Thoughts On A Sunday

It looks like most of us have survived yet another week in Coronavirus America.

I have been doing my best to get things back to normal, securing the boat slip I have been using for the past 15+ years for yet another boating season and requesting the boatyard where the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout - aka ‘The Boat’ - is stored and serviced to be pulled out of winter storage and prepared for launching. If all goes well The Boat will be back at its slip in two weeks and we’ll be enjoying our version of social distancing.

Another bit of normalcy that has reappeared is the opening of one of our favorite seasonal restaurants this weekend. Considering a majority of its business is takeout (it does have a small dining room), it shouldn’t be affected by the effects (or aftereffects) of the pandemic unless the summer tourist season is a bust. Time will tell.


It looks like I was prescient when it came to possible changes in office work due to the coronavirus.

It now appears that others are looking at the same thing and may be coming up with similar conclusions...or not.

Cubicle culture has gone dark. Open floor plans stand empty.

Offices around the world are shut during the pandemic, making work from home the new normal for millions of white-collar employees.

In the United States, remote work is still being encouraged under guidelines outlined by the federal government.

But in webinars and conference calls, business leaders and management strategists are discussing what steps must be taken to bring workers back to America's offices.


Companies will need to adapt significantly...to make "employees confident that coming to work is something that they can and should do and feel safe about."


Why should workers able to do their jobs remotely return to the office if they could be asymptomatic carriers?

The piece goes on to answer questions businesses need to ask themselves, and mentions in passing that the drive to bring workers back into their offices may be hampered by the freedom experienced by workers who were required to work from home due to the various Covid-19 restrictions. It may behoove those businesses to take a closer look at allowing their workers the option of working from home on a more long term, if not permanent basis.

It will be interesting to see how many businesses will see this as an opportunity.


Our comrades over at The People’s Cube are asking the right question, that being “Are you enjoying your ‘test drive’ of Socialist America?”

Are you enjoying your first taste of socialism? Life in America today is a sneak preview of life in Cuba or Venezuela. Democrats love it. This is the future they plan for you. The current economic catastrophe is exactly what America will look like if we institute “the Green New Deal.”

The goal is to defeat “climate change” by killing your job, taking your cars away, closing your business and turning America into Cuba, or Venezuela.

Of course the Democrat elite won’t be required to subject themselves to such restrictions. It will only apply to we Deplorables and the Democrat cannon fodder.


Should states and cities be allowed to go bankrupt? That’s a question that has two answers, at least in my opinion.

Yes, but only if it’s a one-time thing and with certain conditions laid upon the state or city.

No, because if states and cities are allowed to declare bankruptcy they will be less likely to be fiscally prudent knowing they can wipe away any debt when it gets too big.

In the private sector, individuals and companies go bankrupt and start anew. In bankruptcy, the owners and debtors are the major financial victims. However, pensions can also be materially impacted. Those pension plans that are defined contribution plans are generally unimpacted.


Cities can and do bankrupt under current law. Cities generally have bondholders and creditors who are impacted, often severely, by bankruptcy. Generally, cities have neither defined contribution plans nor any federal protection from the PBGC. Cities have partially unfunded pension plans. A municipal bankruptcy can lead to general creditors, bondholders and pension recipients all taking financial haircuts as the result of bankruptcy.


States cannot go bankrupt. But why not? Should not the states that have been managed the most poorly be able to right themselves through bankruptcy? Bondholders and employees had ample knowledge of the financial situations of these states. Federal judges should be tasked with the responsibility of approving such plans and determine the impacts to both bondholders and pension recipients. This is what happens everywhere else; why not states?

If a state goes bankrupt it leaves everyone else in the country on the hook. That’s irresponsible. (That the federal government is broke is even more so.) If a state goes bankrupt because of poor fiscal planning and policy by the state government (and specifically its elected officials – the governor and members of the state legislature), filing for bankruptcy should trigger a number of events not normally seen in a bankruptcy. Some suggestions (not inclusive):

The governor, lieutenant governor (if the state has one), and all members of the state legislature will be required to step down.

The state will have a receiver assigned by the bankruptcy court to handle the day to day operations and all financial matters.

The state will revert to territory status and a new governor will be assigned by the federal government. Once its financial house is back in order, it can apply for statehood.

If a large state, it may be broken up into two or more smaller states/territories. (It would certainly help residents in states like California, Illinois, and New York, where large urban areas dominate the politics and fiscal policies of the entire state to the detriment of the smaller urban, suburban, and rural areas.)

All expenditures, taxes, and fees would come under review for reaffirmation, modification, or elimination.

I can probably come up with another dozen or so, but these might be a good starting place.


Today it’s been the proverbial “calm before the storm”.

The weather has been pretty nice through the morning and a good portion of the afternoon, with temps in the 50’s. But we’ve got a Nor’easter coming that is likely to dump 4 to 8 inches of snow here in central New Hampshire and maybe as much as a foot of snow farther north in the White Mountains . It is expected to start some time late this evening.

It’s ironic that the only Nor’easter we’re experiencing that will be dumping snow is in late April. We usually see them starting in late fall, through winter, and early spring (March), but there hasn’t been a single Nor’easter all winter which explains our below normal snowfall.

It’s ironic considering I expect my boat will be put into the water in two weeks.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where snow is on its way, boats are on the lake, and where we’re deathly sick of being cooped up because of coronavirus.