End the Coronavirus Crackdown, for the Children

“For the children” is often a rallying cry for increasing government power at the expense of liberty. Maybe now it should be a rallying cry for ending the coronavirus crackdown.

In the age of governments across the world forcing businesses to close and mandating that people stay at home, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres predicted Thursday, in announcing a new UN report, that hundreds of thousands of children could die as a result of a global recession this year. Plus, he argues, many more children will be substantially harmed in various ways. The recession is a result of governments’ crackdowns taken in the name of fighting coronavirus.

In response to Guterres’ prediction, the thing to do now to save children is to quickly terminate the crackdown measures that are crippling economies and driving people across the world into much worse economic and health situations.

But, hold on, this is the UN secretary-general talking. A solution that calls for reducing the size and power of government is not to be expected from him. Instead of calling for governments to respect individual rights, including the right to engage in commerce, that governments have violated in their coronavirus responses, Guterres recommends governments step in with new actions such as “economic assistance, including cash transfers, to low-income families.”

Expanding government welfare programs may help tide some people over in the short term. Still, even in the short term, expanded government aid will not be nearly as helpful for most people as were the small businesses or jobs government took from them. And the question must be asked: What harms are caused by shifting money to this use from other uses or by creating the money via money supply inflation? Also, how could such government welfare programs be sustained and expanded as the continuing coronavirus crackdown causes the economy to increasingly fall apart?

In the medium to long term, we can expect to see a world with much more widespread depredation caused by the ongoing shutdown of people’s ability to generate wealth and maintain self-sufficiency through private interactions.

Much damage has already been done that cannot be undone. Only ending the coronavirus crackdown immediately and completely can stop the dire economic and health consequences from continuing to increase for both children and adults.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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