Maine’s Governor Janet Mills pulls the rug out from under restaurant owners she had okayed to reopen

Maine restaurant owners are going to have a lot of rotting food and idled staff on their hands, after their governor suddenly reversed a decision to allow them to re-open on June 1st.  Having made the mistake of trusting their state governor, Janet Mills, the restaurants that were able to survive the lockdown spent scarce funds restocking their supplies and rehiring staff, in preparation for the promised reopening. But not so fast! WGME-TV, Portland reports:  

Restaurant owners in three Maine counties are reacting to news that they'll have to wait longer to reopen.

Wednesday, Governor Janet Mills postponed the dine-in dates for York, Cumberland and Androscoggin Counties indefinitely.

Restaurant owners say they’ve spent a lot of money and time preparing both their food and staff to safely reopen next week, and now with that date pushed back, they’re faced with an uncertain future.

Cumberland and York Counties are respectively the first- and second-most populous counties in Maine, and Androscoggin is number 4. Together they account for 44% of the population of Maine.

Now, they are in limbo, with no date announced for reopening. Here is the vague statement Mills offered on Wednesday:

“Given the trends we are seeing in certain parts of Maine, our Administration is revising the plan to align with what is in the best interest of public health. To that end, rather than permitting dine-in services in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York Counties as we had originally planned, we will be allowing outside dining only with precautions, a move we believe is safer for the health of Maine people and that balances the economic needs of these businesses,” Mills said.

The closest Mills ever got to private employment, much less entrepreneurship, was working as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital during her interrupted undergraduate college education. After earning her law degree, she went on the public payroll as a prosecutor and has been cashing government checks ever since.

She obviously has no concept of the fragility of an enterprise that can go bankrupt when sales receipts do not cover expenses. They can’t just raise taxes or sell tax-exempt bonds, they go kaput. The notion of economic risk and loss is alien to her experience. Like many leftists, she must just assume that a business will always be there, and goods and services will appear magically, no matter what.

Restaurants already on thin ice financially now have wasted money in anticipation of reopening. Some restauranteurs, no doubt, will be driven to extinction by this capricious change. But what does she care?

Photo credit: US Congress (cropped)

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