“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”– Milton Friedman
It sounds reasonable at first. Create “working groups” to gather experts in different industries, such as restaurants, salons, and gyms, to form customized plans that best protect workers and customers.
Sounds good? Right?
The problem is, these are all heavily regulated businesses, some with hundreds of hours of required training and safety requirements. Each of these businesses are licensed by the state in multiple different ways, each held hostage at this time by an arbitrary and unlawful designation as “non-essential” from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Governor, disallowed to be open, generate revenue to pay employees, bills, rent or income.
It cannot be overstated the tremendous amount of influence the ODH and Governor’s office hold over these Ohioans and their future ability to run their business without harassment, interference and corruption.
These working groups are simply not needed, the ODH and county health departments have already shown a willingness and zeal for creating and enforcing “social distancing” rules, mask requirements, and surely more regulations to come in time. Local police have shown a willingness to enforce these rules, and businesses are already forcing them on employees and customers alike.
In any temporary emergency, this arrangement makes sense. Over time the additional safety burdens will naturally relax on their own, as the public perception of danger decreases well behind the curve of actual danger. The public will be the first to stop adhering so strictly to the safety guidelines, police will grow tired of enforcing unpopular rules that show less and less benefit and eventually the health departments will relax their stance when they find themselves without easy enforcement. (This is how a free people manage themselves.)
These working groups serve three purposes, first they empower member business owners above their peers and grant political rewards for cooperation with unlawful govt influence, the second is to place an emotional and practical distance from the real source of the rule-making and enforcement, along with finger pointing and blame, and the third, most importantly to Mr DeWine and Mr Husted, this incentivises future donors to contribute to their political ambitions and those of their surrogates.
While proposed for crafting “non-binding” recommendations anyone familiar with the scope creep of govt committees knows how quickly these become mandates backed with govt force. Even if they tried to poll all possible members of an industry they can’t account for all concerns or business structures, and will naturally favor their own “expertise” from their own businesses over non-participants. Over time such groups wander from their original intention and begin pushing pet policies that benefit their individual members and place burdens on current and future competitors. Needless to say, while self-regulation is the goal of any open market, a regulation committee that is openly backed by obvious political influence cannot operate properly as a moderating mechanism for any market. The politicians, and opportunist business persons, will always lean heavily on the levers to favor their own agenda.
If this sounds sinister or paranoid look at recent events, look at history, look at the donor lists and “working group” members and decide for yourself. There are plenty of examples of “good intentions” that go horribly wrong, where even seemingly benign “advisory” groups create new bizarre burdens on small business. There are many more examples of politically motivated committees designed to carve power out of lucrative industries.
Our political masters have seized on an opportunity to flip our world upside-down, re-write the rules of our society and they are taking full advantage. Make no mistake, while the coronavirus may have precipitated a health care crisis, the Governor and his cronies are creating an economic and political disaster to elevate their own interests long after this virus has been defeated.
Over 1 million Ohioans have been forced out of work, left to a broken unemployment system, without income for 4 or more weeks and forced to choose between food and rent, begging for help. These are our neighbors, friends and family. This might be you. They are increasingly desperate. They may agree to any govt condition that lets us get back to work and avoid being evicted, foreclosure or going hungry.
The coronavirus has not sickened or caused the death of enough Ohioans to cause this second calamity. This second disaster is entirely man-made, and crafted as a power play writ large against our entire state.
I call on all liberty minded Ohioans to stand against obvious and subtle power grabs, wrapped in the guise of public safety.
If you cannot protest in public, protest online.
If you cannot take time away from work or family, write a letter to the local newspaper pointing out this abuse of power and trust.
If you can afford it, donate, if you have the time, volunteer, if you have the will Run for Office.
We cannot sit back and hope for the best, we must take action, even if only to prevent our family and neighbors from needless additional suffering.
Stay vigilant and be safe.
DeWine Forms Working Groups for Next Reopening Phase
Dozen Members of DeWine, Husted’s Ohio Economic Advisory Board Are Campaign Donors