Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
|John Adams said there should always be|
fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July
'We meet to celebrate the birthday of America.
Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken.
We are obliged to conclude that the Declaration of Independence represented the movement of a people. It was not a movement from the top. Revolutions do not come from that direction. The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them.
There is something beyond the establishment of a new nation in the Declaration of Independence which has ever since caused it to be regarded as one of the great charters that not only was to liberate America but ennobled humanity everywhere.
It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history.
Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights; and that the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.
If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed.
In 1638, Rev. Thomas Hooker of Connecticut said in a sermon:
“The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people.
“The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God’s own allowance.”
Rev. John Wise of Massachusetts published treatises in the early 1700s that have been declared to have been a textbook of liberty for our Revolutionary fathers.
His words were carried on with a missionary spirit which did not fail to reach the Scotch-Irish of North Carolina as well as the neighborhood of Thomas Jefferson, who acknowledged that his “best ideas of democracy” had been secured at church meetings.
George Mason prepared the Virginia Declaration of Rights on May 27, 1776, which asserted popular sovereignty and inherent natural rights but confined the doctrine of equality to the assertion that “All men are created equally free and independent.”
In 1710, Wise said “Every man must be acknowledged equal to every man.” Again, “The end of all good government is to cultivate humanity and promote the happiness of all and the good of every man in all his rights, his life, liberty, estate, honor, and so forth.” And again, “For as they have a power every man in his natural state, so upon combination they can and do bequeath this power to others and settle it according as their united discretion shall determine.” And still again, “Democracy is Christ’s government in church and state.”
Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government. This was their theory of democracy.
In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country. These great truths were in the air that our people breathed.
Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration of Independence was profoundly American.
In its main features, the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man — these are not elements which we can see and touch.
They are ideals.
They have their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.
Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments.
If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.
No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform.
Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes.
The Declaration of Independence is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things.
These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them.
The things of the spirit come first. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep our ideals replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame.
(Coolidge is the only US president to have been born on the Fourth of July. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died within hours of each other on the Fourth of July in 1826, 100 years before Coolidge’s 1926 speech)
(first published in North State Journal 7/1/20)
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
|"Try Living In A Society Without A Police Force, and You|
Really Will See That Life Is Nasty, Brutish and Short"
We are seeing the dystopian experimental petri dish of “what America can become” in Seattle. Protestors have taken over city blocks with the support of local officials and established “autonomous zones” where no police are allowed and private ownership rights are ignored.
Perhaps everyone should be allowed to see what Seattle, Minneapolis and other major metropolitan cities far left progressive liberal elected leaders come up with to replace law enforcement. If anyone wants to see what Thomas Hobbes was referring to in "Leviathan" when he said life was "nasty, brutish and short", defunding the police will take us there quickly.
If their solution works, great. If not, the voters deserve proof of their failure to vote them out of office.
James Madison wrote in Federalist 51: “If Men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Mayors and city councils of Seattle and Minneapolis must believe they are living in heaven today, because they have failed Rule #1 of government: Protect Your Constituents.
No one has any idea of what such cities might establish to replace police forces. It might be a team of psychologists or social workers who would respond to emergency requests when a crime is reported. Cities might do away with 911 call centers altogether and replace them with taped recordings of deep thoughts and meditations to calm constituent nerves when under vicious attack.
Assuming municipal police forces are disbanded, what are the likely outcomes for citizens?
Gun ownership will spike in each city and escalate as people defend their families. Since there would be no police force to call for help, inner-city Americans would be forced to resort to live like they were in the Old West where the best gunslinger prevailed.
Wealthier residents would band together to pay for private security to protect their lives and property. Poorer neighborhoods won’t be able to afford private protection, and since publicly funded police protection was abolished, they would be the first ones to suffer, again.
Mafia-style protection will proliferate where Antifa groups, or maybe the real Mafia, extorts money from businesses and people who somehow manage to remain downtown.
As cities depopulate in the wake of anarchist and illegal Antifa-led takeovers of prime metropolitan real estate, businesses will move out of cities that had been rejuvenated by regentrification and renewal efforts since the mid-1990s. Tax bases will dwindle, public services will diminish and downtowns will once again become the dangerous ghost towns many were before experiencing remarkable turnarounds in the last two decades.
There has to be a better way than abandoning inner-city America to anarchists and terrorists.
In the summer of 1975, I went on a public service internship in the Hennepin County Police Department in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the door to the locker room, there was a big sign that said: “Remember: The Supreme Court has six months to interpret the Constitution. You have two seconds.”
I never forgot that. The men and women of all races who serve us in the police force are as brave and selfless as the men and women who serve in our military force.
One night, at age 19, I went along on a patrol with a black cop and a white cop after midnight. A shooting at a pool hall was reported, so the cops responded to the call. As we approached the door, the black cop said he would take it from there since it was in a black neighborhood of Minneapolis. He told me later that if any action had to be taken, it would be better if a black cop dealt with a black suspect and witnesses.
In a perfect world, the color of a cop or suspect’s skin would be immaterial. When a black cop kills a black suspect or an Asian or Hispanic police officer shoots an armed suspect of any race, there is not the sort of reaction as when a black suspect is subdued or killed by a white cop.
Perhaps we are moving to a police response based on race to avoid future George Floyd tragedies.
Leaving innocent citizens, mostly the poor in our cities, as we have seen in Chicago, completely unprotected by an armed police force is not the answer.
(first published in North State Journal 6/17/20)
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
|"Man. How Can Both Milton Friedman and I Have Been|
So Wrong? It Says Right Here In My Book My Ideas
Should Have Worked, Even In America!"
Nothing catastrophically bad happened in America since 1982, such as hyperinflation contrary to Friedman’s monetary theories. Left-wing liberals who love Keynes have forgotten he was a highly successful investor and proponent of capitalism who recognized the limits of government spending and the virtues of fiscal sanity and balance.
Keynes was an English economist who wrote “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” in 1936 and revolutionized the way many looked at the dismal science of economics. He focused on fiscal means to increase demand in an economy, especially during downturns, and argued for government intervention to bring economies back into equilibrium instead of relying on pure free-market forces.
Keynes covered a wide range of economic theory from the multiplier effect to liquidity to efficient marginal deployment of capital, but if his entire theory for government intervention can be boiled down to what modern politicians think it is; this is it:
To get out of economic recessions/depressions, government must cut taxes and increase federal spending to increase demand, which will in turn lead to more employment, producing more supply to satisfy that increased demand.
However, since most political people who espouse Keynesian economics have never read his book in its entirety, here’s the flip side of his economic stimulus argument:
During economic expansions, taxes must be raised and spending cut to bring the federal budgets back into balance.
Raise your hand if you can recall the last time a liberal Democrat proposed a slash in federal spending in any area other than defense. No Democrat has proposed a reduction in overall federal spending without a coalition of Republicans leading the charge in my recollection ever.
Nowadays, both Republicans and Democrats are semi-Keynesians, as in “half believers.”
Republicans will cut taxes in recessions, to be sure, but they will never raise taxes in an expansion. Democrats will increase spending in a recession, to follow part of Keynesian doctrine, but they will never cut federal spending in a robust economy.
Both sides will spend trillions in a heartbeat, as we have just seen with COVID-19 relief efforts, but will not propose higher taxes, reduced spending or reform of entitlements to ever bring the U.S. budget back into balance in our lifetime.
In short, they are doing nothing when it comes to the hard work of governing under constraints.
We are soon going to see if $3 trillion of fiscal stimulus and $7 trillion of Federal Reserve monetary balance sheet expansion is going to work to save our economy. If it does, and if there are any 100% true-blue Keynesian believers left, perhaps a liberal Democrat will introduce a budget package of $4 in spending cuts relative to baseline projections for every $1 in tax hikes when we are back in solid economic times to see if America can restore any sense of rationality back towards a balanced budget.
To my conservative brethren who loathe tax increases of any sort, I agree with you 100%. However, since 1997, you have not accomplished one single dollar of spending or deficit-reduction by legislation in Washington. That was 23 years ago.
If by some small infinitesimal chance someone on the left proposes $1 trillion in spending reductions and/or entitlement spending reform for every $250 billion in tax hikes, what are you going to do? At the very minimum, you will finally achieve at least some spending discipline when you have failed miserably to do so for the past two decades. At the worst, you will have to swallow some tax increases you can work to repeal in the next Congress.
Otherwise, let’s just end the charade that one side is worse than the other on deficits and national debt accumulation. Based on empirical evidence since 1997, and especially in the last 3 months, there is no difference when it comes to controlling spending, increasing deficits and fueling skyrocketing
Deficit insanity has won. Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes have both failed.
(first published in North State Journal 6/3/20)
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
|Senator Richard Burr-NC|
If that is the case, I have never worked for one, or knew anyone, who did. I certainly never figured out how to use any inside information I was privy to as chief of staff to a US senator and a US congressman to get filthy rich quickly.
There are three problems with this urban legend. First, it is illegal for anyone in government, business or on Wall Street to use inside information not generally available to the public to enrich themselves and any trade over $1,000 is reported to congressional ethics. Second, much of what appears to be obvious inside information to the public later turns out to be incorrect. Finally, the private market seems to be more efficient at uncovering information — and reacting to it — than politicians, staffers and bureaucrats.
If you had to report publicly every stock trade you made over $1,000 (buy or sell), would you take any chances on it being illegal or unethical?
Only one member of Congress has been sent to prison for using inside information to buy or sell stocks, former Congressman Chris Collins of New York in January 2020. If any elected official, including Sen. Burr, is found to have abused any confidential information for stock trades, they deserve the same fate as Mr. Collins.
No one yet knows all the details behind Burr’s stock sales on February 13 of this year. Anyone who knows Richard or has worked with him over the years knows he keeps his own counsel and marches to the beat of his own drummer — many times to the exasperation of his staff and campaign consultants.
If he had asked for my advice when first elected in 1994, which he didn’t, I would have suggested that he place his stock portfolio in a blind trust to eliminate any appearance of impropriety since so much of politics is perception anyway.
Maybe he didn’t have a sufficiently large enough portfolio at age 38 to justify placing it in a blind trust then.
He does have a history of being very skittish about financial markets which makes me wish I had been as cautious as he was before the market crashed in 2008 and 2020.
In October 2008, Senator Burr told his wife to take money out of the ATM over the weekend in anticipation of the financial collapse that was about to unfold. He was not the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time nor was he on any relevant commerce or financial services committee that had any oversight of the stock market.
He had a bad feeling about what was going on. The pending collapse was all over cable news on a second-by-breathless-second basis during what should be called “Black October.”
This year, Burr said in a Feb. 7 Fox News op-ed that “Americans are rightfully concerned about the coronavirus” and that the situation “is alarming.” That was a week before he initiated the stock trades that have drawn scrutiny.
Any one of us could have done the same thing based on the daily news we all were watching. Perhaps Sen. Burr should become a financial manager when he retires and help people avoid having their portfolios sliced in half when something bad is about to happen.
Some partisan media and opponents speculated that Sen. Burr sold his DC house in a sweet deal in 2017. The Senate Ethics Committee reviewed all relevant documents before the sale and determined it was done in line with all Senate rules and ethical guidelines.
One ethics committee lawyer told me after calling their office almost weekly in 1985: “Let me give you some guidelines; if you think something may be unethical, it usually is. Don’t ask us to approve something unethical or illegal, because we won’t”.
Senate Ethics would have declined his house sale if it was not done properly in an arms-length transaction.
I have known Richard Burr for 28 years. He is one of the least pretentious and preening of any U.S. senator who has ever served. He drove himself to meetings around the state in a 1998 Honda Accord without an entourage in a black Escalade following him around. He is not fabulously wealthy like many other senators either through inheritance or marriage, or due to business or real estate success.
In short, Burr is like most of the rest of us. Except he chose to run for public office and serve his state and country to the best of his ability for the past 26 years. I hope his stock trades were based on his past practices, public information and the information he shared publicly.
(first published in North State Journal 5/27/20)
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
|"Come and Take Them"|
King Xerxes of Persia surrounded Spartan King Leonidas and 7,000 of his remaining warriors with 300,000 men at the narrow pass of Thermopylae during the waning years of the Peloponnesian War.
According to Plutarch, he sent a message demanding the Spartans surrender or face certain death.
“When Xerxes wrote again, ‘Hand over your arms,’ (Leonidas) wrote in reply, ‘Μολών λαβέ.’”
“Μολών λαβέ” (molon labe) is Greek for “Come and take them.” It has become a rallying cry for defiance ever since.
The brave sacrifice of the Spartans bought a few extra days for the citizens of Athens to evacuate before the Persians ransacked the city, after destroying the Spartan army. Not only did it save Athens to fight another day, which it did two years later when their navy defeated the Persians at the Battle of Salamis, it saved Western civilization as we know it.
Μολών λαβέ does not always have to be associated with armed conflict. Such acts of defiance have been expressed in peaceful non-violent civil disobedience such as Gandhi preached during the fight for Indian independence from the British during the 1940s and when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement in America in the 1960s.
Small business owners are adopting the Spartan μολών λαβέ spirit by opening up their hair salons, tattoo parlors and retail shops around the country in defiance of government stay-at-home orders.
They are not doing so because they hate government or the politicians issuing the orders, but because they are about to lose their businesses perhaps forever. They want to be safe and healthy like any other person, but they just can’t stay closed forever, especially when big box stores such as Costco and Walmart have remained open for the past two months.
Twenty-six of North Carolina’s 100 counties have not recorded a COVID19-related death out of the 679 recorded to date. 87% of the people who have succumbed to COVID19 are over the age of 65 with significant comorbid diseases; 58% of total deaths have occurred in nursing homes. People know the population most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those who live in nursing homes, not on the manufacturing floor, in a barber shop, in a church or in a restaurant.
North Carolina has the ninth largest population but is 34th in terms of deaths per 100,000 people (6 per 100k) which is comparable to remote states and territories such as Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the Virgin Islands. In that regard, government authorities can point to such statistics and claim their policies were a major success.
One restaurant owner has told authorities, “Come on down and get my keys to the restaurant. You can run it and try to generate the profits you need me to make so I can pay the taxes you need to keep the government you are leading operating at full speed since no state employee has been laid off yet.”
They have not come to get his keys. It would be impossible for the municipal police forces and county sheriff departments to arrest every owner who opens up their business before the appointed time.
Little did Rosa Parks know in 1955 how much she would influence the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery Alabama bus to a white passenger. “At the time I was arrested, I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.”
She had had enough. If we pass this upcoming Memorial Day weekend without a significant lessening of restrictions, the μολών λαβέ attitude of the ancient Greeks will rise up in masses of people, not just a brave few.
(first published in North State Journal 5/20/20)
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
|"I, State Your Name, Do Solemnly Swear To|
Tell The Whole Truth About What Went On
In the Obama White House!"
(first published in North State Journal 5/13/20)
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
|"Man. I woulda thought the US would have imploded|
under massive inflation by now!
For the past 40 years, for some odd reason, I have been concerned about the high level of federal spending. I was raised by great mentors on a diet of sound fiscal management, control spending first, PAYGO, discretionary caps, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, give the president line-item veto powers, “don’t waste one precious dollar from the average taxpayer!”
I was heavily indoctrinated in the belief that huge annual budget deficits led to (you name it): high interest rates, sky-high inflation rates, currency devaluation, crowding out of private-sector borrowing, financial destruction and, for all I knew, the heartbreak of psoriasis and eczema.
None of the predicted economic catastrophes ever happened. Inflation was 13.5% in 1980; prime interest rates hit 21% in June 1982.
Inflation is near zero today. So are real interest rates. We have violated every common-sense, rational, conservative balanced-budget principle and deficit-spent our way from $3.4 trillion in publicly-held debt in 2001 to $19 trillion today.
The national debt of $980 billion in 1980 represented over 30% of GDP. At $19 trillion of debt and still counting, it represents 86% of GDP today.
We were terrified of such rampant deficit-spending and fiscal irresponsibility when we graduated from college back then. The economy was stuck in “stagflation” — stagnant economic growth plus high inflation — the worst of both worlds. Stagflation was not entirely the fault of President Jimmy Carter, but his policies and those of the heavily Democratic-controlled Congress and Senate, plus the Federal Reserve between 1977 and 1981, we were told, surely exacerbated the severity of both.
To avoid more “stagflation,” unemployment and negligible prosperity going forward, Republicans acted like the conservatives they were back then and tried to hold the line on federal spending to balance the budget and stop adding exorbitant amounts of debt that we were convinced would lead to hyperinflation and sky-high interest rates.
It wasn’t until the second term of President Bill Clinton that America experienced four straight balanced budgets from 1998-2001 when a Republican Congress forced his hand to sign a welfare reform bill first and then the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
Those were halcyon days for responsible common-sense folks. Dynasty sort of years comparable to four Final Fours and four national title banners. CBO predicted budget surpluses for as far as the eye could see in 2000; Social Security would be solvent for 100 years, and life would be perfect in America.
And then, 9/11 hit. And then the Bush tax cuts. And then the Greatest Recession since the 1930. And then Obamacare.
And now this Coronavirus-induced economic plunge off the cliff and government budget-busting without precedent outside of world war. Thirty million Americans were not just laid-off but thrown out of the work door literally overnight.
As in every crisis in the past, supply-side theorists from the right extol tax cuts, and Keynesians from the left extol the virtues of massive spending to solve all our problems. Monetarists say “expand the Federal Reserve balance sheet” with abandon to provide liquidity to the banking system, which is all done outside of the “official” national debt totals that keep going through the roof.
Budget deficits first exceeded $1 trillion in 2008 under Bush 43. President Obama presided over four straight trillion-dollar deficits in his first term. The federal deficit this year alone will be close to $3.7 trillion, and we are barely in the fourth inning.
Why haven’t interest rates exploded to 21% at any time since 1982? Why hasn’t inflation exploded to 13.5% like in 1980? If nothing bad is going to happen, let’s cut everyone’s taxes to near zero, spend $100 trillion and give everyone free healthcare and education — filet mignon and caviar in every kitchen and a Rolls-Royce in every garage.
Maybe Paul Krugman is right. Maybe we really can deficit-spend the heck out of anything in America.
Poor Milton Friedman. If he was cremated instead of being laid to rest, then his dust molecules must be bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans, because none of his warnings have come true.
Yet, that is.
(first published in North State Journal 5/6/20)
Thursday, April 30, 2020
|"I better make the right decision..."|
During a crisis such as COVID-19, it helps to understand the thinking that goes on in the minds of elected officials behind closed doors.
First of all, they are human. They are fearful of making the wrong decision since so much is at stake.
Fortunately, the only true “life or death” vote Congress has to take from time to time is sending soldiers to war, which happens infrequently.
Government shutting down the economy to save lives due to a virus has now become another “life or death” decision. We have never had a coordinated federal/state/local government shutdown of our entire economy before under any circumstance — not after Pearl Harbor, not during swine flu, not during the AIDS outbreak of the 80s, not during the polio virus epidemic of the 1950s in America, and not after 9/11.
What is the precedent we are setting for the future?
We don’t ask our elected officials to lock us up every year to protect us from all harm. If we did, we could avoid 40,000 car-related deaths per year. Our economy stays open every flu season even though it claims an average of 45,000 Americans in spite of the fact we have multiple vaccines available today. The sheer impracticality and absurdity of 330 million freedom-loving Americans living cloistered lives prevents any elected official from considering such draconian measures.
“The art of politics,” said Reinhold Niebuhr, “is finding proximate solutions to basically insoluble problems.” We elect people to find ways to help protect us from certain threats by mitigating risk and loss of life as much as possible even though we know that eliminating risk and death 100% from daily life is completely and utterly impossible.
Politicians engage in utilitarian theory, whether they know it or not, to find those proximate, but not perfect, solutions on a daily basis. Espoused by 19th century British philosopher John Stuart Mill, utilitarianism helped foster the notion that “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” should be the goal of every politician. An ardent advocate of individual rights, Mill argued that freedom offered the greatest hope for the most people in any society.
Despite being a proponent of personal freedom, Mill did acknowledge the necessity for the coercive power of government authorities, through the law and public opinion, to defend ourselves and others from being harmed. But under what conditions and for how long of a period of time?
On March 11, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus and the NBA canceled the season. Two days later, the New York Times published a story that led with the assertion that 2.2 million deaths “could” occur in America without a lot of caveats and hedging until later in the story.
Faced with the possibility of 2.2 million deaths and a complete stampede of hospital capacity, President Trump, governors and mayors listened to health experts who urged them to take prudent cautionary steps to issue stay-at-home orders and essentially shut down the economy overnight.
Today, experts expect nationwide fatalities of 67,000 due to COVID-19-related complications. Had 67,000 fatalities been predicted in March, a whole different set of policies would have been taken at the federal, state and local levels of government. North Carolina is now expected to experience 370 fatalities due to COVID-19 by Aug. 6, far down from the many thousands predicted in March.
The utilitarian question today is this: What is “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” going forward? What is the proximate, albeit not “perfect” return-to-work policy? How long should our economy be closed down before 750,000 laid-off North Carolinians can go back to work? The longer North Carolina businesses stay closed-to-semi-closed, the higher the probability becomes that many of the small businesses that laid off their workers will not be open to hire them back.
One thing we do know for sure is that our economy has to open up pretty soon with certain protective health restrictions such as social distancing and wearing masks and gloves or else we will revisit the economic devastation of the Great Recession of 2008-2010.
We can’t stay closed forever. That would be utilitarian theory in reverse: "The least good for the leas number of people".
(first published in North State Journal 4/29/20)