No Such Thing as a “New Normal”

I keep hearing the COVID term “new normal” but I am warning you, what is coming has nothing to do with normalcy. We have been tested and will continue to be tested with each new challenge whether viral, economic, constitutional, or other. I truly believe the citizens of this country should be empowered to be part of the solution and not isolated as part of the problem as we’ve seen from state to state across our great nation. Yes, I believe our nation is still great, and I want you to believe it too, but the impact of COVID is far and wide.

The present “greater good” reaction to the COVID pandemic appears to be demonstrable neglect toward the greater good of our society for a variety of reasons, to include a suppression of ingenuity amongst true community leaders and small businesses. The fiery political nature of our media only creates confusion and, for those elected officials truly doing their best, I commend you. I do not know anyone who wants to contribute to the death of their neighbors, elders, or family due to COVID but it is not the American way to so easily roll over and play dead since that will invariably exasperate the problem.

I am deeply concerned about a growing reality that some of our more left-leaning politicians favor a more socialistic society where government control or unrestricted “collective” corporate control of our goods and services is acceptable. Sure, we’ve had this fight before and Bernie Sanders certainly didn’t gain a strong following for nothing. But now, during a time where I can almost smell the fear in the air, we are in a weakened state susceptible to socialistic change. I don’t view this potential transition in the traditional sense of Marxist theory but there are countless examples where central control of an economy results in all major economic decisions being made by a central power- the key word is power and the key result is control.

The backbone for American Capitalism is the small businesses which have been inhibited based largely on subjective guidance interpreted as law across the country in the name of the greater good. I want to believe each decision to limit society’s actions due to COVID is selfless in nature albeit the realist in me is highly suspect. Due to these “greater good” policies I’ve personally witnessed a new reliance on government stipends where small businesses once contributed to the economic health of the community. These so-called laws have the masses being funneled into large stores, or (as I like to refer to them) petri dishes, with pockets full of government stimulus money with no regard for the economy. These same consumers no longer have the option to choose smaller establishments (essential or not) where there is an innate capability to prevent the spread of COVID. Don’t get me started on the restrictions to the outdoors and public lands which fly in the face of reasonable guidelines for remaining healthy. Small businesses are well suited to follow CDC guidelines and employ measures for the greater good of our society as well as, or better than, large corporations and box stores. Therefore, you can imagine why I am concerned and perplexed at what appears to be the suppression of small businesses during this COVID pandemic.

Capitalism breeds incentive to be better, to inspire people to take risks, to give consumers choices, and create competition which often results in a more efficient and economical way to provide goods and services—we call this a market economy. Big corporations were born this way and, as a capitalist, I can appreciate success at any level. However, how often have we witnessed the loss of a moral compass when there is no competition and consumers have no other choice; hence some of the anti-trust laws in this country. Even prior to COVID, our choices were already limited because there isn’t much “buy local” options remaining anyway. Not everyone is well-suited to be a business owner but many of us aspire to work hard and experience some level of success and financial freedom. I hope Americans will remember there was once a dream beyond box stores but the damn realist in me is reminded that “hope” is not a course of action. Collectively, we should not forget that capitalism creates economic freedom, consumer choice, jobs, and financial growth for the entire community. The same entrepreneurial spirit will certainly adapt to overcome the trials and tribulations of this pandemic if allowed to do so.

Our small business owners are community leaders who take this virus seriously and should not be shamed for wanting to keep their dream alive. We do not need more large corporate businesses to boost the economy but rather more small businesses who maintain the pulse of society. I have spoken to three or four small businesses this week who said their former employees would rather stay home until the boosted unemployment money runs out. Who blames them? These people have a hierarchy of needs being met without any risks or worse, work. We need an immediate paradigm shift in governance during this pandemic because we do not need more government programs which inevitably impede innovation and drive. Preference should be given to providing incentives to enable creativity, inspire the entrepreneurial quest, and boost our economy while simultaneously recognizing we must all be part of the solution to this pandemic in one way, shape, or form. Thanks for reading.

Brian G. Cillessen

Beyond Rubicon is all about attitude. Julius Cesar crossed the Rubicon River and that gesture became synonymous with crossing a point of no return. There is no turning back on our God, Country, Family, or way of life. We believe in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights as part of our heritage so, in essence, we live Beyond the Rubicon.

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