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.

Speaking before signing the “PACT Act of 2022” on Wednesday morning, President Joe Biden claimed that his wonderful economic plan "is working" and that somehow July’s annual inflation rate of 8.5% was actually “zero.”

“I just want to say a number: zero. Today we received news that our economy had 0% inflation in the month of July,” Biden said during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dutifully echoed the president's not-at-all misleading claim:

The truth of the matter is that last month's inflation rate of 8.5% was a (small) step in the right direction, but only because it was lower than June's 41-year high of 9.1% — and the thing is, anyone who's graduated kindergarten knows it.

So, who do White House personnel think they're fooling? On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck and producer Stu Burguiere broke down how the Biden administration came to this latest disingenuous conclusion about the economy, what the latest consumer price index actually shows, and why the inevitable Biden brag-fest will be unbearable.

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Glenn Beck: This is the ONLY endgame that makes sense for the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

(Left) Photo by James Devaney/GC Images (Right) Video screenshot

If you're celebrating this FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, you have no idea how much this changes things. We don't do this in America. At least, we didn't. But the left cannot have Donald Trump be president again. His "America First" platform goes against everything they've been working for. So, what's their endgame here? On the radio program, Glenn Beck said there's really only one endgame that makes sense — and it should scare us all.

"If you are not for the destruction of America, you better pay attention quickly. This is a massive move," Glenn said of the Mar-a-Lago raid.

"Who has credibility on this? ... The right will believe Donald Trump, but nobody on the left, so you're not going to change any minds there. Do you think the right will believe the New York Times? MSNBC? NBC? CBS? Do you think we're going to believe the New York Times — the people who have been carrying water for the Biden crimes? The Clinton crimes? And ... I'm talking about her server and having her own State Department people go into a skiff, which is the top secret room, completely sealed off, going in and getting documents, cutting off 'top secret,' and then emailing them to her on her private server. And nothing? And now you're going to try to convince me [that] this has nothing to do with January 6?" he added.

"Remember the [allegations about] bank servers, [Trump] was pinging a bank? Untrue. Carter Page is a Russian spy? Untrue. Donald Trump is a Russian spy? ... Untrue. Collusion with Russia? Untrue. Ukraine, the perfect phone call? Not true. Not true. Wasn't a perfect phone call. Was not impeachable. The pee tape dossier? None of that was true. Here's why they can't have [Trump] as president of the United States. They can't have him as president of the United States because we are headed towards a completely new, all redesigned, non-capitalist, nonconstitutional Great Reset," Glenn argued. "They cannot have him be president because he is America first."

Glenn warned Americans that our federal government is accumulating massive power, case in point the 87,000 new IRS agents. "Coupled with the [IRS agents] they already have ... that's almost the size of our National Guard. Do you feel comfortable with that? Democrats? You don't think there's a possibility ... that someone ... might come in at some point and weaponize the IRS?"

He also warned that the FBI's raid on Donald Trump’s home has implications that stretch far beyond simple dislike for the former president. So what are they hoping to accomplish?

"What is the endgame? You make him into a martyr by throwing him into jail or killing him ... so you make him stronger. That doesn't make sense, why would they want that?" Glenn asked. "So, what is their endgame? The only one that makes sense to me, is to stop him at any cost, then lunatics will take to the streets, and then [the Democrats] will have evidence that the [right is] more dangerous than anyone could possibly imagine. Please, pray for your country."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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In just the past few days, the Senate passed an unprecedented $740 billion spending bill amid an inflation crisis, we found out that the IRS purchased nearly $700,000 worth of guns and ammo ahead of plans to hire 87,000 new "enforcement" agents, and on Monday the FBI raided the home of a former U.S. president. It's pretty safe to say that there's a whole lot going on in this country that we've never seen before, and conservatives had "better wake up," said Glenn Beck on "The Glenn Beck Program."

"This is the beginning of an entirely new kind of America. And when it is all implemented, look out! The only other thing that I think [Democrats] could do to really polish us off is [use] emergency orders. If [President Joe Biden] goes for emergency orders and declares a national emergency over the weather, we're going to be cooked," Glenn said.

Glenn went on to explain why he believes a new "season" is on the horizon for our nation, but it’s not all bad news. He said he's hopeful for a new class of politicians to enter Washington, D.C., and, while no politician is perfect, a few such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can still surprise us.

DeSantis always seems to be ahead of the curve on hot-button issues, and he tackles them the legal way without abusing his power. Just look at how much the media is trying to paint him as evil. That’s a telltale sign that "he’s on the right track, at the right speed. And he's taking all of it on," Glenn said.

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.


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.