Taming the coronavirus/government Leviathan

Taming the coronavirus/government Leviathan

Ah, the Pennsylvania “progressives” are out in full force, pimping for new federal coronavirus pandemic-related public policy prescriptions   that, by any reasonable measure, are nothing but suicide pills of government dependence.

And the verbiage of the pimps is downright Orwellian.

“We’ll never get back to the robust economy we had before the pandemic without another round of economic stimulus,” Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, told the Post-Gazette.

But of course; we always need another government intervention to cover up the lie of the last, failed, government intervention, right?

The director of the far-left group (that’s joined at the hip of the equally far-left, union-toadying Keystone Research Center), told the newspaper that Pennsylvania is “at an inflection point.”

Yes – economic liberty or government-directed economic servitude.

What happens next could determine whether Pennsylvania sees a “period of economic stagnation or decline or whether we actually finally recover from the pandemic,” Stier says.

So, to “save” a commonwealth economy that state officials did their best to kill in a wholly and repeatedly arbitrary and capricious fashion, federal officials must flood the economy with more “stimulus” and “recovery” money, is that it?

When does this end? Where’s that money to come from? Why, of course, the federal government’s printing press.

Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, told the P-G (which never discloses that this group and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center are, sharing the same website, one and the same) that the prior economic stimulus “put a lot of money in people’s hands,” allowing them “to keep spending and, of course, that has a multiplying factor … that makes businesses come back online … (and) they can hire more people.”

Frankly, we’re surprised he didn’t go on to claim that for every dollar of government “stimulus,” the “multiplier effect” was, oh, you know, $1 million or some other inflated number created out of whole “progressive” cloth.

Well, GUL-ALL-LEE (think of Gomer Pyle here), if the “engine” of government deficit “stimulus” is such the all-powerful and Oz-like elixir, who needs capitalism and a market economy, right? Let’s just put our fates and our ever-more conscripted fortunes in the hands of the beneficent government-financed “markets,” eh?

No thanks.

Then, and in a parroting of a wholly unoriginal political talking point, Herzenberg says “You actually have to beat the virus to fully open up the economy.”

But without government aid (supposedly interim but few things government does is such), he tells the newspaper (and this is the P-G’s paraphrase) that the danger from an economic point of view is spiraling into a self-reinforcing decline — a cycle of job loss, wage loss, declines in consumer buying power, then more job loss, more wage loss and so on.

“We’re playing with fire,” Herzenberg says.

Never mind that it was the government that set this fire, set this vicious cycle in motion and whose acolytes of economic destruction seek to “remedy” the gross miscalculations of the past with continuing gross miscalculations.

But, but but … shouldn’t the government make whole those its economic shutdowns harmed? Of course the government has a responsibility to correct its failings. And in this case, that means allowing the free marketplace to find an operational equilibrium with the pandemic.

Indeed, the coronavirus must be – and will be — tamed. But the greater threat to the Pennsylvania economy has been the government. And taming that Leviathan will be no small feat.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).