APRIL 9, 2020 BY RAY BELL
The curve is flattening on new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. That has been the case out here in California for the past week. Yet, the smart people of our political and establishment class are doubling down on keeping the economy closed and introducing even more draconian policies. The political and establishment class do not want this to end. Despite the good news today there is the talk by them of keeping this going in some form for 18 more months. The judgment has been made by the political and establishment class that responding to this virus is the most important national priority with them deciding whose job is essential and whose is not.
Politicians and government officials from our political and establishment class do not have a natural marketplace for what they do. They need to create one. They do this by promising to advocate for people and solve problems. The solving of problems is where the biggest marketplace is created by building the process to solve the problem. However, solving the problem is less important than the process. The power is in the process. The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest marketplace ever created for these people because the process can continue indefinitely.
Just like climate change and gun control the political and establishment class have parameters around the coronavirus conversation. If you question the wisdom of shutting down the entire economy, you have blood on your hands. You are deemed a bad person. The same thing happens if you don’t go along with climate change or commonsense gun control. Again, you are a bad person, because you want kids to die and you deny science. The coronavirus comes with buzz phrases, hashtags, and social media profile picture frames just like climate and gun control. The position of the political and establishment class is now the conventional wisdom that cannot be questioned.
The coronavirus is a serious threat to our country, however, there should’ve been a more balanced approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic. There was not adequate consideration of the consequences of shutting down the economy. While trying to save lives from the coronavirus we destroyed the financial lives of millions of people it did not take into consideration the mental health consequences of that. Despite the government stimulus, many businesses will never reopen, and many people will never be whole again. Not to mention who pays back the trillions of stimulus added to our debt.
The loss of a job is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through. There will be severe mental health consequences for many people. I know of three people who have relapsed in their battle with addiction due to the loss of a job, because of the coronavirus shut down. There will be thousands more like them. The working poor and the lower-middle class will suffer the brunt of the consequences of the shutdown. Many of these people have jobs that were decided to be non-essential. They live on the margins of society often battling mental health and substance abuse problems. I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell people in that condition that they are nonessential while dealing with isolation from friends and family. That is certainly not good for someone’s mental health and can be a trigger back into substance abuse. The economic consequences are one part of the mental health toll this will take on people. There are lots of people who weren’t allowed to be by their loved one’s side as they passed or attend their funeral.
We cannot allow the political and establishment class to make a judgment of what is a priority and what is not that is based on their political agenda. They certainly do this with gun control and climate change. Mass shootings with an assault rifle kill far less than opioids annually. Every time there is a mass shooting with an assault rifle there are demands for common-sense gun control. There is no outrage for the nearly 70,000 people who die annually from opioids. The policies to fight climate change result in higher taxes and energy costs that are easily afforded by the upper class and wealthy who feel like good people because they’re saving the environment. There is no consideration of how those policies hurt the working poor and lower-middle class.
A political agenda drives the prioritization of gun control over opioid overdose deaths and climate change policies that ignore the burden of the working poor and lower-middle class. That is what’s happening here with the coronavirus and shutting down the economy. The political and establishment class has found a large marketplace with a long process that will keep them in power. They have prioritized shutting down the economy to stop the coronavirus over the financial destruction and mental health of everyday Americans. This disconnect between the political and establishment class and the average Americans is why Donald Trump was elected. I am confident that he will get America back to work sooner rather than later.