Friday Selections

Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was better than expected. The top line,

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care and social assistance, and in professional and business services. Employment in government declined over the month, mainly in state and local government education.”

Big Companies Are Starting to Swallow the World. Government imposed shutdowns have resulted in an existential threat to the small business world. Bankruptcies and closures are happening in the small business world at an accelerating rate. Big corporations are the beneficiaries with greater access to capital to weather the COVID-19 storm.

From Survival to Revival:How to Help Small Businesses through the COVID-19 Crisis. The Hamilton Project policy paper offers solutions to the small business crisis. The paper’s abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an existential threat to small businesses, with more than 400,000 lost since the crisis began. Many small businesses are financially fragile and not equipped to weather a prolonged period of substantially reduced revenues. Further widespread business failures would destroy jobs and firm-specific capital, and hamstring the recovery. The main existing source of support, the Paycheck Protection Program, has had mixed success, and is not well suited to what now looks to be a prolonged contraction. In its place, we should significantly expand the Employee Retention Credit to help cover small businesses’ payroll costs, and introduce a new Small Business Survival Credit to help cover small businesses’ fixed costs. Looking to the future, we should significantly invest in the capabilities of the IRS so it may better support small businesses in future crises.

The Wisdom of Cato’s Letters. Here’s a taste: “The nature of government does not alter the natural right of men to liberty, which is in all political societies their due.”

Now this is particularly exciting. Nashville’s hot chicken restaurant Hattie B’s is opening first Texas location in Deep Ellum. Over the summer we traveled through Nashville on our way home from a vacation in The Great Smoky Mountains. Neither of us had had hot chicken before, and on a recommendation from a friend we stopped at the original Hattie B’s.

It was definitely a treat, and we made a promise to each other to return to Hattie B’s if our travels brought us back through Nashville. Looks like we’ll have one in our backyard before we make it back to Nashville.