In the beginning, stay-home orders were saving lives. Now it’s about restricting and controlling them. That’s a huge difference.
That difference is obvious when you have a mayor in New York who won’t let people go at the city’s 14 miles of beach, a state attorney general who freaks out when the president — the most COVID-19 tested man in America — refuses to wear a mask in her state, an Illinois legislature that wants to confiscate the business property of any business that opens “early,” and a cop who gets fired for posting a video encouraging cops not to enforce unconstitutional executive orders.
What started out under the guise of public health is a broader battle of American individualism and capitalism fighting against the encroachment of government as the nanny state and socialism. This is complicated further by an election year where the incumbent president wants to reopen and get the capitalist machine running again while politicians on the other end of the political spectrum would prefer to keep people locked down and give them handouts to keep them happy.
I think it speaks well for Americans that so many would rather go out and earn a living rather than sitting at home waiting for the next slice of government pie.
The problem with socialism is that when first implemented, it appears to work. Things look good and may even be good for a short period of time. Eventually, as Margret Thatcher said, Socialist run out of other people’s money and can no longer afford things like free healthcare, free college tuition, free food, and other elements of the socialist welfare state.
Socialists see this happening and rather than accept responsibility, they blame the evil corporations and the rich, so they tighten regulations and tax them even further. Under this increased burden, the very companies that were producing goods and money, rather than consuming them, start to fail.
Transportation slows down as truck drivers can no longer afford to pay for their trucks, fuel, maintenance, insurance and other operational costs. Producers cannot afford to maintain their equipment of pay their employees the higher government-mandated wages so they close. Farmers, required to sell their products at prices fixed by the government, find they are better off growing nothing than spending their savings to grow food that must be sold at a loss.
Output and GDP quickly sink, which means there is less to be sold, causing shortages and declining tax revenue. The government is faced with printing money or borrowing it, and the cost of borrowing rises. Inflation inevitably follows. The downward spiral speeds up, and you end up with an economic collapse and a failed state.
Bread and Circuses
History is littered with failed socialist states that distracted their populaces with bread and circuses while all about them the pillars of their society collapsed, much as we have witnessed with Venezuela. Venezuela is not the only example of a failed socialist state, it is just the latest in a long line of examples that include Cuba, East Germany, Yugoslavia, the USSR, China under Mao, and North Korea.
The only thing that has saved socialism and communism is a coup or implementing capitalistic principals to actually incentivize production once again.
The Slippery Slope of Socialism
I don’t blame people who want to stay home because it is safe; I blame those who want to stay home and suck on the government tit because it is easy.
So for those able-bodied Americans who think it would be cool to stay home and have the government send you a check, know that you are starting down a path that ends where your $1,200 or $2,000 doesn’t buy a day’s worth of food. That path leads to a place where you are lucky if your “free” government power is on 8 hours a day, when your “free” government water arrives in a truck that wheezes to a stop on front of your building twice a week so you can fill your containers, and where your “free” medical care means you can die from a once-curable disease because the drug manufacturer was taxed out of existence.
And for those governors and other politicians who think we should all stop working because a few people may die, let me remind you that socialist governments are ultimately more dangerous than did pandemics.
Cover photo is of Caracas in the Venezuela, a failing socialist country, by Clay Gilliland on Flikr used under CC BY-SA 2.0. Original mage was cropped.