stat counnnter

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Epidemic of Runaway Government Control

What we are seeing in this COVID-19 shutdown is a huge perversion of the purpose of government. According to our Constitution the purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of it's citizens. This includes many things one of which is its ability to quarantine citizens who are infected by a disease during an epidemic.

Throughout history nations have quarantined infected people from the general public. But what is happening now in many states like California, New York, Michigan and others is that they are quarantining everyone including the healthy. This is exactly opposite of what should be happening and is counter productive.

You don't destroy the economy of a nation to fight an epidemic. It will destroy more human life than the virus. President Trump has asserted he doesn't want the cure to be worse than the disease. I agree. And it won't be if we end this shutdown as soon as possible.

Nor do we need to wait a year for a vaccine. This virus will spread through the population despite the efforts of various state governors. The sooner this happens the safer we'll be next year. People will develop individual immunities which leads to herd immunities. This is a good thing. This virus will be back next fall. Now is the time to reopen the most dynamic market place on the planet. Not this summer.

This government enforced shutdown is unwise for other reasons as well. Every doctor on this planet will tell you that moderate exercise helps keep our immune system up. Our immune system will protect us from most diseases but only if it is up to the task. However, being told to stay home or shelter in place is going to prevent many people from getting that needed moderate exercise thus weakening their immune systems. Not good.

I've read that COVID-19 is very contagious, that it spreads fast. In a way that may be good. It could mean that it will run its course quicker than previously thought. But not if we don't let it. I've also read that early data suggest it will be less deadly than the seasonal flu. Numbers show that most people who get it recover from it. Let's hope so.

I mentioned above a perversion of the purpose of government. In this crisis our government is being transformed from a rights protector to a rights violator--in the name of protecting us. Protecting our rights means protecting us from violations of those rights. But we have allowed government to grow to such an enormous size that it  now wants to protect us from everything including our selves. Well, that's what slave masters do. Not free nations. My next post will be on the nature of a proper government.

In the meantime, here is an excellent essay on why there was such a massive shortage of test kits and N95 masks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The virus is bugging Michigan.

Like the rest of the nation, my state of Michigan is under siege from the covid-19 virus and a loving, caring, but strict paternalistic government. Thankfully Governor Whitmer hasn't instituted martial law yet.

 I thank her for that. But she hasn't taken it off the table either. So she is practicing the standard authoritarian policy of  "Have gun, will nudge." As of midnight Monday all non essential stores are to be closed. All social gatherings forbidden etc. etc. I know she means well but here are some of my thoughts I wish the governor would consider

 #1. is the fact that this virus transmits itself though the air. Airborne viruses are almost impossible to contain. The earth is a windy place.  Even if small droplets can hover for about 6 feet,  a gentle breeze can move them farther. Air conditioning and furnaces can move air around in buildings.

#2. A proper response to an epidemic is to quarantine the sick, that is, those known to be infected or exposed to the virus. But the healthy should not be quarantined. That is counter productive. Their healthy immune systems need to be out there killing the virus or slowing its spread.

In this regard, South Korea is doing the right thing. It's not shutting down its economy, but rather is unleashing its private markets in medicine and diagnostics. These in turn are mass producing things like masks, ventilators, test kits and whatever is needed.

Here in the US there were testing labs and diagnostic centers asking the CDC for permission to develop them. The CDC response? No. In fact, some of these labs were told  to go get permission from the FDA first then come for permission from the CDC. Such permissions usually take 6 to 8 weeks. Meanwhile, people die. This is insane. Congress or the President needs to remove the permission granting powers from these two agencies. To his credit President Trump recently fast-tracked the permission granting powers of the CDC.

The American economy is the most productive economy in the world. It needs to be free to do what it does best; massively produce goods--like test kits and ventilators and other PPEs (personal protective equipment)--and services like delivery of these things. 

A network of private labs would be working to develop vaccines. Just think of how it would be if all these private labs were free to jump in back in January.

In my view, we citizens have for way too long been turning over to government all the things we value. My generation, my father's generation, his father's generation and who knows how far back, have over time given to government all the values we hold dear and which a free market would be providing such as:

Our roads and bridges over to government infrastructure, our children's minds to public education, our health care to public health care, our insurance to Romney Care or Obama Care or what ever is coming next. We have to stop it. 

Yes I'm afraid we have brought much of this on ourselves. We need to take back these things from the government and return them to the free market where it will provide for our needs and wants in abundance.

Dismantling the regulatory state, which happens to be the deep state, is in all of our interests. I think the Center for Disease Control should be completely privatized. It would make a fortune testing for private enterprise. The FDA should be completely shut down. It has been deemed the Federal Death administration. It's ridiculous waiting times for bringing new drugs to market has resulted in countless numbers of unnecessary deaths.

In the meantime I can only hope Governor Whitmer  sticks to her three week deadline and even rescinds it sooner. It just isn't needed.