My wife was particularly cruel to me last weekend. She pulled out about a half dozen old puzzles and wanted the family put them together. This little entertainment was originally for the kids, but soon I was roped into putting them together by myself.

The puzzles were old, and some of them were missing pieces. But they are fun, and a nice distraction during this time of social distancing. But the missing pieces got me thinking. When does a puzzle become useless? Putting them away, my wife marked on the boxes the missing pieces. -2, -4, and so on. The largest was a 100 pieces, and that one, was ironically, complete.

But when does a puzzle become useless? I’ve known people to toss them out if just one piece is missing. Those people? They didn’t have kids. People like me know that a puzzle missing a few pieces is still entertaining, if not a little frustrating.

Our Economy is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with millions of pieces. Some of these pieces are vitally important to make it work, other’s are small pieces that come and go, yet still work to complete the picture. We are always missing pieces of the puzzle. And the amazing thing is someone is always making new ones to fit into the big picture. We have an amazing puzzle here folks. It can shrink, it can grow. That little piece you thought was unimportant? Well it might just surprise you one day.

There are rumblings that we need to get the economy going again. That this long drought is going to cause a depression. Those who oppose this have only one thing to say.

“How many lives are worth getting people back to work?” And you know, it is a seriously good point. And a snappy comeback to boot. Because if you answer the question? Well aren’t you just the cold hearted capitalist. So, the question is loaded, and on purpose, but it is wholly an honest and good question.

If we start things up too early, more people will get sick, and more will die. That? Is a fact. But what if we start too late? The government can’t pay everyone to stay home, no matter what your Socialist Utopian dreams are. And even if the government did pay people to stay home, someone is going to have to make the essential products. Simple things such as Bread, Milk and Eggs. People are going to have to work.

And, using Bread, Milk and Eggs as an example, think about all the little puzzle pieces that go along with getting those essentials to the masses. The machinery that is used to make and or process those three. The trucking to deliver those products to various stores, the shelving and refrigerated units used to keep them fresh. Hundreds, if not thousands of little puzzle pieces that go into those three essentials.

When the time comes during this social distancing and shutdown, that the machinery breaks down, or is worn out, and those companies that manufacture those parts are furloughed, if not closed permanently. How are we going to get the economy running again? Who is make the slicers for bread machines? Or the little screw that fell out? If no one is making refrigerant, and the refrigerators coolant leaks out, how are we going to refill it?

Like it or not, every day we stay idle, a piece of the puzzle is being taken away, chucked into fire and never to be seen again. New pieces to replace the lost ones aren’t allowed, so the piece is gone for good.

As time goes by, and more and more pieces of the puzzle are lost, we start to loose sight of the whole picture. It goes from a cute little kitten picture hanging onto a branch, to a rabid squirrel that has survived a nuclear war. We won’t be able to restart right away, because those small pieces that helped make up the whole picture are gone. And then the question will arise. How do we feed the masses, clothe the masses, move the masses, when we can’t make those items for the masses?

How many lives are worth the economy? I don’t have an answer, honestly, I don’t.

How many lives are going to be lost without an economy? I’m not sure of that either.

How many pieces of a puzzle lost make the puzzle worthless? Well now, that is a good question, isn’t it?

 

 

[Just an opinion piece, nothing to see here, move along, move along.]