In Part 1 of this series we considered whether or not it is unconstitutional for Virginia’s governor (Governor Ralph Northam) to rule by decree. The subject of this post is the propensity of some politicians to be opportunistic, to use any crisis for their own advantage. However, before we get to that let’s set the table.
President Calvin Coolidge died a couple of decades before I was born. So, I don’t know as much about him as I wish. However, I do know he is responsible for this quote.
The business of America is business.
Of course, we are famous for taking liberties with other people’s words. Here is what Coolidge actually said.
After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. (from here (blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/))
We spend most of our lives working, that is, doing business. Since Coolidge considered work one of the ways we worship, when he said “profoundly concerned”, he was not referring to greed.
I agree that the measure of success is not merchandise but character. But I do criticize those sentiments, held in too many respectable quarters, that our economic system is fundamentally wrong, that commerce is only selfishness, and that our citizens, holding the hope of all that America means, are living in industrial slavery. I appeal to Amherst men to reiterate and sustain the Amherst doctrine, that the man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn or blame, but reverence and praise. — Calvin Coolidge (from his second speech to the Amherst Alumni Association in 1916)
What’s the point? Government exists to protect our rights. That includes our right to life, but our rights also include our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When we pursue our business activities, we exercise our rights liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Is the pursuit of happiness all about money and getting stuff? No. Contrary to what some think, getting “good” sex, hoarding lots of stuff, being “scientific”, controlling the state, and being worshiped by the masses does not bring happiness. What brings happiness doing the right thing the right way, that is, behaving virtuously. Hence, if we want to live in a joyful society, we must do what Coolidge did. We must pursue virtue and encourage each other to pursue our business activities virtuously. That begins with protecting each others rights liberty and the pursuit of happiness, including the right to engage in business.
When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) first came on the scene, we did not know what we were dealing with. Now? The CDC’s New ‘Best Estimate’ Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is about as dangerous as a relatively nasty flu bug, and we don’t shut down business for the flu. Therefore, anyway we look at it it does not make sense for governors to issue a bunch of unconstitutional decrees that make it difficult to do business. Fear of the unknown once at least partly justified lockdown, but now we know the virus is not that dangerous. The science does not justify shutting down the economy, especially using unconstitutional measures. Once we understand that the lost jobs and income also results in deaths (See the articles related to Deaths From Economic Shutdown below.), this is unarguably true.
Consider. What was the first thing God did for Adam after he created him? Didn’t He give him a job? Didn’t God make Adam His gardener (Genesis 2:15)?
We need to work. We need to feed, cloth, and shelter ourselves and our loved ones. We also need the dignity of work. When we don’t work, we suffer both emotionally and physically. That’s is why economic downturns result in lost lives. That’s why we don’t shut down the economy just to fight the flu.
Nevertheless, Democrats have obstructed restarting our economy. Why? Well, as an example let’s consider some of the big budget items in that Heroes Act (1815 pages long).
- Three trillion dollars in new spending. The Federal Government normally spends about four trillion dollars every year. Since we already spend more than we collect in taxes, we don’t have three trillion dollars more to spend. All we can do is borrow the money or just print it.
- Giveaways to state and local governments. We have a bunch of blue states that were spending themselves into oblivion BEFORE the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Now they want a bailout, effectively from the red states. To discourage such spendthrift spending, we need to make certain the blue state voters understand the consequences of excessive spending, bankruptcy.
- Giveaways to: “frontline workers”, unemployed workers, students who borrowed money, farmers, renters and homeowners, Americans, and who knows who else. Essentially, these giveaways, including giveaways to state and local governments, are a raid on the Federal Treasury. Pelosi proposes steal our money and buy the votes of her Democratic Party constituencies. This both unethical and stupid. Because Pelosi will have to print more money to pay these people, she will just render the money we already have worth less. Such stupidity just undermines the economy and makes everyone except a few elites, like Pelosi, poorer.
- Federalizing “election security”. That includes voting by mail, which would make voting far less secure. Don’t we already have enough crooked politicians? This nonsense is coming from people who had the gall to claim Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the 2016 election. Supposedly, we need to increase election security, yet Democrats want to decrease election security?
- And who knows what else?
What is going on? Some people see a crisis as opportunity to blackmail other people to get what they want? Don’t give them what they want? Then they obstruct any attempt to fix the problems causing the crisis. These opportunists expect foolish, desperate people give in, not realizing that giving them what they want creates greater problems.
Deaths From Economic Shutdown
- 500 doctors tell Trump to end the coronavirus shutdown, say it will cause more deaths (washingtontimes.com)
- The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life (thehill.com)
- IT NEEDS TO END. NOW’: New York Post Front Page Comes After The Coronavirus Lockdowns (dailycaller.com)
- Analysis raises questions about coronavirus shutdown’s effectiveness (foxbusiness.com)
- Coronavirus: I was in the stay-home-until-it’s-safe camp. But I just can’t take it anymore. (usatoday.com)
Pelosi’s HEROES Act References
- Liz Peek: Pelosi’s $3 trillion coronavirus bill lets her play left-wing Santa Claus with your tax dollars and Newt Gingrich: Pelosi’s crazy $3T coronavirus spending bill may have secret purpose – Don’t underestimate her (foxnews.com)
- Nancy Pelosi Unveils $3 Trillion, 1,815-Page Leftist Coronavirus Bill (breitbart.com)
- House narrowly passes $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill (rollcall.com)
- House Democrats unveil new $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill (cnbc.com)
- Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act (cbsnews.com)