent-Sized Setback

During the pandemic, India has taken the biggest hit of any major world economy. Last quarter India’s economy shrank by a record 23.9%.

Investment decreased by 47% in the quarter, while consumer spending fell by almost 27%. India’s lockdown was among the strictest in the world, shutting down virtually every nonessential part of the economy, yet had little effect on the virus’ spread. Government spending grew by 16% in an attempt to offset the private sector drop but wasn’t enough to overcome the effects of the pandemic.

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A Musing

I don’t think I am alone in wondering: If the United States had done merely an average job of fighting the coronavirus — if the U.S. accounted for the same share of virus deaths as it did global population — how many fewer Americans would have died?

The answer: about 145,000. Which is nearly 80% of the country’s 183,000 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths. - source New York Times, The World Bank and Johns Hopkins University

No other country looks as bad by the measure of total deaths by percentage of global population. The U.S. accounts for 4 percent of the world’s population, and for 22 percent of confirmed Covid-19 deaths. Damning evidence that the Trump administration has done a poorer job of controlling the virus than all of the leading governments around the world.

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The Trump books keep coming out each week, and apparently readers can’t stop buying. Full disclosure: I have purchased and read five of them myself. Two of them I returned for my money back and I found all of them depressing to read. But read them I do, as I believe we are living through a dark period in our collective history and it behooves all of us to gain some insight on how exactly we got to this place.

White House memoirs, journalistic exposés, full-throated defenses of the president: Publishers are producing books for every partisan and wondering if the gravy train ends on Election Day. — New York Times

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