COVID shutdowns championed by U.S. governors and D.C. bureaucrats are responsible for destroying nearly 40% of small businesses since the virus was unleashed on the world—and we know now that it was for little to no good reason. A study by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences revealed recently that shutdown orders made little to no difference in COVID’s impact. From the abstract of the study:
“Previous studies have claimed that shelter-in-place orders saved thousands of lives, but we reassess these analyses and show that they are not reliable. We find that shelter-in-place orders had no detectable health benefits, only modest effects on behavior, and small but adverse effects on the economy. To be clear, our study should not be interpreted as evidence that social distancing behaviors are not effective. Many people had already changed their behaviors before the introduction of shelter-in-place orders, and shelter-in-place orders appear to have been ineffective precisely because they did not meaningfully alter social distancing behavior.”
And it should have been evident for those caring to look.
While bureaucrats gave Walmart, Costco, Lowe’s, and other big-box stores “essential” status, allowing them to stay open during the COVID pandemic, 38.9% of small businesses are the providers of most of the country’s jobs, were forced to close based on fear, hackneyed social-distancing rules, early ignorance about transmission, and an insatiable desire by governors to micromanage the affairs of men.
In short, small businesses could have operated the entire time, exactly like big-box stores did, had it not been for tyrants in statehouses and mayor’s offices around the country destroying lives in the name of “science.”
Most of the destroyed businesses were in the hospitality industry.
The states hardest hit were those dependent upon those industries: California, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Some governors, among them West Coast governors Gavin Newsom of California, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Kate Brown of Oregon, still refuse to give up the emergency powers invoked during the pandemic so they can drop the hammer on people’s freedom at their next whim.
Reason magazine characterizes the clinging to emergency powers by these governors as tyrannical.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a controlling, micromanaging leadership style that few other governors can match. Even as other states have lifted a lot of COVID-19 restrictions for those who have been vaccinated, following the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Democrat is ordering the state to re-open on his terms, not easing up the rules until June 15.
In addition to Newsom’s body count, governors in other West Coast states, Pennsylvania, and New York—from their orders putting sick grandmas into nursing homes to the huge increase in suicide rates—have a death count of businesses and the economic calamity that resulted.
And that’s not a small number.
Small businesses –- those with fewer than 500 employees -– are 98% of the businesses in America. They are responsible for 62% of all U.S. jobs. Fully 89% of these small businesses employ 20 or fewer employees. They are the backbone of job creation and an expression of American enterprise, entrepreneurial spirit, and individualism.
The latest stimulus payments appear to have had little to no impact on the ability of small businesses to stay open.
We’ve learned a lot since China unleashed this virus on the world. These small business shutdowns are just another example of destroying the village to “save” it … with good intentions and police powers.