In an ecosystem, the removal of a single animal or organism, through extinction or any other means, can lead to the collapse of that entire environment.
Let’s pretend we are biologists who are tasked by the federal government to go into Yosemite National Park and remove just one animal that is not essential.
We do some research and find some animal we’ve never heard of before – the Pika. It’s a cousin to the rabbit. Couldn’t be that important, right? Definitely not essential.
Well by studying the image here, we’ll notice there are many animals that feed off of the Pika. The ring-tailed lemur, the western whiptail, ravens, black tipped jackrabbits, and pine Martens are some of them.
When we remove the Pika, we notice that the Pine Martens are not getting enough food from the normal sources. They are fine though. Instead of eating the Pika, they can just eat more of the Pacific tree frogs. But they are overeating them… and eventually they become extinct!
So then we see the Ringtail has only one source of food left, the Douglas’s squirrel. Oh, and the Pine Martens are eating more of them too! So it’s a competition between the two of them.
The Ringtail wins the fight but the Pine Martens are hurting even more sine they are left to only one source of food now. The populations of both of these animals begin to decline sharply, greatly troubling the coyotes and mountain lions. In fact, all of the Tertiary consumers are in trouble!
Mule deer are being killed off too quickly by the coyotes and mountain lions, and they will soon be facing extinction.
Pretty soon every animal in the food chain is in great danger. The ecosystem WILL collapse.
All because we removed one single “unessential” animal. The economy is no different.
An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
Likewise, an economy is a financial community of interacting businesses in a geographic location.
Now more than ever, all the local and national economies are intrecantly woven together into one massive global economy.
The United States is the largest and most important economy in the world. If America sneezes, the world shakes.
In an ecosystem, the smaller animals and organisms feed the larger ones. In an economy, the opposite is true. Money and exports from America go out to the entire world.
Even just our charitable giving is massively needed to help people in areas around the world.
So when the federal government shuts down entire industries, the world is on the brink of collapse.
Saying the federal government will bail out a particular group or industry is like saying that we will throw in a few more Ringtails in the ecosystem. It doesn’t fix the problem and it isn’t a sustainable plan. You can’t do that forever.
Tyson chicken, for example, has been forced to shut down several factories because the government response to COVID-19. They are now warning of upcoming shortages and massive disruptions in our own food chain.
Farmers across America and the whole world are being forced to throw out crops that their normal restaurant customers can’t purchase. Others, because of an inability to use any hired labor, are not able to plant and will not have a harvest this season. We may not notice it now, but this will be felt later.
It is not just a matter of American’s having less options at the grocery store. 10’s of millions are projected to die in poorer countries around the world because of the shortages we have here.
If the shutdown is prolonged, the death toll could be hundreds of millions around the globe… not from COVID-19, but from our government’s response to it.
Now if we were facing a virus that kills 40% of those who contract it, then this might be a reasonable thing to do.
But it’s definitely not.
The death rate is well under 1% when all cases are defined. Many studies are showing that locations have as much as 30% or more of their local populations that have already had the virus. That can be 10 or 20 times more than the number of cases they have reported.
And the way the deaths are being reported adds to the scare. Anyone with COVID-19 in their body at the time of death is reported as a COVID death.
There are countless cases of families who are appalled to see their loved one’s life being used as a statistic for something that had nothing to do with their death.
Pennsylvania had to remove 200 deaths recently. They gave many excuses including technical issues, lengthy investigations, and the addition of “probable” deaths.
This is not a new phenomenon. Even in March a man died from a head injury during a fall in his home. A quick search will show you too many examples of this to count.
But even with the inflated number of deaths and 10-20 times underreporting of the number of cases, there is no justification for the damage we are doing. Especially when the there is a known group of vulnerable people that can be isolated and protected, which would leave very little risk at all to the rest of us.
Just shutting down one small part of the economy causes severe problems throughout.
There is no unessential worker.
There is no unessential job.
There is no unessential industry.
Remember the Pika. Let’s get back to work.