In this time of crisis, it's the private sector coming through

Trump's approach to the coronavirus is exposing one of the great fault lines in American politics, which is the battle between those who believe in the free market and the private sector versus those who believe that the answer is always the government.  This fault line has obviously existed for a long time, but it's never been exposed in starker terms than now, when there is a crushing weight bearing down on America.  So far, the private sector is proving more adaptable, more effective, and more decent.

At John Solomon's new website, Just the News, Stephanie Gutmann has written a superb article explaining how Trump's approach to the emergency differs from the approach that any American politician, past or present, has taken, because he's disempowering, rather than empowering, the government:

In Washington, leaders typically respond to crises by expanding federal power — drafting new laws and regulations, leaning heavily on federal muscle. The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing President Trump to be a different kind of animal, with instincts and alliances that were forged over years in the private sector, where initiatives tend to move faster and finding creative ways to save money is considered a bragging point. (After all, it is usually one's own money.)

If the president's popular approval ratings are reaching new highs, it may be due in part to the Trump the public is seeing on display at the daily briefings of his Coronavirus Task Force. This Trump represents in many ways a return to form for the president, a rebirth of the hard-driving, can-do developer who famously slashed through red tape to restore New York's iconic Wollman Skating Rink under budget and ahead of schedule 34 years ago.

The president has assembled a Coronavirus Task Force studded with federal agency heads like Dr. Stephen Hahn of the FDA, but their marching orders are clear.  As National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed it in a Task Force briefing back on March 13: "We're going to be able to remove the constraints so that people at the state and the local level — the individual physician all the way up through the federal government ... [are able] to do everything they possibly can."

That's just the introduction.  Gutmann writes at some length about how Trump is unchaining the private sector in the war against disease, and I highly recommend reading the entire article.

Democrats are angry that Trump is relying on the public sector.  That American corporations are stepping up to help America offends their belief that government, and only government, can help.

For ordinary Americans, it's comforting when CEOs step up to the podium at a press conference to explain how they've moved at warp speed to reconfigure their factories to produce ventilators, masks, gowns, or test kits, or how they've opened their facilities to make it possible for mass numbers of Americans to take the tests.  For leftists, though, Trump is simply providing free advertising for evil corporations (never mind that the evil corporations are providing products and services after the government failed to do so):





Many of the people behind the "evil" corporations are also making personal sacrifices to help their employees or help their customers:







Meanwhile, when it comes to organizations or individuals who feed off the government teat...the picture's not that pretty:





The coronavirus is a miserable experience for the people who have it and the countries that try to navigate around it.  Nevertheless, it has to be credited for bringing clarity to many of the things about which Americans have been fighting in the 21st century.  We can only hope that ordinary American people, the ones who aren't obsessive news junkies, are seeing past the cloud of anti–private sector dust media stir up and are able to recognize what’s really going on.





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