THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Cascading impacts of an epidemic

On an average day in America, over 38 Million people will buy a cup of coffee at a Starbucks franchise. That's about 10% of the US population. Starbucks stores are mostly owned by private Franchisees, small business owners operating a store they own but under license from Starbucks corporate. The average Starbucks Franchise operates on a 5-7% margin, meaning the operating costs of supplies, electricity, employee salaries, taxes, etc leave the business owner with a net profit of around 5-7% every month after all costs are deducted from all sales. Said another way, out of the typical month, the average Starbucks franchise only makes a profit based on about 2 days worth of operations each month...28 other days every month, all sales go to cover costs of operating a franchise.

Now, imagine you receive an email from your HR Manager or maybe the CEO at work. Due to the risk of Coronavirus, all employees are being asked to work from home for the next two weeks at least, effective immediately. You have your laptop, the internet stays up, and you already made your Costco run for canned goods, beans, rice and plenty of toilet paper. You're set. The Kids are going to stay home from school, you update your Netflix and Disney Plus subscriptions, and prepare yourself mentally for a 2 week "Bug In" semi-quarantine at home. Local governments ask residents to stay put and stay off the streets as much as possible to avoid inadvertently spreading COVID-19. As a responsible American, you plan on doing precisely as asked.

Back at the Starbucks, foot traffic grinds to a halt. In local businesses that are heavily dependent on daily cash sales, a rapid and sudden decline in sales has dramatic consequences. Operating costs of a store don't decline with the drop in foot traffic. It costs the same amount to run your daily business when the store is busy as it does when the store is empty. Employee salaries, electricity to keep the lights on, rent and insurance, license fees to Starbucks corporate, costs to brew coffee and bake muffins all remain the same, whether you have 1000 customers or 10 customers. And with only 2 days per month actually driving the profit of any given store, a two-week period with virtually no foot traffic is devastating.

And with only 2 days per month actually driving the profit of any given store, a two-week period with virtually no foot traffic is devastating.

The store owner does what they have to do. They start cutting back hours and shifts for employees, perhaps even laying workers off and moving to 'skeleton crews'. The loss of work for hourly employees means those workers may not be able to pay rent, or may not be able to make student loan payments or car payments, can't make credit card payments. Without ongoing sales coming in, the store owner has to dip into savings to cover expenses, selling stocks or bonds to raise cash to try to stay afloat.
Think of all the other things that you don't spend money on during your bug-in at home. No trips to the movie theater, who also have the same operating costs whether or not the theater is full. They still have to pay salaries, still have to pay licensing for showing films, whether there are 5 people in the auditorium or 500. While quarantined at home, you aren't stopping for gasoline, aren't buying that Mountain Dew fountain drink that is your guilty pleasure on Saturday morning while driving your kids to Soccer.
More than 6 million small businesses in America are heavily reliant on the daily foot traffic of customers walking into their store and making cash purchases. While online orders via Amazon might have an uptick if tens of millions of Americans are forced to "Bug In" and some restaurants might see orders via food-delivery apps stay steady, there are millions of businesses, from laundromats to theaters to bars to Starbucks stores that rely on classic consumerism to stay afloat.

This is the potential catastrophic butterfly effect of an epidemic like COVID-19. A massive change in consumer behavior can have an outsized effect on certain parts of the economy that rely on regular, steady income via cash sales at retail locations. 6 Million businesses in America, representing over 78 Million employees fall into this category, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. If America is forced to 'shut down' and self-isolate at home, while some spending may shift ONLINE, the direct economic impact to small-business America could be extremely damaging and have lasting effects. Most small businesses in America have less than 45 days operating capital at any given time. A multi-week disruption to in-store sales can have severe, cascading effects, leading to layoffs, losses in wages. Stores close. Higher unemployment.

For many businesses in America, the economic-contagion may be far worse than the virus itself.

We're barely starting to feel the effects of COVID-19. For many businesses in America, the economic-contagion may be far worse than the virus itself. Amazon and Netflix will probably be fine. There may be some pain on Wall-Street today but the pain on Main Street could end up being far worse. If what we're seeing in Korea, China, Japan, Italy and even in Seattle are any indicators, this type of localized shut down of foot traffic due to COVID-19 is exactly what America is going to have to endure.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

And it's never been more important. Join us live from the Standing Rock Ranch on Blaze TV, YouTube and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday July, 2nd and restore the hope in you.

Make sure you join us and use the hashtag and spread the word, fight the mob today and you'll save $20 on your year of subscription. We need you now more than ever.

RESTORING HOPE: Join Glenn live from Standing Rock Ranch to restore the American covenant youtu.be

On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.