Even before the coronavirus crash, our country was witnessing a phenomenal migration pattern of people leaving overcrowded, overtaxed, politically dysfunctional states for the low-cost and mostly functional Sunbelt and Middle America. Now governors and mayors in those places have a major opportunity to exacerbate that pattern.
Trump has made it clear that he wants the country back open by Easter, and things are probably going to start shifting in that respect sooner rather than later as economic reality checks are now getting cashed.
But you have some policymakers who are trying to pump up The Resistance, insisting that their jurisdictions will remain under lockdown for several more weeks.
I think that’s an idle threat from the standpoint of public finance alone. But there are other reasons why it’s economic suicide.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
Corporate Game Theory in an Age of Pandemic
Consider this: You are the CEO of a major corporation with hefty operations in California, Washington, Illinois, or New York, but you have the ability to do business anywhere else in America that works logistically.
(A) Decide to have your entire workforce hang out at home for potentially months on end and watch Netflix in their pajamas until you inevitably decide to lay them off and your entire company self-destructs in the process
(B) Use your cash and available credit facilities to expand operations in states that have opened back up for business or [gasp] never closed down in the first place? And reap the tax benefits and lower operating costs that go with leaving a Big Blue state.
Oh, man. Tough decision.
This is why the Trump Resistance has been wrong about [checks notes] pretty much everything in the last few years. They hate the man so much they can’t tolerate anything approximating reason. And they will blow their own butts off to take any position opposite the guy, who is usually just being a rational economic actor.