Restraining government post-coronavirus
The day will come when the coronavirus is tamed, America gets back to work, and there will be toilet paper on store shelves across the nation. But will governments return to their pre-crisis status, and surrender the powers they have activated in recent weeks?
Reason's J.D. Tuccille warns that governments, by nature, and also by the demands of some citizens, may not give up such powers so easily:
The ultimate result will be to transform a more-or-less free society, driven by individual preferences and private decision-making, into one in which planning is centralized and costs are shifted according to governmental priorities. You can assume that some calculation will be built into that spending, too – rewards for friends and punishment for enemies, as is always the case in politics. That is, we're becoming a country in which much of what we do is both mandatory and subsidized.
When this is all over, don't expect politicians to lose their taste for ordering us around. That's a hard habit to break. You can be certain, though, that they'll want us to thank them profusely for the checks they cut to offset some of what they inflict on us.
A sobering reminder to remain vigilant about our rights, freedoms, and the proper role of government -- now, and after the worst is over.