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Politics win again

Many sectors of the U.S. economy continue a slow but steady recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown.

By the end of September, the unemployment rate had dropped to 7.9%, down from 8.4% in August.

But as we and many others have warned, some businesses — and their employees — are struggling.

In addition, a significant number of companies failed to weather the coronavirus storm.

They have closed their doors forever.

In the news recently have been airlines. Passenger count is everything for them. With it down drastically, most carriers are struggling.

Allowing them to go down would be an economic disaster — affecting first smaller airports, including our nearby Williamsport Regional Airport at Montoursville.

We’re heartened that, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has loosed restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The governor’s new limits employ a sliding scale, linked to the size of the crowd, to determine capacity.

The rules, which go into effect today, replace limits of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors, allowing much larger crowds at a range of events, including school sports.

For indoor events where the venue can hold up to 2,000 people, the limit will be 20% of the maximum capacity. For larger venues — with capacities up to 10,000 — that percentage is lowered to 15%. For the largest sites, holding more than 10,000, the limit is 10% of capacity. No venue will be allowed to hold more than 3,750 people.

Outdoor events use the same three categories, allowing up to 25% for sites that can hold up to 2,000 people, up to 20% of capacity for 2,001-10,000 venues and 15% with a cap of 7,500 where more than 10,000 people would otherwise be able to fit.

Capacity is determined by a venue’s established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association’s life safety code.

The limits have really impacted restaurants, bars, social clubs and entertainment venues.

Restaurants, social clubs, bars and entertainment venues have been affected by the double-whammy of fewer potential customers due to restrictions on the number they are permitted to serve or allow.

The easing may help, but they also may not be enough for some businesses to sustain themselves.

And COVID-19 is likely far from finished with the U.S. economy and with millions of men and women who have never asked for handouts in their lives.

They just want to work.

Nearly $3 trillion in federal aid linked to the epidemic has helped some people and their employers survive — but in many programs, the cupboard is bare of money to provide the aid many still need.

It’s very disheartening to hear that our fearless federal leaders can’t agree on continued help.

Compromise?

They apparently don’t know the meaning of the word.

But then again, we’re not surpised considering the toxic, acrid political atmosphere embroiling our country.

Who suffers?

“We the Powerless People.”

Politics are winning again … as usual.

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