A new poll shows that a majority of registered U.S. voters believe that states with stricter embargo policies to contain the spread of the Chinese Communist virus (Wuhan virus, New Crown virus) are doing worse economically than those that remain relatively open.
“Just The News daily and Scott Rasmussen conducted a joint poll on the issue. The results, released Tuesday (March 9), showed that 53 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “states with strict embargoes generally have more economic problems than states with fewer restrictions.” Only 21 percent disagreed.
The outbreak of the Chinese Communist virus has triggered embargoes and restraining orders almost across the United States, though some states are more restrictive than others. Red states like South Dakota, Florida and Texas prefer individuals to have greater freedom to decide. Republican leaders in these states place more emphasis on individual responsibility than on top-down injunctions.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) told Dallas radio host Mark Davis last November, “We’re not going to have more blockades in Texas.” At the Time, a second wave of the outbreak was expected in Texas, with a surge in cases and deaths from the virus. He said, “Our focus will be on treating those who are infected, getting them out of the hospital as quickly as possible and making sure they get back to their normal lives.”
Some blue states, such as Nevada, which relies heavily on tourism, are also reluctant to impose too tight a lockdown because of concerns about economic losses. Nevada’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, for example, has repeatedly stressed that controlling the spread of the virus is largely up to individuals.
He said last November, “Some people will ask, ‘Why not restrict retail, casino resorts or restaurants right now?’ That’s a legitimate question.” He went on to explain, “It’s about trying to strike a balance between controlling the spread of COVID-19 (the Chinese Communist virus) and protecting our hospitals from the surge of disease, without destroying and shutting down our economy.”
Red states have lower unemployment rates
Federal economic data also supports the poll’s findings.
A recent government report shows that the three states with the lowest unemployment rates in 2020 (all with Republican governors) are Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah. And not only are blue states at the lower end of the 2020 unemployment ranking table, but they also have the highest year-over-year unemployment rate growth between December 2019 and December 2020.
One theory is that blue states are also battling potentially higher unemployment rates in the future as they adopt more aggressive blockades to combat this Epidemic. Democratic governors tend to be more willing to impose stricter blockades, restrictions than Republican governors.
In October 2020, researchers from WalletHub, a personal finance website, conducted a study of outbreak closure measures in U.S. states. The report concluded that states with the most embargo regulations tend to have the highest unemployment rates.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (D) recently blamed epidemic-related restrictions for hurting the economy. Noem has opposed the embargo, which is already in place in other parts of the United States.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida on February 27, Noem said of the situation, “The COVID (Chinese Communist Virus) virus did not destroy the economy, the government did.”
Noem is one of a handful of governors who oppose the imposition of strict embargo measures to curb the spread of the virus.
The debate over the effectiveness of the embargo has been largely split along political lines due to the lack of historical precedent or controlled trials to support the argument for a widespread embargo against the epidemic.
Former President Donald Trump (R) has repeatedly accused Democratic governors and mayors of using the lockout to stifle the economic boom fueled by his low-tax, deregulation agenda.
Noem told the convention that South Dakota’s unemployment rate in December 2020 was the lowest in the country and that the state’s economy was booming for the very reason of avoiding the imposition of a deeper embargo.
Yet another reason that may explain why blue states have higher unemployment rates than red states is that blue states are more dependent on service industries, especially those related to tourism, leisure and services. These industries have been hit disproportionately hard by the epidemic.
This may go some way to explaining why Kansas, whose lockdown regulations are roughly comparable to those of other blue states, is doing relatively well. This is because its economy is driven by manufacturing, which contributes about $28 billion in quarterly GDP, compared to about $4 billion in quarterly GDP contribution from the accommodation and Food service, service sector. However, the accommodation and food and beverage, services sector declined to $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020 at the height of the blockade, while the manufacturing sector stayed the same.
On the other hand, Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in December 2019 at 2.1%. However, its unemployment rate was the highest in December 2020 at 10.3%. The arts, entertainment, recreation, lodging and food services sectors, among others, accounted for nearly $9 billion of Hawaii’s 2019 GDP, while manufacturing contributed just $1.7 billion to GDP.