In the recent lockdowns across various states and cities, numerous people were told their businesses and jobs were not essential and that they had to stop working, go home, and stay there. For the common good, of course. Stay safe. Stay home. Starve to death.
This immediately raises the question though: what constitutes an “essential” job? Since governors, mayors, and other assorted “officials” have assumed that they know the answer to that question, it seems that there really ought to be some method of determination, a criteria for selecting one occupation as essential and another as not. How is this done?
What is an “essential” business? What is an “essential” job? How is that determined? Who does the picking and choosing? What are the criteria? These questions ought to be answered out loud in public. Unfortunately, too many businesses have been shut down and too many people have lost their income because some “official” decided on his own that they were not essential.
Fact is, when you get right down to it, the only things essential and absolutely necessary to sustain life are food, water, and shelter. If any work is deemed “non-essential”, it should be that which gets in the way of people providing these necessary items for themselves and their own. In other words, the work of those who try to restrict the freedom of others. Specifically, government officials, bureaucrats, busybodies, snitches, and other stuffed shirts.
Fact is, when the only income a single mom can earn comes from her job as a barmaid, a waitress, or a hairdresser, then her job is essential. Who is the President, governor of the state she lives in, or Anthony Fauci to tell her otherwise?
As I said, food, water, shelter. That is all anyone needs to live. Everything else we can live without.
Not only hairdressers and tattoo artists, but auto mechanics, HVAC techs, gunsmiths, jewelry makers, realtors, politicians, lawyers, statisticians, police officers and the military, prostitutes, home remodelers (how I make my living, no one actually NEEDS a nicer house), grass cutters, landscapers, silver miners, steel workers, museum curators, musicians, saloon proprietors, laundromat operators, seamstresses, etc., etc., and many, many more. Together, all make up the economy and what an economy it is! It is possible to purchase anything you want or desire BECAUSE someone provides it. Anything you want or desire has value and anyone who sells that to you is providing value to the economy.
To say that if they go away then society loses nothing of value is the same as saying that every job outside of the absolute essentials has no value. The people who provide the “essentials” are the only ones who are doing anything of value. It follows then that, if anyone wants to provide “value” to the economy, then he or she needs to work in the food, water, or shelter industries. Everything else can just dry up and blow away.
What a boring, pitiful society that would be! It would probably revert back to a hunter-gatherer type in which our only concerns revolved around how to get enough food to eat today, finding a source of water to slake our immediate thirst, and bedding down in a “safe” space for the night. Not to mention that the number of people alive would drastically plummet until there were only a few able to subsist on the land.
How do you make your living? Are you one of the “essentials” or is your work “unnecessary”? Are you willing to live in a society which has nothing except the bare necessities? I am not. I am willing to bet you are not either.
2 thoughts on “Who Decides What is Essential?”
Our economy is facing challenges like never before! Great post!
Thank you, Bear.
I saw an ad on TV the other day. I can only remember one line in it. “If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re healthy, stay home.”
This contradictory foolishness appears to have only one end in mind–convince everyone to stay home regardless of personal health. If it was followed religiously by any large number of people, it would have a devastating impact on the economy. Which may be the ultimate goal of the people who are promoting it.
Stay home! Stay safe!! Starve to death!!!