End The Shutdown

April 1, 2020

As everyone knows, we are in the midst of a “crisis” because of a Corona virus. The government response has been a shutdown of many businesses. This shutdown is being imposed from the top down. In other words government has imposed shutdowns. Obviously this has reduced income and made people poorer. The government did this, allegedly, in the name of protecting us, but there is a huge problem with this. This is from Mises:

There is no conflict between humanitarian and economic concerns; in fact they are flipsides of the same coin. A poorer America will be a much less healthy America, one more vulnerable to future illness and disease. Technology, modern medicine, and market actors can address a virus; already we see entrepreneurs producing cheaper ventilators and doctors using cheap generic drugs with very promising results.

This local, bottom-up approach is the only effective way to confront the virus. The federal government, as we see now and have in the past, is comically incapable of competence in times of crisis.

On a fundamental level, freedom really is more important than security—or, in this case, an illusion of security. We all demonstrate this in our personal lives every day, from flying to driving to riding bicycles, to consuming unhealthy food and drink simply because we like it. Security has never been the sole or even primary goal for a country born in rebellion.

Government cannot decide what aspects of our lives are essential or nonessential. The American people cannot simply sit at home and wait for government checks written on funds that government does not have.

I have added the emphasis regarding a “poorer America”. This is not theoretical! See this story today:

Alteon Health, a staffing company backed by private-equity firm Frazier Healthcare Partners, will cut salaries, time off and retirement benefits for providers, citing lost revenue. Several hospital operators announced similar cuts.

Emergency room doctors and nurses many of whom are dealing with an onslaught of coronavirus patients and shortages of protective equipment — are now finding out that their compensation is getting cut.

Most ER providers in the U.S. work for staffing companies that have contracts with hospitals. Those staffing companies are losing revenue as hospitals postpone elective procedures and non-coronavirus patients avoid emergency rooms. Health insurers are processing claims more slowly as they adapt to a remote workforce.

Granted, the delay in the revenue producing procedures may have been self-imposed, but this clearly illustrates that, “A poorer America will be a much less healthy America, one more vulnerable to future illness and disease.

Many have used the metaphor of war to describe the response to this “pandemic”, but I think they have forgotten the response to WWII (I am sure that is the war they referenced). That response was massive work. The United States basically, out manufactured its enemies. That is how it won WWII.

What happened to our can do attitude? What happened to the “land of the free”? The strength of a nation or any corporate body lies in its diversity, or in other words in the freedom of its individuals to create solutions to problems. Maybe this “crisis” will backfire on those in power and the grassroots will realize who really holds the power in our land.

One last thing. The Fed cannot print its way out. Spouting counterfeit currency does not get tests done, does not get masks made, does not feed the doctors and nurses who are working so hard to help people. It is work that produces these vital goods and services. The only thing the Fed “printing” can do is support banks’ mark-to-fantasy (there is no “market”) valuation of their assets, so they can maintain the illusion they have “capital”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *