America Must Unleash the Free Market
What is happening in the country right now is terrifying to behold. No, I’m not talking about the Chinese flu. While that is certainly a threat that needs to be contained, it isn’t an existential threat to this country. China lied to the world (big surprise there) and as a result we’re playing catch up trying to deal with it, but it’s just another version of the flu. We’ll survive it as long as we eventually unleash the free market.
What is terrifying is that Americans are voluntarily sacrificing their freedoms, especially their economic freedom, to combat Coronavirus. That’s exactly the wrong way of going about things; instead of limiting individual liberty and the free market, America should unleash the free market to combat Coronavirus.
Many state and federal politicians disagree with that sentiment and don’t want to unleash the free market. Andrew Cuomo wants to nationalize industry. The feds are restricting our right to travel where we please, shop where we please, and eat where we please. Businesses have been forced to shut down and we can’t gather in large groups. And, perhaps worst of all, Democrats and Republicans alike are pushing for increasing the scope of government unemployment checks, business bailouts, and sick leave.
Some of those measures might be effective at combating the Chinese flu in the short term, but they are entirely opposed to the American spirit. We’re supposed to value liberty above all else, and especially above welfare checks. We might see this year as a time that “try men’s souls,” in the words of Thomas Paine, but we must keep in mind that quotation was originally about the American Revolution. Those patriots didn’t shelter in place, they went out and fought for their liberty. “Liberty or death” should be what we keep in mind, not government-enforced “social distancing.”
That’s not to say social distancing is bad. Stay at home if you fear the Chinese flu or feel sick. What is bad is that the government has told businesses to close and is now using the police and even National Guard to force them to do so.
If you look at the current Congressional priorities- unemployment insurance and bailouts of businesses- what you’ll see is that it’s simply trying to correct the mistake of shutting down businesses. Congressional Democrats are even blaming businesses for closing and are angry that employees have been laid off! That’s economic illiteracy for you- Democrats don’t understand that if businesses can’t serve customers, of course they’re going to lay off employees. Otherwise, they’d lose even more money.
So, what should be done? Congress should kill the current bill and instead unleash the free market. Don’t force businesses to close, let them do what they want. Don’t force consumers to stay at home, let them do what they want. Then, there’s no need for all those welfare checks, which aren’t a responsibility of the government to provide and are intended to ease the consciences of the elites, not the plight of the working man.
Instead, if we unleash the free market, workers can balance their fear of sickness with their need to work and make the decision that works best for them. Similarly, no business will have just cause to be bailed out. Ones that must remain open to survive will do so and those with more of a margin of safety might use that stored cash to act with caution for some time.
In other words, the government would no longer be making decisions for individuals. Instead, it should be finding ways to unleash the free market. It is demeaning that the Washington bureaucrats think they know better than we do what decisions are best for our lives. If you’re older and more high-risk, it’s probably better to stay home. If you’re younger, as I am, it makes far more sense to just go about your daily life and live free. It’s contemptible to be ruled by fear anyway.
Furthermore, nationalization proposals such as Cuomo’s fail to take into account the simple fact that private industry is far more efficient, effective, and innovative than the government. If we want more masks and protective gear faster, just let industry ramp up and free its hands to do so by deregulating.
The worst possible outcome of all of this is increased government power and spending. We already have a ridiculous national debt, absurdly high yearly deficits, far too many “entitlements,” and too little individual liberty. What we must remember is that however scary the Chinese flu may be, it too shall pass. But socialist policies (the real virus we’re dealing with), if implemented, will forever be a problem.
America should choose capitalism over socialism, freedom over tyranny, and unleash the free market to combat the Chinese flu. If we lose our freedom, it will never return, so we must remain vigilant. Great tyrannies are often perpetrated in the name of good causes, such as combating a pandemic. However, their cause makes them no less tyrannical and tyranny has no place in America. They need to unleash the free market, not the forces of tyranny.
By: Gen Z Conservative