Americans are not mindless. We are the land of opportunity because we make those opportunities for ourselves every day. So why the urgency to keep our economy and our opportunities shut down?
The critics will claim that the safety of our citizens takes precedence over any talk of reopening the economy. Many of those same critics want all of us focused on finding a cure. So how do we do that with most of us sitting on our hands at home?
Americans achieve great things when they are actively involved and not on the sidelines. We need all hands in the fight and in the arena together. Why is someone providing a good meal to the guy on his way home from a double shift at the lab that finds the cure not considered also of value to the effort? Why is the shoe repair less important if it gives the nurse that identifies a key factor more comfort as she walks her floor? Why is the ditch digger that finds a leak and solves the sewer back up at the nursing home less critical to a solution?
Micromanaging the economy didn’t work before the pandemic. It certainly won’t work now. I believe that when you allow citizens to go about their jobs to the best of their ability, they will find the quickest solutions to the COVID 19 problem.
Businesses aren’t going to just throw the doors open and expect a mad rush. Unless they each provide a safe environment for their workers and their customers, a free market will quickly resolve whether that business is critical to the economy or not. Keeping everybody shut down just means the pain and poverty is spread to all.
Government does a poor job of picking winners and losers. History shows that the winners are often well connected. It is the taxpaying citizens that are left on the losing end and with a large bill attached.
This country has shown the world that when we have all our citizens working to solve a problem there is nothing we cannot achieve. When I go to the store to purchase a good or service it is to satisfy a need. I am also exchanging what I earned in doing my job with that employee. They can then go out and pursue their needs as well. And maybe… just maybe be that someone that makes the life of the people that solve this problem just enough better to make the solution come a lot quicker.
This may just be idle speculation. But it is grounded in the knowledge that providing a world where opportunities are limitless also means the solution is that much closer. If I’m earning a paycheck digging a ditch or inventing a new method of tracking this disease I am contributing to a thriving economy. It’s only when all of us are out there doing our best that we enable a system to provide the best opportunities for the scientists to solve this problem.
Is it selfish? Maybe so. But history teaches us that when the yoke is placed on the citizen the only opportunity he sees is the row ahead.
Bill Beard is a candidate for Pima County Board of Supervisor District 1