I submit that neither our government’s policy nor the news media’s coronavirus coverage shows enough concern the financial hardship and the emotional distress that small business owners are experiencing. Nor has enough attention centered on the plight of the 36.5 million who have lost their jobs, thanks to the nation’s shutdown.
So far what has been emphasized night and day is the number of cases and deaths, both of which are low compared to population.
The small business owner is the sacrificial lamb in our intentional crisis. My heart goes out to the countless young adult married couples who were brave enough, self-confident enough, and trustful enough of America’s free enterprise system to start a small bakery, a fitness business\ or a restaurant. Let’s say their dream was to work for themselves and teach their children what entrepreneurship and hard work are all about. Let’s say they’ve been in business for four or five years and were beginning to see their dream fulfilled.
But now that dream is dashed. More importantly, their sole income has been stopped in its tracks. By design. Their employees are laid off and there appear to be no prospects for starting over. Financially and emotionally, what state of mind do you suppose our young couples are in?
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was ridiculed recently for saying he was willing to die so that younger adults could survive economically. I watched two multi-millionaire television commentators mock Patrick though he clearly was not playing the martyr.
“I’m not being noble and brave. I just believe there are lots of grandparents like me who care more about the country and our grandchildren than anything else,” Patrick stated.
Understandably, in our free society response to the crisis has created two sides, those who cry, “Follow the science and the experts,” and those who simply plead for common sense and the personal liberty to make their own decisions. Slavish proponents of the experts believe the medical technocrats should call the shots. The commonsense proponents see the dangers of overreach. They acknowledge that unelected experts can help but that they should not replace our duly elected leaders. To them, bureaucratic tyranny is as onerous as any other.
Citizens who insist we blindly follow the science should recall that some scientists, including the good Dr. Fauci, at first asserted that the coronavirus would probably not spread around the globe. Duke University researcher Dr. Wang Linfa in late January said the same thing. His words were, “I have a gut feeling it won’t spread.”
Ah! So scientists do have gut feelings. Nice to know.
The crisis has pretty much paralleled the Trump/anti-Trump divide. Deplorables — the faceless, hardworking Americans, ordinary folks — are anxious, actually desperate to open up the economy. Their pantries are emptying. The elites — the experts, media stars, totally comfortable retirees, stubborn governors — are holding out for safety. They haven’t been hurt. Columnist Peggy Noonan put it best: “The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate.”
Design is destiny, and the present design is supposedly to let so-called science lead the way. But science has always held both beauty and terror. Re-read “Frankenstein.” In that famous novel a smart doctor created a man, but things didn’t turn out too well. What he got was a monster. Our monster today is a created, wrecked economy. A wrecked economy means young and old alike are suffering, especially those in the nation’s lower-income households. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 40% of households earning less than $40,000 experienced a job loss in March versus 19% of households earning between $40,000 and $100,000.
Our political divide has deepened. To me it’s obvious that Democrats — OK, some Democrats, or certain Democrat leaders — are doing all they can to prolong the shutdown in order to decrease the chances of President Trump getting re-elected.
There is even a medical profession divide, but who would know? The media isn’t broadcasting it, but some medical experts disagree with Dr. Fauci. Dr. Knut Wittkowski, former head of epidemiology at Rockefeller University is one. Wittkowski has stated that social distancing prolongs the virus’s existence. “Without distancing,” the virus would have “created herd immunity,” he argues. In effect, the media has told Wittkowski to hush.
Given the medical profession’s divide, perhaps when someone says, “Trust science,” we should reply, “Whose science?”
I’m with Gov. Mike Huckabee: “No elected official who orders a lockdown should get a paycheck as long as we’re shut down.”
The nation needs to get to work. Now.