Monthly Archives: April 2020
My Roundtable with the City Officials
I attended the roundtable discussion with the city officials Tuesday with about thirty people and told them that the greatest risk to business right now was government, not the virus. They were dead silent on that one and not one of them smiled when I said it. I told them that I wish they had adopted a more Swedish model by keeping the economy open. That was hard for them to choke down. I continued on and one of the officials interrupted me saying she needed to respond to my comments. She said that it was not the City of Palo Alto who shut everything down, it came from the County and the State. She asked what suggestions I had for the City to support business? I said well you have better connections to the county and the State. I added just don’t shut us down. A thousand dollar handout isn’t going to keep me alive. You need to restore confidence and let people feel like they can go out again. Let the kids go back to school, let people enjoy the open space, let people go out and don’t shut us down.
At another point one of the staff asked me what my business would like like going forward, and I said I don’t know, because I don’t know what the government is going to do. What if there is a resurgence [of the virus]? Are you gonna shut us down again? These people do not understand that the lack of stability does not allow anyone to make any long-term investing decisions.
I think I like what Elon Musk on his earning’s call, … if only he could start a media company too. “This is the time to think about the future, and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights as what is happening right now?” Musk said.
“I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry. It’s like somebody should be, if somebody wants to stay in the house that’s great, they should be allowed to stay in the house and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”
At another point on the call, he said, “So the expansion of the shelter in place or as we call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all their constitutional rights, is my opinion, and breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America or built this country, excuse me. It’s outrage, it’s an outrage. It will cause loss, great, great harm, but not just to Tesla, but any company. And while people will weather the storm there are many small companies that will not,” he said.
I am not sure the government will listen. I do not think they see themselves as the risk.
Protected: Market thoughts
If you had the chance to talk with your city officials what would you say?
I got a call this afternoon from the City of Palo Alto Manager Ed Shikata to participate in a business round-table discussion with our city officials. Apparently this is by invite. They want to know what we are going through as small-business owners and how the city can support us. At first I thought…I do not want them to know I am still operating my business and then shut me down. I know residents have complained about some businesses who continue to operate and have had police visit them asking them to limit operations as a result.
But my husband convinced me that if I participated, the city likely would not shut me down. And I thought, well, ok, then if I participate, what suggestions do I have? Do I ask them to suspend utility costs? But the city needs that money to offer basic water, electricity, and sewage services that I need, so I am fine to pay that. What about taxes? There are little to no taxes. Monetarily, there is not much the city can give to businesses…so then what would be the point of participating? At least to listen in on what other businesses had to say.
Then I realized that the most important thing that the city can do to support businesses is to adopt the Swedish model of allowing people to continue to go to schools, to the parks, to the open space preserves. Instill a sense of confidence in the economy and self-responsibility. And if we were to have a resurge of the virus have some due process and discussion and debate before taking any actions. And limit your actions to recommendations only, not by law.
And do not require a vaccine to go back to work or to school – that would be just really bad. Sweden could see herd immunity in just a few weeks, way sooner than the rest of the world, without a vaccine. How brilliant is that? https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/22/no-lockdown-in-sweden-but-stockholm-could-see-herd-immunity-in-weeks.html
The entire American lockdown agenda was to favor the vaccine/pharmaceutical industry. Fauci has billions to profit from keeping people in fear and in lockdown until his vaccine becomes available. The news agencies reap hundreds of millions or more in profit from Big Pharma ads. They have no incentive to question the lockdown as it profits them too The agenda for the lock down is not the weather or climate change, it is Big Pharma, and specifically Big Pharma that manufacture VACCINES. That includes Bill Gates. It does not matter that there are other effective drugs out there. They want to push the vaccine. Gates does not want herd immunity, Gates came out and said it himself that he does not want the public to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine, which is why Sweden was severely criticized for not locking down because they will achieve herd immunity without a vaccine, thus there are no profits to be had for Big Pharma in Sweden. Thus the harsh criticism. This is not about global cooling or warming. This is about the money for big pharma, and the ad money for the news agencies.
Do not underestimate how ruthless Big Pharma is. They have killed doctors under the guise of “suicide”, killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of adults and children all over the world, buried countless effective non-patentable cures for disease, and they have control over the media and government. Just look at the legal immunity they got from the courts and the legislature – total immunity from lawsuits. If you do not think they are behind this lockdown. Think again. They believe they can get away with it as they have before, and are about to again. We are just cattle to them.
Additionally, do not shut the economy down. We are not cattle! The biggest threat to the economy is government. Not the virus. The most important and beneficial thing city officials can do is allow people to continue to work for those who wish to continue to work. Let businesses figure out the safety issues on their own. You can make recommendations but don’t make a misdemeanor.
Lastly, do make distinctions as to what is essential and what is not. How can the city and state arbitrarily decide that those who sell alcohol is a “necessity” but going to church and congregating, or getting your lawn mowed is not? That’s just discriminatory.
The wealth of a nation is the productive capacity of its people. Do not make it illegal to produce and work, regardless of the reason because you destroy wealth. Destroying the productive capacity of people to work, thereby destroying wealth, puts more people at risk of illness, physical and mental injury, and death. There are some people who do not want to do business, or for that matter live if this is how the world looks. Government interference then becomes a real liability that you have to now consider with regard to future operations as to whether to continue or to start a new business. You end up making yourself poorer too.
If you can instill confidence that the government will do its best to ensure businesses can continue to operate, despite a pandemic, or a resurgence, you will instill a greater sense of confidence in doing business here in Palo Alto.
The lockdown in California has severely disrupted the supply chain of flowers. It is very difficult to get premium, high-end flowers, and wider variety of flowers at the prices I was used to prior to the lockdown. A lot of growers have furloughed their workers due to lack of demand. I have seen a drop in order volume as well and have switched to delivery service only. I had a number of event cancellations and refund requests, and wedding flower inquiries have dropped 98%. Hardly anyone is looking for wedding flowers these days. And my wholesale cost of flowers has increased.