If every crisis is an opportunity, then right now lawmakers are enjoying the occasion of a lifetime. Until several months ago, the United States had the strongest economy in world history. Those who make political hay by decrying economic disparities and critiquing the “rigged system” were finding their prospects increasingly bleak. But then came the most catastrophic black swan event in history.
Tens of thousands of Americans have died from the novel coronavirus. Thirty-six million Americans are unemployed. Parents are lining up at food banks to feed their families. Presently we sit paralyzed in a pivotal moment in time, with American suffering being weighed against American suffering to adjudicate which course of action hurts least.
On the surface, there are two options: remain locked down indefinitely or partially reopen in measured and reasonable fashion. While partial reopening in states like Georgia and Florida has thus far failed to result in the overwhelming uptick in reported deaths which many critics predicted, there are many unsatisfied cynics who remain steadfast in their rooting for the failure of such plans. But why?
The answer pathologically repeated by these lawmakers and many within the media is that lives are being put at risk unnecessarily. But, firstly, that’s not a decision for politicians and journalists to make. Americans should be determining whether or not they believe the loss of their life savings, jobs, businesses, and the ability to feed their children is worth the minute risk of dying from the virus if they’re young and healthy. And individual circumstances are variables best factored by the people themselves.
If we task most politicians with deciding when it is safe to return to work, we’ll be locked down forever. Politicians are incentivized to avoid making tough decisions because their reelection largely depends upon treading carefully. The easiest possible decision is to remain shut down as long as possible and to impeach the motivations of those opposing you.
Secondly, many of these southern states aren’t experiencing a profuse surge in deaths. Why, then, wouldn’t we be responding appropriately to evidence that a strategy is working? Perhaps there is a more sinister plan underlying the first course of action.
Given the economic strife, what might be the most politically expedient move for motivated lawmakers? Blame the U.S. political and economic systems for the crisis and suggest that we must make (their) radical changes in order to prevent this from ever happening again.
Despite the actions of the communist Chinese government – arresting whistleblower Dr. Lee Wenliang for “spreading rumors” about the disease, withholding invaluable information, lying about its infection and death rates, and propagating falsehoods about the virus having originated in America – the media joined with the World Health Organization in unquestioningly parroting China’s reports, and took it upon themselves to fault our system for your suffering while whitewashing the role of the Chinese regime and the WHO in growing an epidemic into a pandemic.
Next, lawmakers nationwide seized this new opportunity for government growth by enacting severely restrictive, pettily tyrannical and logically incoherent policy. At this point, the people should be asking serious questions: Why are certain businesses being permitted to reopen while their competitors are not? Why are we releasing criminals from prison and jailing small business owners instead? Why are mothers being detained for taking their children to parks?
But the crackdown gets more nefarious. In many states, lawmakers are urging tenants – even those capable of doing so – to refuse to pay their rents, a plan which would certainly destroy the livelihoods of landlords nationwide, driving them out of their home states and leaving renters reliant upon the government for housing. Workers have been encouraged to not return to work until they receive ownership stake in their companies. There are calls for the nationalization of the healthcare system – with proponents suggesting that the pandemic has exposed the grave weaknesses of the U.S. healthcare system, as though rationed care isn’t the norm under their alternative.
These are the proposals of people seeking to perpetuate their radical policy experiments under the guise of “common sense” safety measures. If there is a sinister plan to restructure America, it involves remolding the country into the likeness of the most failed collectivist societies in recent memory, quixotically chasing an ideal which has little regard for individual liberty and prosperity. Taken to its extreme, it involves the government seizing businesses, confiscating earnings and dictating to subjects instead of citizens. Executed only in part, these initiatives would stymie economic recovery, strip Americans of personal freedoms and prevent any return to prosperity.
The longer ambitious political leaders control the business of the public, the more difficult in will become to wrest freedom back for those who rightfully own it.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Heroes Media Group