April 17, 2020

New Op-ed: Springtime for Central Planners!

Originally published in WND.

The pandemic has proven to be a windfall for central planners here at home.

While thousands of businesses under government-ordered shutdown face bankruptcy and tens of millions of Americans queue up on breadlines, technocrats are working overtime with their "scientific" computer models.

"Science" is a favored buzzword of central planners going back to Friedrich Engels who coined the term "scientific socialism" to describe the economic system theorized by his buddy Karl Marx.

Nowadays, "science" has a place in the vocabulary as a surefire way to shut down debate. Just as "the algorithm did it!" immunizes Twitter and Facebook from charges of censorship, government officials sprinkle the word "science" to give their pronouncements the aura of infallibility.

Public health officials invoke "Science!" to justify policies affecting literally every aspect of American life. "Science!" demands elected officials rubber-stamp these policies and demands we the people accept them without question or be accused of complicity in mass murder. After all, who are we to question "science"?

A number of hidden assumptions have been smuggled into the national discourse under the cover of infallible science (an oxymoron if you truly understand the scientific method).

After closing your neighborhood businesses and ordering you to stay at home, Democrats now tell us they are planning to "open the economy" and build a bridge to "the new normal."

Toss that word salad and you'll find out what's really going on – the Democrats' new normal is the same as their old normal: a government-planned economy.

Hidden in the approved pandemic response and post-pandemic recovery narrative is the assumption the government has full power to plan the U.S. economy, complete with a central planning committee made of big business titans and federal bureaucrats like Dr. Anthony Fauci appearing in the role of Nurse Ratched.

These planners now have the power to decide if you are essential, that is, you deserve to earn a living.

In the new normal, government planners tell us which businesses are non-essential. In the old normal, Americans would decide for themselves which businesses are non-essential: we'd stop buying from them and they'd go belly up.

These newly empowered planners will not only decide what's essential, how many people can sit at a bar, go to a ballgame, how many tables a restaurant can have or how many chairs are allowed in a barbershop. They will regulate where you can go, what you can eat, what you can buy and who to hire at your business, if you dare to have one.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fickle Democrats' latest heartthrob, let the cat out of the bag at one of his daily consciousness-raising sessions, saying, "We've been talking about the new normal for years. We're going to have a new normal in public health. By the way, the way we have a new normal on the environment, a new normal in economics, a new normal in civil rights, a new normal in social justice."

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is all on board with using "pandemic recovery" to crowbar in the left's social justice/public health/environmental/central economic planning goals.

"Think of every great – every great change that's taken place that's come out of a crisis," Biden told CNN.

Biden supports more government control of health care even after the dramatic failure of government-run health care we witnessed in New York and Communist China.

The pandemic also presents "an opportunity" to "fundamentally change the science relating to global warming." In the name of "science" – that word again – Biden would cut back American energy production and deindustrialize America.

Biden promises to use the "crisis" to mandate a $15 minimum wage.

And it doesn't stop there.

Joe positively drools at the chance to "significantly change the mindset of the American people." By golly, he'll use the new powers of his post-pandemic government to eliminate "systemic racism" in America!

If the coronavirus doesn't give you chills, that should.

Cheer up, America! As the month of May approaches you may be locked in your homes and out of work, but remember, it's Springtime for Central Planners!

Curtis Ellis is the Senior Policy Director for American First Policies

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