The Effect of the Lockdowns Has Been the Gutting of Small Businesses
The Real Problem with Lockdowns: The Business Dimension
It will come as no surprise to longtime readers of this website that I am wholeheartedly against lockdowns. While they might be necessary if this disease was truly dangerous and deadly, like the Black Death or Spanish Flu of 1918 were, the simple truth is that the Chinese Flu is nowhere near that deadly or dangerous.
But, while I am against lockdowns, I don’t think that most of the anger directed at them focuses on the worst part, the effect of the lockdowns on small businesses. Those businesses, the backbone of the middle class and the American economy, have been absolutely gutted by government mandates.
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Too few conservatives and libertarians focus on that, myself included. We focus on the individual liberty and petty tyranny aspects of them. We rant and rave about the hypocrisy of Democrats that create horribly restrictive lockdown policies and then break their own rules. And, of course, we write and talk about the tyrannical side of these Chinese Flu lockdowns and what that acceptance of tyranny might mean for the future.
All of those points are both valid and important. Americans need to recognize tyranny and realize that desiring freedom is not selfish. They need to know why red states are handling Covid better than blue states. We all should call out hypocrisy from our respective leaders. And no one likes the lockdowns- the effect of the lockdowns on the mental health and domestic life of Americans has been horrible; alcohol consumption, drug use, and domestic violence are through the roof thanks to the government’s policies.
But we also need to focus on the effect of the lockdown on businesses, large and small. Here is a tweet that points out what has happened to American businesses thanks to the lockdowns:
The stocks of big companies are through the roof. Amazon delivers goods to your home, so of course it is doing well. Walmart has managed to stay open while small businesses have collapsed, so it is doing well. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies are selling more products than ever because we’re all stuck at home and need their products to work and communicate. Airlines have gotten bailed out even as they lay off employees. Then there is Zoom, which has obviously done tremendously well thanks to the lockdowns.
That’s the effect of the lockdowns on Big Business: thanks to their political pull and effective lobbying tactics they have done quite well and have profited off of our suffering and circumstances.
That’s not to say that those companies are to blame. Even though Amazon has had a great year because of Covid, it is not to blame for the disease or its effects. China and our government are. Amazon and the others are just doing what businesses do: trying to earn money as best they can despite government interference.
But, even if they’re not to blame, the success the biggest companies and wealthiest America are experiencing at the expense of the smallest is unjust. Thanks to the lockdowns, in just over eight months, a group of 650 Americans gained over $1 trillion in wealth, according to American Greatness.
Meanwhile, at one point during the lockdowns, thirty-three million Americans filed for unemployment. Those numbers have decreased somewhat, but the situation is still dire for millions of Americans; seventeen million Americans need food assistance. And small businesses have suffered worst of all; more than 97,966 businesses have permanently shut down during the pandemic.
Billionaires and Big Business profited off of the lockdowns. America’s middle class and small businesses suffered. That’s not because the billionaires are smarter or their businesses better run. This was not a free-market threshing of the wheat. Instead, it was caused by government action and businesses buying favors. Walmart could stay open, but a small food stand couldn’t. Target stayed open, but a small clothing shop couldn’t. Amazon could sell goods, but your local electronics store couldn’t. The effect of the lockdowns is that small businesses were destroyed by government action.
Americans are Noticing the Injustice of the Covid Lockdowns
While Big Business has been thriving, small businesses have been absolutely devastated. That is the effect of the lockdowns on small businesses; they have been wiped out. Americans have noticed that and are not standing for it. Here is what a few people online, from an FEE writer to Dave Portnoy, had to say about how the government is ruining the lives of business owners:
The effect of the lockdowns is that small businesses have been devastated. And while we all might hope that the ones that have closed will reopen when conditions improve, that does not look like it will be the case. According to the Foundation for Economic Education:
“Data show a total of 163,735 businesses on Yelp closed between March 1 and August 31, when state-enforced lockdowns across the US began forcing businesses to close their doors. According to Yelp’s figures, 97,966 of those businesses (60 percent) will not be reopening.”
Restaurants have been the worst hit, as this tweet shows:
Additionally, the same FEE article points the same thing I did- the effect of the lockdowns on small businesses was far worse than it was for Big Businesses. Your local bar or restaurant went under while Amazon’s stock went up:
“Small businesses, which comprise the bulk of Yelp’s business revenue, have suffered tremendously under the lockdowns. Meanwhile, big businesses not typically found on Yelp have fared much better. Indeed, many have benefited from the response to the pandemic.”
Small businesses have died while Big Businesses thrived. And that’s all thanks to the government.
Conclusion: We Need to Stand Up to the Covid Tyrants and Defend Small Businesses
It’s self-evident that the effect of the lockdowns has been the wholesale destruction of the traditional backbone of the American economy. Gyms, bars, restaurants, small shops, and other businesses have all gone out of business, many of them permanently, thanks to the lockdowns. Meanwhile, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are doing great.
In effect, the government chose winners and losers. Businesses deemed “essential” were allowed to survive. Business based mainly online earned record profits. But for everyone else, the effect of the lockdowns was far different; everyone suffered. Dreams were ruined, savings were wiped out, and the economy was wrecked because despicable people like Gavin Newsom wanted to appear “tough on Covid.”
Well, “tough on Covid” when it came to businesses that couldn’t pay them off. The tech companies lobbied. The airlines lobbied. Professional associations have powerful lobbies. But your local burger joint or taco shop was left out in the cold and the life of its owner was ruined. That is the effect of the lockdowns. Remember that fact and try to fight against it by sharing this article and demanding that your state government fully reopen the economy immediately!
By: Gen Z Conservative
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