On Twitter, the hashtag #RIPCapitalism was trending Wednesday evening because articles emerged that Jeff Bezos may become the first trillionaire, as Amazon sees a spike in sales due to COVID-19. The theme of hating capitalism, as opposed to a particular corporation like Amazon, is echoed among leftists, who also seem to want to see an extension to the current pandemic-related lockdowns throughout the country. However, hating big businesses and wanting the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders to continue until a cure is found is hypocritical.
When the lockdowns began nationwide, governments determined what an essential business is and what is not. Essential businesses typically are supermarkets, big box stores, and gas stations. What do these all have in common? Large corporations primarily own them. Most businesses that were deemed non-essential like salons, furniture stores, clothing retailers, and many others tend to be small businesses. If there are no other stores open, people are forced to go to a major retailer for their items or services as opposed to a small business. Anybody who has gone to a department store recently may have noticed how they are busier at times, and that is because there is nowhere else for people to shop. Not only does this boost profit for the business, but it also creates a health hazard if the store is crowded. For plenty of mom and pop shops, they will only get a few customers in-store at a time normally, posing a much lower health risk. This all begs the question: If leftists hate large corporations, why do they support a lockdown that significantly helps these large corporations?
The first possibility is just plain hypocrisy, and that those pushing for the lockdown till a cure is found are not seeing the big picture of record unemployment, livelihoods destroyed, rise in suicides, domestic violence, and countless other issues as a result of people being stuck at home for months.
For the more menacing leftist, their desire for the lockdown to continue has a darker goal, the destruction of the private sector. If the lockdown goes on for longer, the more businesses that are forced to close. Rather quickly, the private sector will be so crippled that it is almost nonexistent. Without jobs or businesses, an increasing amount of people will be relying on the government for assistance. The vast expansion of the welfare state is already occurring right now because people are having no other choice but to apply for unemployment and use their stimulus check if they qualified for one. The menacing leftist wants the permanent expansion of the welfare state, eventually leaving everyone equally poor, as everyone is relying on roughly the same amount of government money. This is a major goal of the menacing leftist, achieving equality of outcome for all, no matter how terrible that outcome is.
There is a simple solution to avoiding the grim possibility if the power-hungry politicians budge. Opening up all businesses, but limiting capacity for the time being if the area has a significant amount of COVID-19 cases. If businesses want to do so, they should require that their employees and customers wear personal protective equipment, like a mask.
Everything is a choice. Putting yourself at risk for disease is a choice. If a hairstylist and a client both agree that they are putting themselves at risk, that is not the government’s job to prevent that service from taking place. The government cannot be getting in the way of personal responsibility.
The original goal of this lockdown was to prevent hospitalizations, flatten the curve, and limit the number of deaths. In March, there was little talk of finding a cure to solicit the end of the lockdown. Even states that have reopened to heavy criticism, like Florida and Georgia, are seeing a decline in cases. The American people have done their part since March. While we need to continue exhibiting personal responsibility, the government needs to honor its end of the bargain. Safely reopen the economy, and stop holding the American business owner hostage.