stat counnnter

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

Is Michigan's economy a nonessential?

I mentioned Michigan in the title because I live there but that question can be asked of many other states in this country who have shut down their economies also. I could see some states shutting down for maybe 2 weeks so that a massive campaign to produce testing kits could get under way. But, thanks to government regulations, that production didn't happen.

Instead, some governors and mayors decided to quarantine everyone regardless of health status. In doing so they shut down about 80% of their state's economies on the seeming premise that a fully running economy is a nonessential. The essential then was to prevent hospitals from being over whelmed, not fighting the virus. For this they locked down their states.

 An economy is the life blood of a society. It is individuals living, trading, sustaining and even enhancing their lives. To be prosperous an economy must have a free marketplace. In a free market people are free to make a dollar satisfying the wants and needs of others. No physical force is involved. Everything is voluntary

A beautiful feature is that people are free to compete with each other to see who can best serve those wants/needs of other's. It is the kind of pro-freedom, pro-prosperity, pro-human flourishing system that you'd think everyone would be trying to create. So why are state governments trying to shut them down? Do they really think a state's marketplace is a nonessential?

Some of these governors and mayors have come out with lists of what they call essential and nonessential jobs. They call them services. Police, fire and health care jobs are considered essential while most others are deemed nonessential. But essential to whom and for what purpose?

Every job out there, no matter how mundane or menial, is serving some person's life. That job is essential to that person's life. To designate it as nonessential is to regard his life as nonessential. Yet that's what these politicians do.

Here in Michigan our Governor Gretchen Whitmer  says we can't buy seeds to plant in our own back yards. But we can go to party stores and buy booze and lottery tickets. Yep! We must not sacrifice the State's income, just our own.

Our Governor is substituting her judgement for that of her constituents in area's that have little or nothing to do with fighting the virus. She wants to decide what we should buy and not buy. What we should have access to and not. It's what dictators and their wannabes do.

Governor Whitmer should immediately throw open Michigan's enormously productive market place and watch the explosion of life saving personal protection equipment (PPEs) and other medical equipment. (private volunteers are already doing this.) But by prolonging this lock down she is guaranteeing a second wave in the winter when the virus will come back.

Today, too many people don't understand what a free market is supposed to be free from. The answer of course is the initiatory--starting--of the use of force by other men, whether by criminals or government regulations. People haven't seen the difference between laws that protect rights which are based on the presumption of innocence and regulations which are all based on the presumption of guilt.

But we citizens and our recent family ancestors have brought much of this on ourselves. We and they have repeatedly elected politicians who promised to invest in health care, or more fair care or affordable care etc.

We did not notice that politics is the management of force and medicine is the management of health and to combine the two is to force health care to be in service to politicians. And that is what we see today.

If you had just come down with a new disease wouldn't you want to have hundreds of testing labs and diagnostic clinics going full blast on finding a cure? So why did we limit our chances to two government regulators--the CDC and FDA--from whom they all have to get permission to budge? 

President Reagan promised to shut down the Dept of Education. He didn't. In 2016 Sen Ted Cruz promised to eliminate 5 regulatory agencies. He lost to Trump. Trump has promised to "drain the swamp." But he has not eliminated one agency that I can see.

We have to search for candidates that will start shutting down these regulatory agencies. We have to do it because it looks like Trump isn't going to. He's been busy fighting impeachment and enormous obstructionism by Democrats.We have to put medicine back in the hands of doctors and health scientists.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Regulatory failure.

Today my Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced steady as she goes with her economic and political shutdown. Although she hopes for an end soon, she said we have to rely on the scientific facts. Well, I say no. We should be relying on the Constitution and its founding principle of inalienable individual rights. The economy should have been left running while people were encouraged to self protect.

The alleged reason for the shutdown was to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. But our hospitals have been overwhelmed before from things like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc. and they simply did their best. Yes some people died unable to be attended to as happens in all such overloads.

These can be managed better if the health care industry were privatized. A private market in medicine means hospitals, clinics even doctors offices would have their own stockpiles. I can see a chain of private warehouses stockpiling vast amounts of test kits, ventilators and other PPEs and rotating them as needed.

But our health care industry is heavily regulated by government. Did you know that the Center for Disease Control wrote regulations forbidding private companies from making test kits without getting permission from the CDC?

 There were hundreds of testing labs and diagnostic clinics across the country asking for permission to make testing kits. The CDC said no. It required them to use the CDCs own kits. In another massive failure of government, those kits were flawed. They didn't work. So people died as a result.

I don't know if President Trump was aware of this or even knew that the National Strategic Supply had been depleted fighting the swine flu during the Obama administration and never fully restocked. If he did he should have been outraged at the gross incompetence of the regulators.

In my view he should have issued an executive order temporarily suspending the permission granting powers of the CDC and the FDA (with a view toward making them permanent) and then unleashed all those private labs to go full blast creating test kits. We would have been drowning in them in a week or two.

Then we could have had a massive testing campaign (like South Korea did) to see who tested positive and quarantined them while letting the negatives go about their lives but still practicing protective measures. Alas, that did not happen here.

Next post on why the economy should have stayed running.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Intellectual Thugs Now Control the Democrat Party.

Here is an excellent essay on why there was such a massive shortage of test kits and N95 masks.

It's what happens when Michigan voters vote social thugs into office. Gov Whitmer, like the governors of California and New York worship the use of brute force as the way to solve problems. She is declaring that her judgement supercedes that of doctors. 

A crime to be a crime must violate or threaten to violate someone's rights. So how is a doctor and a patient voluntarily agreeing to a prescription a violation of rights? Especially since HCQ has been proven safe for many years now. 

She doesn't want you to have the freedom to try something that may save you. She wants to be in charge of your life. Even if it's true that the efficacy of the drug on this particular virus hasn't been proven to be positively efficacious, so what? It's not a dangerous one. She doesn't care. 

Fortunately, the governor has backtracked on his.The fact that she is willing to threaten doctors with force proves once again the truth of the fact, as Ayn Rand said about second handers: IIRC, 'Producers (doctors, scientists, inventors et al) seek to control reality. Second handers seek to control the producers'. Such people now control the Democrat Party.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

"Prepare now for safe, fair Michigan elections.

That was one of the headlines on the front page of the Detroit Free Press opinion section this Easter Sunday by editorial director Brian Dickerson. I didn't know Mr Dickerson switched callings from journalist to comedian. Oh but of course! We now have Democrats as Governor and Atty General of Michigan so there are now halos everywhere. Silly me.

But let's not forget a few examples of Democrat fairness.

Here is one from 2019.

What about that box in Detroit in 2016 labeled 300 ballots but only had 50 in it? Where did the other 250 go?

Here is another.

You know, I could see a precinct or two suffering from sloppiness but 37 of them?  Come on. Not my idea of safe or fair.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

It's On Us

In my last post I suggested that the fault for the existence of this shutdown is on our--US citizens shoulders.  How so? Well, my generation, my father's generation and his father's generation have over time, peace meal, turned over to government everything we depend on in the marketplace.

Our roads and bridges, to government infrastructure, our children's minds to public education, our healthcare to FDA, CDC, NIH, HHS et al. and  our health insurance to Romney Care, Obama Care and who knows what's coming down the road next. So, can we keep going to bed every night confident in the belief we will not wake in the morning to a totalitarian dictatorship? No we can't. We are deluding ourselves.

 We citizens have had a long history of failing to see the difference between trade and force i.e. economics and politics. (Ayn Rand explains this difference in fine detail in her essays "What is Capitalism" and "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" again in her book "Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal."

Because we didn't understand that difference we developed a very bad habit of turning to the government and shouting "Do something" whenever something went wrong in economics or medicine or science. (Politics is the only realm where such a shout could be justified.)

This was and still is music to the ears of politicians who want us to bring our problems to them. We have invited the government into every area of the marketplace and thus every area of our lives. They have shown a frightful eagerness to take over. We need to get the government out of the economy before they close the door on us.

We need to elect politicians who will shut down the regulatory state starting this coming election. The utter failure of the CDC and FDA and others to protect us testifies is spades how useless they are. In fact, we never should have placed them in charge of our health to begin with. Let's fix that now.

Friday, April 03, 2020

The Government Control Virus

In my last post I mentioned our government's reaction to the COVID-19 disease is a perversion of the natural roll of government which in normal times is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. But I also know that in times of emergencies government may be justified in using extreme measures to protect citizens from natural threats like telling people to evacuate homes during fires, floods etc and quarantining people during epidemics.

 I will say that during an epidemic government does not abandon it's rights protecting duty. In fact, every thing it does should should be done within the framework of how best do we exercise our rights while protecting the rights of everyone else. In this regard I highly recommend her essays "The Nature of Government" and "Man's rights" in Ayn Rand's book "Capitalism:the Unknown Ideal." In fact I recommend the entire book. 

In the former essay Rand writes: 
"A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." (italics hers pg378)

 "If men are to live together in a peaceful, productive, rational society and deal with one another to mutual benefit, they must accept the basic social principle without which no moral of civilized society is possible: the principle of individual rights." (pg379)

She goes on to show the difference between initiatory force and retaliatory force and points out that government must never be allowed to use initiatory force by saying:

 "If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.
This is the proper task of government--its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government. 
A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control--i.e., under objectively defined laws." (all italics hers.)
So, what happens when the government decides to adopt the initiatory use of force against citizens who have committed no crime, who have not started the use of force against anyone? Well, the answer is: a free market that is no longer free but is controlled by a gang of regulatory agencies.

Our founders envisioned a nation of rights protecting laws that protected citizens' rights with retaliatory force. But over time our government has persuaded us that it needs to protect us with government regulations over the entire marketplace.

Thus government has secured control over roads, bridges and all transportation, over education of our children's minds, over healthcare, over the economy over everything. Very few people have noticed that government has usurped to itself the initiatory use of force.

For now it exercises more control over some parts of the economy and less over others. But that will only get worse. When government takes control of anything it is almost impossible to get it back into the control of the marketplace.

So how does this relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure of our caring, loving, concerned government to be prepared for this disaster? It relates in the sense that while there is plenty of blame to go around--China, Wuhan, CDC, FDA, Obama's not restocking our supply of PPEs which he used on the Swine flu, the Democrat Party's lust to impeach Trump while ignoring the virus, I'm afraid that much of it is on us, the American Citizen. More on that in my next post.