Friday, March 27, 2020

Buchanan: Must we kill the economy to kill the virus?

"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," tweeted the president on Sunday night, adding that, after the current 15-day shutdown, "we will make a decision as to which way we want to go."

President Trump is said to be privately expressing a deepening concern at the damage the coronavirus shutdown is doing to the U.S. economy and debating whether it can be safely reopened.

Though castigated for his remark, Trump has a point.

The U.S. is rightly using extreme measures to meet the threat and control the virus that threatens the lives of millions of Americans, with the elderly sick foremost among them. And we need to do so without killing the economy upon which scores of millions of other Americans depend.

Clearly, America was unprepared for this pandemic.

And there will be time enough to assess responsibility for the lack of surgical masks, medical gowns, rubber gloves, respirators, ventilators and hospital beds.

The immediate imperative is to produce those beds and that equipment and get it delivered to doctors, nurses and hospital staff, the front-line troops in the battle to control the virus.

However, during this shutdown, all "nonessential businesses" are being closed and their workers sent home to shelter in place and to keep "social distance" from friends and neighbors to minimize the risk of spreading this easily transmissible virus.

Unfortunately, what is "nonessential" to some — bars, restaurants, hotels, stores, cruise ships, tourist sites, shops, malls — are places of employment and indispensable sources of income for millions of other Americans.

Close the businesses where these Americans work and you terminate the paychecks on which they depend to pay the rent and buy the food and medicines they and their families need to shelter and live. And if the salaries and wages on which workers depend are cut off, how are these millions of newly unemployed supposed to live?

How do those who follow the instructions of the president and governors to remain in their homes get their prescriptions filled and buy the food to feed their families?

How long can the shutdown be sustained if the necessities of life for the unemployed and unpaid begin to run out? Is it necessary to create an economic and social crisis to solve the medical crisis?

"We had to destroy the village in order to save it," was a remark attributed to a U.S. Army officer in the Vietnam War. Must we cripple or destroy the economy to rescue the American nation from the coronavirus crisis of 2020?

Then there is the matter of time. Many Americans can survive on what they have on hand for two or four weeks. Far fewer can survive without income for two or four months.

If we shut down the economy, what will we have when the medical crisis passes, be that in May, June, July, August or September?

Will all those nonessential businesses we put to sleep come back to life?

The free market system that is the legacy of Hamilton and the Founding Fathers is the world's best design for the distribution of goods and services and ensuring prosperity. And in a population where life expectancy is decades beyond what it was in the early 20th century, there are government programs to provide the necessities of life for those who can no longer access or afford them.

But businesses are needed to deliver the goods.

And if, by government command, America's free economy is partly shut down as unessential in this medical crisis, the government could be responsible for imposing the conditions that lead to social disorder.

At some point, the country is going to have to open up the supply chains and take the risks to let the market work to provide food — or people will engage in panic buying, hoarding and using any means to get what they need for themselves and their families.

Reports of folks in this heavily armed nation stocking up on guns and ammunition suggest a widespread apprehension of what may be coming.

If the medical crisis is allowed to induce an economic crisis that leads to a social crisis, the American political system, our democratic system, may itself be severely tested.

Lest we forget: In the greatest crisis in this nation's history, in which the issue was whether the American Union would be severed into two nations, Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus, shut down state legislatures, closed newspapers, jailed journalists and was prepared to arrest the chief justice. And for the dictatorial measures he took, and for waging the bloodiest war in U.S. history, against fellow Americans, Lincoln is now regarded by many as our greatest president.



Steve Hilton and the need to restart the economy

The federal government has done a terrific job of informing Americans how to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. If you don’t have the disease and you follow the feds’ guidelines, you should be able to avoid this bug. But folks need some perspective here: COVID-19 is not the plague, the Black Death. Nor is it Ebola, which seems to “dissolve” the body. This virus can, however, kill the very vulnerable: the elderly and folks with compromised immune systems. But those people should already be “sheltering in place,” quarantining themselves from the myriad other diseases out there.

Sunday night on Fox News, Steve Hilton gave a monolog urging that we quickly end the national quarantine and restart the economy. Hilton thinks we’re in danger of ruining the economy if we continue the quarantine much longer. I urge everyone to listen to his impassioned plea: Flatten the curve, not the economy. The Fox link also provides the complete text, but the video alone is at Twitter.

The thing is: some sectors of our economy, such as food production and distribution, continue to operate despite the contagion. The rest of us are smart enough that we, too, can abide by new safety protocols, and avoid the virus. Let’s get back to work, America, before the economy is grievously harmed. Let’s restart the economy no later than April 1.

And thank you, Steve Hilton, for your timely insights.



Forgive Me if I Don’t Fall Right into Line with the New Fascism

As a San Francisco resident and business owner, I’m wondering—can I trust the health judgments of leaders who let thousands live on the streets in their own filth? And if we are now getting the homeless into shelter, why couldn’t that have happened earlier? Doesn’t their health count?

All of a sudden, we are supposed to accept 24-hour curfews “for your own safety” from people who order the police to stand down when Antifa and friends beat the Hell out of taxpayers; people who refuse to enforce laws they don’t like (death penalty, bail, property crimes).

City leaders who literally give wanted alien criminals a public heads-up when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is about to conduct raids are now telling me what’s best, declaring a death penalty for businesses, no hearings or due process?! Forgive me if I don’t fall right into line with the fascism which seems awfully situational. Governor Gavin Newsom’s suggestions yesterday that older and vulnerable people take extra care and stay inside seemed reasonable. However, “progressive” city leaders then decided to seize the opportunity and throw the whole economy into a tailspin as collateral damage, but don’t worry—we’ll soon have a government-sponsored bailout for favored groups soon, funded with a tax increase crammed down the throats of the dwindling number of taxpayers. Homeless go back to the streets, illegal alien criminals get sanctuary, car break-ins continue...

Criminals continue to be released from jail or not arrested at all, and we all become more habituated, like sheep, to the loss of liberty yet again, “for our own safety.” I’m not buying it. I don’t buy it with FISA renewal, with gun-grabbing, or with this sweeping lack of process.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is tied to a corruption investigation of a federally-indicted city bureaucrat she dated. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo mocked Trump supporters assaulted by criminals while the police stood down. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff tips off wanted violent illegal aliens. These are the Bay Area rulers telling 7.1 million+ citizens—more than the population of many U.S. states—to stay indoors, shut down businesses? Great judgment, all of them.



Bandy Lee: A Psychiatric fraud

On March 11, Mike Lachance posted the article, Yale Psychiatrist Who Called Trump Mentally Unfit For Office Refuses To Offer Diagnosis on Joe Biden.

Dr. Bandy Lee thinks she’s so good at what she does she doesn’t have to meet a patient to know they’re nuts…or unfit….or who knows what. She has claimed Donald Trump is unfit for office. Really? Amazing diagnosis! And that diagnosis is based on what?

As far as I can tell, that “diagnosis” is based on nothing except her dislike for Donald Trump.  How could anyone refute that kind of medical science? Right? That’s of course if everyone is assuming psychiatry is really medical science.   Or is it a science of misrepresentation, and make it up as they go along?  She even claims he's so powerful he's brainwashed his supporters. Which makes them all unfit also.

However, the Board of Psychiatrists find fault with diagnosis without examination. It’s considered malpractice, and she's now diagnosed tens of millions of people she's never met or even heard of. Amazing!!   But Bandy has assured Democrats in Congress Trump is unfit, and she has a “duty to warn”.

Is it her "duty to warm" us about Joe Biden also?

What is her diagnosis of Joe Biden? After all, it’s clear (and I want to use the correct medical term here) Joe is in deep mental donkey doo. His mental condition is so observably bad even reporters can tell he’s lost it.  If reporters get it you know how bad it must be.

But, this psychiatric genius, who can watch Trump on television and read articles about him, can diagnosis him as unfit.  Okay, but if she has this overwhelming "duty to warn" America about the mental unfitness of politicians, why does she refuse to diagnose Biden?

Furthermore, it must be clear to the most casual observer that Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and most certainly Maxine Waters, along with a host of others in politics suffer from some sort of mental disorder or other, yet she offers no diagnosis about any of them, or their supporters.

Now, there's nothing partisan about that. Is there?




OPTIMISM: Dow posts 2,112-point (11%) gain on Tuesday — the biggest ever (Fox Business)

GOOD NEWS: Scientists say coronavirus does not undergo significant number of mutations (The Daily Wire)

"CHEAP MANUFACTURING BE DAMNED": Sentiment builds for moving U.S. companies out of China (Washington Examiner)

TRAVELERS GET A BREAK: Real ID deadline pushed back due to the coronavirus (USA Today)

POLL: Trump more trustworthy than media on coronavirus (The Washington Free Beacon

AN EXCUSE TO INFRINGE ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT? North Carolina sheriff suspends new pistol permits due to "250 percent increase in demand" (National Review)

DEATH BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY: Ohio abortion providers say they will defy state shutdown order (The Washington Free Beacon)

POLICY: A litany of useless laws have been exposed by the coronavirus (Foundation for Economic Education)

POLICY: Start with common ground on climate-change policy (National Review)


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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