As the Economy Crashes, Reopening Push Builds

Protesters want to reopen ohio
Protesters march to reopen Ohio. Photo by Paul Becker.

Now that we’re seeing some real data about the economic damage created by the stay home orders and business shutdowns, we can finally get an idea of exactly how underwater we are, and how much faster we’re sinking.  Here are some numbers:

How much economic damage can the country withstand before it goes under? 

Of the 36.5 million jobs that have been lost as a result of the coronavirus, about 40 percent are those making less than $40,000.  This is expected to result in an increase of up to 45 percent in the homeless population.  According to the FED, “lower-income Americans, as well as black and Hispanic people, are bearing the brunt of the outbreak’s financial fallout.”

It surprises me that it is largely states with democratic governors who refuse to reopen.  I guess they aren’t as supportive of the low income worker and minorities as they would have us believe.

Reopening is About Rights, not Illness

We have supported a reopening plan in which the elderly and older populations are protected, people who want to stay home and self-isolate are allowed to do so, and anyone who wants to go out and mingle with the great unwashed population is free to do so. In short, we want the elderly to be protected, but not at the expense of restricting everyone else’s behavior.  Let’s quarantine the sick, protect our vulnerable populations, and let the healthy go back to their lives.

Now Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, a fox news analyst and former judge on the Superior Court of New Jersey, has written a post on why he thinks the shutdown orders are unconstitutional.  I recommend you read it.  My thoughts after reading it are as follows:

The argument between people who protest governors’ executive orders shutting down states and preventing business from reopening are not arguments about the coronavirus; they are arguments about our rights, whcih is way the rallying cry of the protesters is that these orders are unconstitutional. 

Regardless of how you feel about the safety of leaving your home and getting your hair cut or going to a restaurant, you should support the protesters because they are reminding politicians of several important facts, which the Judge points out.

I’m point out some different faces: Namely, that Americans are a forgiving lot and will tolerate much, but at some point, we will be pushed far enough to resist tyranny and insist upon our individual rights and liberties.  When you stop people from working, earning money, and living their lives with the stroke of a pen, you cross that line.

Rather than be afraid when armed but peaceful protesters show up at state capitals, elected politicians would do well to remember why the founders said that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and that bit in the Declaration of Independence about the government deriving its powers from the consent of the governed.   When faced with protests, cracking down using tactics from communist China or the secret police in East Germany is not the appropriate response and will simply result in greater civil unrest.  You can’t arrest us all. 

As we have said before: If you want to stay home, that’s your right.  If you want to go out, that’s also your right.  Make your choice, but don’t force it on others.

How Far we Have Fallen

When you look Judge Napolitano’s strict interpretation of the bill of rights and you see how we are treated today, it’s clear that there has been a gradual erosion of our rights over the past century.  No wonder governors think they can get away with locking people in their homes, confiscating their children if someone in their house is gets COVID-19, arresting people for not wearing face masks, preventing churches from holding services, and stopping some people from making a living.

The sad truth of the matter is that the government has nibbled away at our rights over time, until what may have once seemed like reasonable restrictions have grown into an extensive array of regulations and laws that undermine the original intent of our founding fathers. 

As Benjamin Franking once said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”  (I’ve also seen the quote attributed to Alexander Hamilton.  Who know – maybe they both said it!)  Unfortunately, we’ve been doing that at an increasing pace ever since the New Deal and it is bring about a socialist government.

Whether it is about the coronavirus, religious freedoms, the right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms, or any other natural right, it’s about damn time we started protesting.

Today’s Numbers

The number of reported COVID-19  cases in the U.S. increased 27,000, or 1.9 percent, in the past 24 hours to 1,424,700.  U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus were up 1,700 to 85,800, an increase of 2 percent.

The total number of deaths surpassed 300,000, of which the U.S. is responsible for more than one fourth.  The total increased 4,101 to 302,493, up about 1.3 percent.  Globally, cases were up 87,000, or 1.9 percent, to 4.474 million.

We’ve warned you repetitively over the past two months that a number of countries provide data that under count their cases and coronavirus cases.  Sometimes, it is because more people are dying than they can test, which was probably the case in Italy at the peak of the virus and is probably the case right now in Brazil.  More often, it is to protect the government from an angry population and to make them look better on the global stage.  This appears to be the case in China, where we now have more evidence that China purposely falsified data about their cases, reporting less than 25% of actual illnesses.   Meanwhile reports from Russia say they knowingly attributed deaths to people with COVID-19 to other causes.

To put these numbers in perspective, you can look at data from yesterday or last week.

Lead photo is by Paul Becker/Becker1999 on Flikr and used under CC BY 2.0.