Coronavirus and Capitalism
There are two distinctly different schools of thought on how to handle a crisis such as the much-overblown coronavirus outbreak. The first is to rely on private industry to support the country in its time of need. President Trump has opted for this approach. He has allowed numerous public-private alliances where the government’s role is to ease regulation to pave the way for results.
Trump has waived several federal rules. These include easing regulations on hours of service for truckers and waiving many FDA requirements for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. And industry has responded. There are several stories about companies who produce specialty pillows, clothing manufacturers, and textile companies are retooling to make N95 face masks, exam gloves, and hospital gowns. Distillers are now producing hand sanitizer. Auto parts manufacturers and car manufacturers are retooling to make ventilators. And in a flash of inspiration, a private non-profit medical group has developed a vale that allows four users to utilize one ventilator. The part can be easily printed on a 3D printer.
Others are stepping up as well. Harbor Freight Tool, for example, is donating its entire inventory of N95 masks and latex gloves to any hospital where its stores are located. Dogs are being trained to detect coronavirus infections in people. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is donating $5 million to Louisiana to help their businesses and buy medical supplies. The Trump Organization has even indicated that if necessary its hotels could be converted into hospital beds.
These are just a few of the many capitalists who are stepping up. More are revealed daily, too numerous to list here. This is an example of how business can work if government removes obstacles.
Then there is the other way to approach the problem. That is the belief espoused by liberal Democrats that only government can solve the problem. One only has to look at the way states with Democrat governors have handled the issue to see how well government works. In the waste no crisis mode, Democrat governors have banned firearms and ammunition sales, demanded that selected business close, and bypassed many civil liberties.
With typical liberal logic, New York has banned firearms sales but is releasing prisoners and is no longer enforcing certain crimes to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The mayor of New Orleans did not cancel Mardi Gras and is now blaming Trump because virus cases have exploded there. New York City did not replace their supply of N95 masks after the swine flu epidemic, opting instead to use the money for a failed solar project. I suppose the solar panels will kill the virus. Oh, and the Obama administration did not replace the federal mask supply either.
House and Senate Democrats managed to sabotage the relief bill that was being worked on. To show their concern for suffering Americans, they loaded the bill with funding for every conceivable liberal agenda. This included federal abortion funding, increased emission standards for airlines, substantial changes to federal election laws, and waiving student loans, among others. Yes, abortions must be critical to stopping coronavirus. Thankfully, the bill failed and a greatly revised one with pork but much less, is being worked on.
Nevada is in the midst of liberal mandates. My wife suggested, and others have agreed, that if Gov. Steve “Little Caesar” Sisolak (thanks, Chuck Muth) really wanted to stop spread of the virus, he could shut down travel, except for freight, into the state. Most of those diagnosed had recently been in other states or countries. Instead, he has opted to select business winners and losers.
His list of essential and non-essential businesses is full of contradictions. You can’t go to a liquor store but grocery stores can sell liquor. Even the supposed non-essential departments in WalMart are open. His suggestion to ban large gatherings is also flawed. All you have to do is go to WalMart for a large gathering. I am not picking on WalMart, as other large stores have the same issue. You can buy a house, or refinance the one you are in, but you can’t get a haircut. The state firearms background check system is overloaded, so you are faced with long waits and lines. In his final logic-defying move, he banned the use of two anti-malaria drugs seen as helpful for the virus. He said it was to prevent hoarding, but I think he wants to prolong his ability to operate with no restriction or oversight. Hail, Caesar. Give me capitalism anytime.