Recently President Trump, at long last, laid out a basic framework for opening the country back up for business. This comes in the wake of a growing number of protests around the country as some 26 million people have now lost their jobs due to the CCP Virus. Despite the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act which offered direct stimulus checks and increased benefit payments to the unemployed, as well as a second round that included additional money for small business loans, many Americans are still worried.
They are worried that the food banks they are relying on to feed their families are running low, while at the same time reading about farmers in other parts of the country throwing food away because of the decreased demand from restaurants. Many small business owners are worried about whether the economic aid they'll receive will only be delaying the inevitable, given that their company could see a serious drop in business when they are allowed to reopen. To say nothing of the employees of companies that provide a variety of services at events like concerts, sports games, or theaters who are worried that their jobs will be gone for a long time to come. Add to this the stress of being under lock down, which has been hard on all, but for some it has been unbearable as a distinct rise in suicides, drug and alcohol addiction, and even domestic abuse has demonstrated.
Of course it doesn't help that as a result of the 24/7 coverage of this whole muddle, certain politicians and media talking heads are acting as though they are on some sort of reality TV game show where they try to outdo one another in the way they posture, pander, and pontificate about policies that are sealing the fates of many Americans. And yet one wonders if they even know (or care) who their audience is, as some of them are so far removed from the problems of working-class people and so ensconced in their ideologies, that they cannot help but reflexively make most of this crisis by requesting funding for pet pork projects, add ridiculous social justice requirements to the bills they pass, and appear on late-night shows to show off the posh ice cream brands they eat while people wait in line at food banks.
Regardless of how well meaning or ideologically-driven these policy makers are, they are not exactly inspiring confidence in the American people. It is no wonder then, that despite the cacophony of noise proclaiming the very real but over-hyped dangers of our current WuHan woes, many Americans are simply want to regain a semblance of control in their lives, and are protesting to get back to work for three main reasons.
The Reasons We Shut the Country Down Have Changed
From the moment the Trump administration began to take the CCP Virus seriously, their efforts have all been akin to on-the-job training. For despite having enduring one Asian-originating disease after another for the last three decades, it was found that as far back as 2002 no major actions to prepare for any pandemic were undertaken. Moreover, China's attempt to conceal their complicity in and later blaming the U.S. for this virus, as well as the W.H.O. and all the anti-Trump media carrying their water for them, made the availability of reliable data hard to come by. This meant that the Trump administration simply did not have enough solid data to make properly informed decisions.
While this is still the case, we know a lot more than we did a month ago, and what we've learned is that the models the government used to make policies all had to be walked back. Furthermore, we also know that states that didn't issue shelter-in-place directives have about the same infection rates as those that did, because it seems the virus has already reached its natural peak as University of Minnesota epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm said it would in a recent interview.
Because of the lack of solid data, the original shelter-in-place directives can be chalked up to a case of Hanlan's Razor. However, to continue on with a blanket lock down policy as though what is tragically happening in New York, is or can happen in every other state, is just not supported by the data we now have and is thus completely irresponsible.
There is a High Price to Free Money
Author Neal Postman warned in 1985 in Amusing Ourselves to Death that, “people will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” He was referring to how news broadcasts were becoming more like entertainment, and was genuinely worried that our culture would lose “our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?” It's hard to not see how we haven't reached that point when one looks at a different reality about being unemployed, which is that some people are perversely making more money on unemployment than they did working. There have even been incidences of employees almost demanding to be “laid off” in order to make more money for doing nothing, rather than accept diminished hours or a cut in pay.
It is a testament to our times, and in some cases our lackluster education system, that Americans are not taught job skills, basic civics, and most importantly a general understanding of economics. The payments people are receiving from unemployment insurance is coming from (once again) our country running up its credits cards. According to the CBO we are in the fast lane for a $30 trillion national debt by 2030, which is roughly the size of the current U.S. economy; and that's the best case scenario. It is hard to see how our economy is going to grow let alone be “stimulated” by giving money to people, if we keep sinking into debt in order to do so. Plus, it hard to see how the Treasury could sell even 50 year bonds now with an economy that is definitely going to contract in the near future as huge money makers like sports and entertainment disappear for awhile. Certainly our days of getting China to buy our debt are over.
The fact is that we are, so to speak, grinding the nation's seed corn for tomorrow's harvest, so we can survive today. This of course will have to be paid for by our kids and grandkids, with higher tax rates in the future that may leave them in a virtual state of indentured servitude to the government.
At Some Point We are Going to Have to Face Life
The ultimate sign that our culture has exchanged ignorance for knowledge is that Americans have already forgotten what the whole point of the lock down was. Its purpose was to slow the spread of the CCP Virus so that our medical facilities did not become overwhelmed with infected people, while at the same time using the time to built up our supplies of ventilators and PPE's, as well as explore ways of treating the disease. Unfortunately, thanks to the sensationalist media and stupid hashtag campaigns, all of that has been transformed into the belief that staying at home was meant to stop the spread of the virus, at least until a treatment or a vaccine can be found. This is of course was not the case, and as Dr. Osterholm also mentioned, it wouldn't work even if that had been the plan as any hope of a vaccine is still a year or more out, and by the time we have one the virus could mutate.
At the heart of this issue then, is that people are simply unwilling to accept or fully understand the fact that the CCP Virus is not going away, anymore than the flu or common cold has gone away, and at some point we are all going to risk being exposed to it. In fact a recent survey in L.A. county showed that not only has the virus been in this country longer than we first thought, but hundreds of thousands of people have most likely already been exposed, and are thus are probably immune to it.
In the end, we cannot hide inside forever, which we are now finding might actually increase our chances of getting infected, and we will probably end up following the Swedish model, which entails sheltering the vulnerable and letting those most likely to survive the virus or those who are immune to it go about their business, all the while practicing wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and hand washing.
For the longer we remain in lock down, the greater the chances the ill-effects of doing so will start to outweigh the risks of going back to work, and the greater the chances our nation will fall into a serious economic depression. Moreover, the longer you trade your personal liberty for the mere feeling of being taken care of by a government that got us into this jam in the first place, the greater the chance that we will have to deal with increased government intrusion into our lives such as mandatory vaccinations with accompanying Gates-slips or proof-of-immunization papers to carry around.
If we want our nation, and its enduring values, to survive for generations to come, then we must remember our Lord's words to “be not afraid”, and be willing to take the rightly-calculated risks we already take every day, enter the breach of life, and get back to work.
Photo Credit- NBC News