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  • Arne Mortensen

Who defines "essential business"

The very first section of the Washington State Constitution: SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS.

Has our governor and those who follow him forgotten their oath to the Constitution? What does it mean for the governor to ask for voluntary compliance or face legal penalties?

There are many avenues to explore, but I want to focus on just one issue that has become a political point of discussion.

What is an “essential business?”

Consider a time before the current COVID-19 edicts.

A business lives or dies by satisfying a customer’s [essential] needs. No government entity decided whether the business is essential. At least that is the way it was in the US … not so in the USSR, and we know what happened there.

Let’s explore this a little more. If a business has a foul smell or is dirty or hires surly staff, people don’t shop there, and the business will die. Again, the government did not have to order the people not to shop there, they decided that for themselves. A competitor with better service would prosper while the weak company would die; that is how it worked in the US, but not in the USSR. Here the people decided; in the USSR, the government decided, and we know what happened there.

The likely hood of being attacked is much greater in a bar in a tough are of town than say, in a lingerie shop in a posh area. Should government shutdown all bars? Really, are bars essential? Government might say no based-on whim and a sense of hubris that they know what is best for you. That is not how we operate(d) in the US; that is how they operated in the USSR, and we know what happened there.

Now let’s explore the current scene controlled by Covid-19 concerns. What has really changed? Why is the individual freedom of association abridged? Why is the 2nd amendment suspended? Where in the Constitution is the phrase, “you have these rights unless the government declares an emergency?”

We know about infectious diseases in general. And that has sufficed to keep people safe, for example, from pandemics, such as STDs. Why is this pandemic any different? Granted, we don’t know as much as we’d like about Covid-19, but we can be cautious and follow the suggestions intended to mitigate contagion. The people do not need the government to shut down any business; the people will decide whether to patronize a business based on their own private assessment of what is essential. Businesses that the public deems too risky will not be patronized; that is how "essential business" should be defined!

It is sheer madness to abdicate your responsibility to your safety to the government. It is a road to destruction to yield your rights to the politics of the moment. That history lesson is written in blood and human misery.

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