By Kevin Roche
I have run out of the adjectives to describe the idiotic responses to the epidemic. Those responses have contributed greatly to the current civil unrest. As I have mentioned before, perhaps the most important achievement of economic resurgence of the last few years has been a substantial reduction in unemployment among low-income and minority persons, accompanied by significant increases in real income. In a flash, the extreme business shutdowns took tens of millions of these jobs away. As is always the case, the burden of those shutdowns fell very heavily and most heavily upon these low-income and minority workers. Added to that were stay-at-home orders that have kept young people out of school and everyone cooped up indoors with nothing meaningful to do for weeks. Our genius leaders in Minneapolis even kept young men from playing basketball or other sports. That mounting economic and social frustration was substantial fuel for turning protest to rioting and looting.
There never was a reason to shut everything down, there simply was no risk to the general public that warranted that course of action and a competent government would have targeted and protected the obviously vulnerable sub-populations. The only thing stupider than putting the extreme lockdowns in place, would be retaining them. There is no, not one shred of data or science that supports them. Can anyone doubt now that they were a panicked, hysterical over-reaction taken as a result of pathetic public health “expert” advice and incompetent, cowardly politicians unable to engage in good decision-making.
We need to completely open the country’s economy up right now. The rioting has caused further damage and strains and the lockdowns have deprived the country, and particularly states and local governments, of the revenues that they need to repair infrastructure, housing and business damage. We must immediately do everything we can to restore low-income persons’ jobs. We have to give people a sense of hope again.