The Coming Economic Disaster?

Bill Neinast

So, what’s up Doc?  That is a good question.  What is going on?

According to the 24 hour news there is something called a pandemic gripping the world.  The only thing new on the daily news is the change in statistics.  The constant repeat of those statistics eclipses anything else that may have happened or is happening.

Getting snippets of anything else that is happening requires constant watching of the news channels.  Anyone hooked on ABC, NBC, FOX, or some other news network may have caught that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are no longer duking it out.

Sanders has caved, but is still holding on to his delegates.  That tactic may remind you of the saying that when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Nonetheless Biden is now called the “presumptive Democrat nominee for President.”

Why presumptive?  Does that mean the Democrat National Committee may have a trick or two up its sleeve?  Is the DNC going to broker the convention in August and maneuver the delegates to nominate someone more to its liking?  Someone like Queen Hillary, maybe.

Currently, Biden is remembering that if and when he is officially the nominee, he will have to pick a running mate for Vice President.  If that comes to pass, the two front runners will be Queen Hillary and Kamala Harris, with Harris leading by a nose.

Now look on the bright side.  The news being dominated by the pandemic crisis has eliminated political debates and political ads.  Be thankful for not having programs interrupted every five minutes for repeats of one or two minute ads for some candidate.

Concentrate on or tolerate the news long enough, and you might get a glimmer of the severe economic depression wreaking the oil and gas industry.  The drilling rigs in the Permian Basin and other places like here in Washington County are laid down.  Some producing wells are even being shut down.

My son who works for an oil field service company in the Permian Basis believes this could be like the 1980s when 50% of the oil field work force was laid off. That oil  field depression lasted 20 years. 

Currently, there are some predictions that drilling and production may resume around December, but my son  believes that is overly optimistic.

This is, however, good news for some.  Gasoline prices are tumbling and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her bevy of Green Deal advocates are singing in the rain with joy.

The delight over the falling gasoline prices eliminates any concern about its effect on unemployment.  There are now more than 16 million Americans applying for unemployment assistance.  How much and how fast will those unemployment rolls grow as the oil and gas industry shuts down?


How long will it be before oil rigs are erected to start drilling again?  The one sure answer is that it will take a lot longer to resurrect that industry than it will take to reopen restaurants and other “nonessential” businesses.

Finally, did you know there was another rocket attack on a facility housing Americans in Iraq last week?  Fortunately, there were no deaths or serious injuries, but the world is continuing to turn in spite of COVID-19.

So here’s the perspective.

We can see nothing on the national news except pandemic, Coronavirus, and COVID-19.  We definitely have not seen anything about what is on the horizon.

When all of the shelter in place and similar restrictions are eliminated, the news coverage of the resulting economic disaster will make the coverage of the pandemic look like a tiny blip on the screen.

Rent, mortgage payments, car notes, credit card bills, utility bills, and many more recurring debts will still be due with interest on unpaid amounts.  Where will those without any special qualifications or skills find income?

Are we in for a rewrite of “The Grapes of Wrath?”



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