A Statewide Shelter-In-Place Would Benefit Texas Economy By Billions Of Dollars

Gene Naumovsky

As politicians question the reopening of the economy, many forget the cost of human life.

While politicians debate over the necessity of quarantine restrictions, predictive data and economic analysis shows how social distancing and shelter-in-place policies can provide economic benefit, according to The Dallas Morning News. As the conversation around economic shutdown begins to question “the economic cost to individuals,” as Trump adviser Larry Kudlow put it, it’s important to consider life as part of the economy.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, predicts a 50 percent drop in second-quarter GDP, a much higher fall than the 5% drop during the Great Recession.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says the value of a statistical life is $9.5 million. Using CovidActNow, The Dallas Morning News measured the economic benefits of enforced shelter-in-place for Texas to be from $938 billion to $4 trillion. The expected cost, including the federal COVID-19 stimulus bill and state unemployment benefits, would be between $461 billion and $828 billion. Always producing net benefit, in best-case scenarios up to $3.6 trillion, there is no reason to not implement a statewide shelter in place order. Any politicians claiming that the economy must be put first are in fact ignoring one of its most valuable components: human life.

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