When an emergency arrives suddenly, shelves may become empty during an initial bout of panic-buying, but when merchants raise prices in response (if they are permitted), people immediately reduce their purchases, goods become available on the shelves and, because producers begin producing more in response to the higher prices, prices eventually fall as more and more supplies become available. This benign process of adjustment has not been allowed to happen in the United States.
The first object of any would-be purveyor of power is to shut down all scrutiny of itself. Rather than foster a debate, as one ideally should expect of a daily worthy of the appellation of “newspaper,” the Times has rather retarded and hindered it, raising the natural question of the editorial board’s motives. Deliberate distortion weakens us as a country, and that is a sad additional cost we now must overcome in a crisis that has already cost everyone too much.
A central plan quickly thrown together in Washington could not impose a “best” way for millions of businesses to install these sorts of changes. Every business is unique.
Consider the CDC. Preparing for a pandemic like COVID-19 should have been at the forefront of what it does. But instead, bureaucrats there waste most of their resources on fighting things like teen vaping. Create a new department and we’ll soon see its original intent buried underneath many other new and politically shiny priorities. And like all bureaucracies, it would find a way to continually expand its purpose and budget.