When the coronavirus crisis first erupted, many private companies naturally stepped up to the plate. They saw the needs of communities and addressed them—many times free of charge. U-Haul, for example, saw the plight of stranded college students and offered them free storage place when their schools shut down. Other companies voluntarily provided sick leave and flexible schedules. Retailers offered parking lots for testing.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Even when orders came down that confessions were banned, resourceful priests found amazing workarounds, like drive-through confessions, to administer the sacrament in safety.
Organic solutions, rising from the adverse circumstances, provided creative and practical ways to deal with difficult problems. Such natural resources must be employed to survive the present crisis.
Taking Millions Out of the Fight
Some recent measures to contain the coronavirus have done precisely the opposite of what should be done. Throughout the country, top-down government decisions have shut down what they deemed “non-essential businesses.” This move threatens to have long term effects on the American economy that will be extremely severe. No society can protect public health for a long time at the cost of economic health. Extreme measures, many not backed by data, could bring America down.
These decisions are also depriving Americans of the resources of those companies that could contribute to the fight. It takes away the organic solutions and workarounds that could help solve so many problems. It puts everything in the stone hands of government to bail everyone out with funds it does not have.
According to lockdown orders, governors have closed all non-essential businesses operating in their states. All citizens not engaged in what these governors have deemed “essential industries” are ordered to shelter-in-place or stay-at-home, waiting out the virus for weeks and perhaps months. Thus, millions of workers have been turned into non-combatants in the war against the virus.
Keeping Things Safe
The reason given for the lockdown is to minimize human contact to prevent the spread of the virus. The government has established norms of social distancing and limited social gatherings.
No one questions the need to take measures to prevent contagion. However, millions of Americans in essential businesses will already be circulating to keep society going. They will be following strict protocols to ensure the safety of others.
Does it make any sense to assume that management and workers in “non-essential businesses” would not follow similarly strict protocols? Is the government more attentive to these managers’ and workers’ health than they are themselves? The contrary is far more plausible.
To prevent the meltdown of the American economy, those who can still safely participate in production should continue. In so doing, these Americans will find organic ways of helping themselves and their fellow citizens bear the trials of a world turned upside down.
Message to Officials
Thus, the message to socialist-inspired, authoritarian government officials should be this one: Do not break America! Do not destroy our economy! Do not bankrupt hundreds of thousands of medium and small businesses. Do not wage war on millions in the nation’s workforce. America rejects socialism!
Instead, channel the energies of the American economy and work together with employers against the coronavirus. Give these employers the freedom to implement protocols that will ensure the maximum protection for their workers. Let them figure out how to employ and test them in their workplaces. They will come up with novel ways to keep the economy going. No one is more interested in workers’ health and safety then their employers.
In this way, millions more can be combatants in the war against the virus. Many industries not directly involved in “essential” businesses, like U-Haul, will find inventive ways to help fellow citizens. More employers can offer financial aid or make their premises available if needed. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, local charities and churches can also be brought back into the battle, using their vast resources and social capital.
Indeed, some business writers have proposed this strategy. Excluded business leaders are begging that their firms too be allowed to address this national emergency. It has been said that every harmful contact avoided will help stem the spread of the illness. With proper health safety measures being implemented in businesses, every job saved will help prevent the collapse of the American economy.
Above all, organic, bottom-up solutions will flourish tailored to the needs of the localities. They help apply the principle of subsidiarity that holds that problems should be solved at the lowest possible level. That means the employer. Not the state governor, county executive, or city mayor. With hands-on people on the ground—people with decades of experience in solving every problem that life can throw at them—it will be far easier to bring communities back to a sense of normality, and to health. The use of intermediary organizations is the normal way of dealing with a crisis. It is best suited to human nature. And it’s the fastest road to solutions.
The Chinese solution
Unfortunately, the answer now proposed is the Chinese “solution.” Everywhere it is hailed as the successful way to deal with the crisis—even though China is where the virus originated, and Dictator Xi’s communist government aggravated and lied about the problem’s scope, thereby creating the global pandemic.
China employed a brutal, top-down totalitarian plan to suppress what can properly be called the Chinese virus. It thrives on blanket directives that shut down everything, enforcing them with violence. Chinese officials trampled upon liberties and privacy in the name of public health. The communist government used a massive totalitarian infrastructure and government funding to impose its program. Their message is that only authoritarian governments and vast amounts of cash are capable of controlling these problems. It is one more bald-faced lie.
China can never be a model for the West since it disrespects every human right and suppresses God and religion. Their “cure” is worse than the illness. China should be neither the West’s friend or teacher.
If allowed to act, organic solutions can be far more effective and at a fraction of the cost. Employers are best positioned to help government leaders act with wisdom, determination and charity. These means must be employed now. It is high time for governments to stop their socialist micro-managing. Let all of America’s free and enterprising employers address the problem. With a nation’s prayers and God’s merciful help and blessing, solutions will quickly be found.