Pick a reason. Any reason. The models were broken. Social distancing is working. The economy can’t handle a longer lockdown. All of the above. Something different. I actually don’t care what spin is placed on the necessary reversal of federal guidance and state, city, and local policies. To our elected officials and highly unaccountable bureaucrats who have shut this nation down, I say this: pick a way to spin it and then put many Americans back to work.
When the model used to formulate policy is wrong, then the policy itself is wrong.
— Hammerjack (@MarcGiller) April 10, 2020
Most Americans have been indoctrinated into automated caution through fear and draconian measures. We’re suddenly a nation of germophobes. That’s fine. Now let’s apply this newfound respect for the coronavirus and apply it to the workforce. Tens of thousands of businesses are capable of opening up tomorrow and applying proper precautions to make the company productive in a safe manner. Let’s do that. The “essential” label must be replaced with the “applied caution” label. If a business can function while keeping everyone safe, there’s no reason they shouldn’t open up and allow their employees the choice of working or not.
Many people simply won’t work right now. That’s fine, too. Some will make the hard choice for the sake of mounting bills and putting food on the table. Some will go back to work because they haven’t bought into the fear. Depending on the size of a company and the standard requirements of the job, there are ways to cater to nearly everyone’s needs. In some factories, for example, it’s quite easy to maintain more than six feet separation between all employees at all times. If there are instances where tighter quarters are standard, then those businesses should be allowed to problem-solve and innovate. The blanket approach to shutting down all “non-essential” businesses during the coronavirus crisis is doing more harm than the coronavirus itself.
☣️Texas, United States??
People line up for food from Central Texas Food Bank.pic.twitter.com/Tb9O3QXt1v
— ?️ Pandemic Survivors USA ?? (@PndmcSrvvrsUSA) April 8, 2020
The argument against this is that we only need to wait a little while longer before the virus is gone, then we can all go back to work safely. Those making this argument will say that opening up business prematurely will spark further outbreaks and put more people at risk. That may be true. But one thing is certain: There are millions of people who are not able to pay their bills or even eat properly as a result of this shutdown. The longer the blanket shutdown lasts, the greater the risk is to those who are truly most vulnerable.
There seems to be a common thread connecting those who are adamantly against opening up for business. They’re not starving to death. They’re not living on the streets or waiting in line for hours at food banks to feed their families. They’re not filing paperwork to shut down their small businesses permanently. It’s easy to demand compliance and tell people to be patient when you’re ordering GrubHub three or four times a day.
Millions of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Many of those who do are not working for companies with the resources to take care of them properly. Unemployment benefits do nothing for those who do not qualify. The government handouts coming our way sometime in the future may not be enough to live off of, especially in areas where cost of living is higher. But what’s worse is the toll is often cumulative. Getting behind on bills, rent, and cutting through stores of food will not go away by a magic wave of the government wand once the coronavirus crisis is over. Recovery is going to be tremendously difficult if we were all working starting tomorrow. It’s only going to get worse.
This comes down to a question of odds. If we open up for business as a nation, many more may suffer through the coronavirus and have a 0.66% chance of even dying from it. If we do not open up for business as a nation soon, millions will suffer in the months following the crisis and people will die as a result, often at their own hands. We have to take our chances now, cautiously, because the alternative is near-certain doom.
It’s purely an economic argument. I’ll be talking more about the continuous evaporation of our rights and freedoms at the Saving America Conference on April 18. In the meantime, I truly hope common sense wins out sooner rather than later.
Some businesses simply can’t take proper precautions. But many can. Let’s take what we’ve learned during the lockdown and apply common sense solutions to get individual businesses up and running and Americans back to work as soon as possible.