Coronavirus

The Private Sector Heroes Leading the Fight Against COVID-19

The free market adjusts. We don't need "production acts" to tell us what to do.

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Congress passed and the president signed a $2 trillion "stimulus" bill.

"Not enough!" shrieked politicians. They said the government must do more.

They demanded President Donald Trump reactivate the Defense Production Act, a 1950 law that lets government force companies to make things.

Trump hesitated.

That upset lovers of big government. They demanded the president order companies to make respirators, masks, and other desperately needed medical equipment.

CNN's Alisyn Camerota joined the media mob asking "What's the holdup!?" Then a White House press reporter confronted Trump at the White House, asking, "Why not use it now?"

The president surprised me by responding: "We're a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela, ask them, 'how did nationalization of their businesses work out?' Not too well."

No, it didn't.

Venezuela was once one of the richest countries in Latin America. Now it's one of the poorest.

That's because government dictating production leads to less production.

Although Venezuela has more oil in the ground than any other country, once the socialists nationalized the oil industry, production declined. Today, Venezuelans struggle to buy gasoline.

When government orders companies to do things, companies don't innovate. They're less able to adjust quickly to market demand. That's the topic of my new video.

Today, hospitals need more ventilators. But the government doesn't need to order companies to make more. The private sector is already on it.

Automakers slowed car production and are gearing up their factories to produce ventilators. Other businesses are, too. That's what businesses do when conditions change; they pivot.

Distillers that once made gin and vodka now make hand sanitizer. The federal government had to waive regulations to allow them to sell it.

Some give it away. It's not just charity; it's "goodwill." They hope customers will remember the good deed, and that'll lead to profit in the future.

The best catalyst to spur production is simple pursuit of profit. It's what gets companies to produce new things instantly. Unlike governments, businesses have no guaranteed income. To survive, let alone grow, they must constantly innovate to make sure more money comes in than goes out.

The socialists call that "greed."

Without question, some tycoons are greedy. They pursue profit to the point that they have more money than they will ever need.

That's fine. That greed for success drives them to get me what I need.

I assume it's what inspired Ford to start using 3D printers to make face masks.
The profit motive delivers the goods. Higher prices tell companies what products are most urgently needed.

When our government failed to produce enough coronavirus test kits, private companies filled the gap. Some offered convenient tests you could use at home.

But the government didn't like it, saying the test hadn't been approved. The tests were withdrawn.

Government's rules often make it harder for private actors to help people. In a crisis, America's unsung heroes are people who overcome that.

Many truck drivers wanted to work overtime to help, but federal law said they must not work more than 11 hours a day. Finally, the government suspended the regulation.

We ought to suspend a lot of these rules permanently. Allow Americans to make our own choices about when we want to work.

In this crisis, businesses are trying all sorts of new things. Supermarkets started offering special "senior hours" so older people can safely get supplies we need.

Musicians are livestreaming concerts.

Restaurants are switching to takeout and delivery.

People have lost jobs, but if businesses are free to adapt, they'll create many new jobs.

Because demand for deliveries has increased. Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers. Walmart is hiring 150,000.

The free market adjusts. We don't need "production acts" to tell us what to do.

COPYRIGHT 2020 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  1. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who just don’t get this. They think business is just out to make more money and enslave their employees.

    1. Damn straight!

      We’re all wage slaves! We need money to buy food, shelter and clothing! That means we must work for corporations and buy their stuff! It’s slavery! Basics should be free!

      “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” -Bastiat

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    2. They are just out to make money. That’s the point whole point. The purpose of government should be limited to making sure businesses can only make money through voluntary transactions with other people. When an economy works in that way, the profits a business makes are directly proportional to the value they provide. That’s the part most people struggle with the most. The realization that honest profit is a measure of value created.

      Someone once said something to the effect of “When most people in free countries go to the store and make a purchase, they end up thanking the business and the business thanks the buyer back. Why is this case? Because both sides realize they are better off then they were before.”

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  3. The loss of jobs was directly caused by government unconstitutional actions.

    Forcing business to shutdown is unconstitutional.

    The market is trying to correct itself and government is still trying to prevent that from happening.

    We see now that Lefties will do whatever it takes to destroy America.

    1. Just think though this is your chance to shine. That Georgia farm is exactly what we need. Plant. Grow. Harvest and feed the people.

      Corn going in yet?

  4. Because demand for deliveries has increased. Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers. Walmart is hiring 150,000.”

    I wonder if this will mark a permanent change in consumer purchasing behavior?

    1. My guess is we’ll see many brick and mortar stores never return. They were already holding on by a thread to begin with in many cases. Between the months of lost revenue and the change to behaviors we’ll probably see many transition to online only.

      I also suspect a great many consumers will change how they buy groceries. I never really bothered with delivery before, but one two-week self isolate order later and I’ve found there are some big advantages to it.

      1. I agree. I think this “incident” will hasten the application of technology all across the spectrum, and businesses are already responding, in increasing ways, to meet their customers’ demands. I fully expect my next take-out meal to be delivered by drone. Well, okay, maybe not the NEXT one….

      2. I also suspect a great many consumers will change how they buy groceries. I never really bothered with delivery before, but one two-week self isolate order later and I’ve found there are some big advantages to it.
        ————
        Yes! When I get groceries delivered I don’t impulse spend $50 on junk food because I’m high.

      3. Mike, I am about to try it myself = grocry delivery.

        Can you offer any tip and tricks, or recommendations on how to most efficiently go about it?

        1. No magic to it, just think through a head of time, potential waits are long (at least up here) so we’re trying to make each order count.

        2. “Can you offer any tip and tricks, or recommendations on how to most efficiently go about it?”

          Yeah, first, they’re going to have to let you out of the 6th grade. After that, ask your mommy.
          You seem to be developmentally-challenged.

  5. “The free market adjusts. We don’t need “production acts” to tell us what to do.”

    Nor did we need the idiotic Trumpulus, nor the even larger Fed economic effluent, nor the loony infrastructure spending that Trumpy the Clown resumed hawking for as now a post pandemic panacea in the last episode of his new reality TV show.

    1. OK, you occasionally post non-bullshit.
      Seek treatment for your TDS.

  6. The U.S. president has two pornographic films, six bankruptcies, and a game show on his curriculum vitae, and the country is so short of emergency supplies that Ralph Lauren is making medical garments and Tito’s is producing hand sanitizer instead of vodka — not exactly in a position to exercise global leadership.
    ~ Kevin Williamson

    With the private sector still able to be this heroic, despite the inept “leadership” from government, just imagine what it could do without all of the government placed hurdles and stumbling block in its way.

    The greatest service, the only real service, that a government has ever provided any private citizen is benign neglect — leaving them alone to live and prosper without government meddling and plundering.

  7. As usual, John is spot on correct. All government (Federal and State) needs to do is foot the bill and the bill to foot would be so much less than $2 trillion. Simply announce they are in the market to buy: “We want face-masks, respirators, etc. We want quality stuff delivered quickly and we’ll pay top dollar. And we don’t care where it’s made” I guarantee you we would be flooded with stuff. Not only would every doctor and nurse have adequate equipment, but we could all walk around with face-masks until this thing is done.

  8. this is so wrong as to be embarrassing. If we had enough tests the problem would be over right now, instead the US is leading the world in Covid cases with no sign of slowing down.

    Meanwhile our states have to bid against each other to protective gear for medical professionals – (and often lose out to foreign nations)

    How does Stossel even call himself a journalist? he should be ashamed to be alive.

    1. It’s not wrong at all. The problem, IMO, is not the lack of tests, it’s the lack of protective equipment, primarily for doctors and nurses. It’s important to reduce the number of infected people but it’s just as important to increase the ability of hospitals, doctors and nurses to deal with them. It should be painfully clear that there’s a serious shortage of face-masks, etc. How in God’s name do you expect the supply of these critical, life-saving, items to go up without the price going up???!!! It’s impossible! To try and keep the price down is to stick your head in the sand and ignore the simplest of economic truths. It’s called a supply curve — as the price goes up, the supply goes up. There’s no other way!

      We’re a rich country. Obviously, we just took out a $2.3 trillion loan. And very, very little of that is going to provide the equipment we so desperately need. It’s like fighting a war and not buying guns, bullets, tanks or planes. This is actually one problem that the government can, if not solve, at least help, by throwing money at it. Instead of the stimulus bullshit, throw a ton of money at buying what we need. Let the price go up, we’ll be the ones that get it.

      1. It’s not about PPE for medical staff or everyone of them would be sick by now.

    2. The lack of tests and slow ramp up to more was caused by the government having a monopoly by law for the tests. Even in the midst of the crisis, as Stossel notes, the government relaxed its monopoly hold, only, in an irrational and piecemeal fashion.

      1. ^THIS^

    3. “Meanwhile our states have to bid against each other to protective gear for medical professionals – (and often lose out to foreign nations)”

      Which might well mean they’ll go where the demand is highest.
      Are you really this ignorant of econ? Or just a chicken little coward?

  9. I have no faith that international corporations with production capacity in the U.S. will, on their own, look past their next quarter stock dips to re-tool their manufacturing lines in order to product low-cost masks for health care providers. The global corporations were the once who outsourced all the manufacturing to China in the first place.

    1. “I have no faith that international corporations with production capacity in the U.S. will, on their own, look past their next quarter stock dips to re-tool their manufacturing lines in order to product low-cost masks for health care providers.”

      I don’t give a shit about your “faith”, slaver. Fuck off.

    2. Your “no faith” is already getting proved wrong in reality. It’s been proved wrong in history every time. THE only time it didn’t get proven wrong is when GOVERNMENT decided to market “free-trade” NAFTA which was actually a socialistic subsidy for foreign countries.

    3. You’re missing the point. If the government would pay top dollar for them and they are, as you low-cost to make, then there’ll be a huge profit in and we’ll have a ton of them. Who cares if someone makes a profit–We need face-masks!

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  11. “…Today, Venezuelans struggle to buy gasoline…”

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  15. I suppose that the ACA’s medical device tax didn’t send manufacturing of ventilators and N95 masks overseas?

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