Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here's How to Save Them. And Us.

"Coming?" It is VERY MUCH NIGH.

If we really want to stem the spread of the coronavirus as winter looms and we wait for a vaccine, the government should pay bars, many restaurants and event venues to close for some months.

That may sound radical, but it makes scientific sense and even has a political precedent. We pay farmers not to cultivate some fields (in theory, at least, to protect the environment), so why not pay bars that cannot operate safely to shut down (to protect public health)? [...]

Back when we knew little about the novel coronavirus, the government responded with a hammer. The Paycheck Protection Program treated all small businesses equally, providing them with loans to shut down so long as they paid their employees. Now we can use more delicate instruments. [...]

Some states have allowed restaurants to open indoors at 25 percent or 50 percent capacity [but] "No bar or restaurant can make it at that capacity -- on the best days in normal years, our profit margin is 10 percent."

Bars and other venues that depend on drinks are not essential services. We want them to survive so that in the future we can enjoy them. So why not pay owners who cannot keep their businesses afloat safely during the pandemic an average of their normal monthly income to shut down for some months? They would keep paying their employees and help break the chain of coronavirus transmission.

Previously, previously, previously.

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6 Responses:

  1. Marcos Dione says:

    * are not essential services. We want them to survive so that in the future we can use them. So why not pay owners who cannot keep their businesses afloat safely during the pandemic an average of their normal monthly income to shut down for some months? They would keep paying their employees and help break the chain of coronavirus transmission.

    It's a shame it doesn't mention keeping the employees alive as part of the reasons, instead of a nice byproduct.

  2. Tinus says:

    The truth is if Biden wins he’ll follow the scientists advice, like most of the western world has done, and you’ll endure many more months of lockdowns. Because that’s the scientists advice.

    Who knows, perhaps he’ll chip in and support you financially. But probably not.

    • jorm says:

      lOcKDoWnS foREver tRumP hAS a pLAn

    • Marko says:

      That is a vast oversimplification. First of all, because “lockdown” is not a clear concept. E.g. if you compare the measures in Spain, Germany and New Zealand, they were quite different. So what do you think people should prepare themselves to “endure”?

      And the time span also varied a lot from country to country. And over the summer many countries lifted many restrictions, moving more towards the proposed “hammer and dance” concepts by which they now again do again impose some restrictions but usually not exactly the same as earlier this year (so, even within a single country over time there is no singular concept of a “lockdown”).

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