Issues & Insights
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Seraiah Wolf

Loving The Lockdown: The Left Is Taking Pleasure From The Economic Crash

I&I Editorial

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, some Democrats opposed lockdowns. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged visitors to “come to Chinatown” in San Francisco while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents “to go on with your lives” and “get out on the town.” Positions have since aligned politically, though, with Democrats now favoring extended lockdowns with no release dates in sight, while conservatives, Republicans, some libertarian thinkers, and even a few Democrats are demanding we all be freed to make our own decisions. As puzzling as it might seem, there’s an obvious explanation:

Democrats realized lockdowns could be the transformational crisis they’ve been pursuing for decades.

There’s a reason the lockdowns are being called a “free trial of socialism.” They’re crushing the economy. And this creates the perfect opportunity for the political left to move in and “save” advanced economies in the U.S. and elsewhere with socialist/statist/collectivist policies favored by Democrats.

Free-market capitalism, they’ll tell us, just isn’t working. Indefinitely prolonged lockdowns might achieve exactly what Democrats have been attempting to accomplish for decades, that is overwhelm commerce and enterprise with taxes and regulation, claim that market economies have failed, and then set up their version of a socialist paradise.

Emile Henry Jr., a former assistant Treasury secretary and current chief executive of an equity firm, expects that President Donald Trump will soon be facing “the inevitable propagandizing that will flow from forces of the far left who will lay many resulting economic inequities, real or perceived, at the feet of free markets and capitalism.”

During the last economic downturn, the crisis of 2008, the press, which is largely the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, developed what author Virginia Postrel called “Depression lust.”

“If anyone should fear a Depression, it should be journalists, who are already the equivalent of 1980s steelworkers. But instead, they seem positively giddy with anticipation at the prospect of a return to ’30s-style hardship – without, of course, the real hardship of the 1930s,” she wrote nearly a dozen years ago.

“Oh the thrill of imagining a Great Depression,” she continued. “It’s an opportunity for Great Design and Really Cool Government.”

Today the lust is for a long run of coronavirus, and if not the actual disease at least a paralyzing fear of it, that will keep the economy in shackles. Just this week, a little more than a month into the lockdowns, Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter wrote that the Democrats “totally” want another Depression. He’s not wrong.

“A happy, prosperous America is something the Democrat dudes can’t abide,” he wrote.

“If they can wreck the economy, perhaps they can create the conditions” for a sort of “dystopian blue state future,” says Schlichter, which without a doubt would include climate policies such as the Green New Deal that will drive the economy and living conditions to ugly depths not seen in a century or more.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is already talking about using the current troubles to “transform the country.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has, as one would expect, taken the Democrats’ coronavirus lust to an even more hellish level by encouraging workers to refuse to go back to work when restrictions are lifted.

“I think a lot of people should just say no. We’re not going back to that. We’re not going back to 70 hour weeks just so we could put food on the table and not even feel any semblance of security in our lives,” she said this week.

It doesn’t take deep thinking to realize AOC’s “strike” would produce greater suffering. But that’s fine with Democrats, because it’s yet another way to overload the country’s economic stress and give the left further leverage to expand central planning, wealth redistribution, and government intrusion in health care.

For the well off, which includes multimillionaire Pelosi, who recently showed off her $24,000 refrigerators and plentiful stash of expensive boutique ice cream to fawning “Late Late Show” host James Corden, the lockdowns are but a minor nuisance. They have the resources to withstand the economic decline. Those with more meager financial means, though, become more desperate every day.

Of course that’s not a bug for the Democrats, it’s a feature.

— Written by J. Frank Bullitt

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Actually organizations like you are taking advantage of Coronavirus to get more views to your site and increase ad revenue. Congratulations on your resourcefulness and contribution to the decline of our country.

    • What a warped view of real journalists doing their jobs instead of regurgitating the “World is Ending” line. Why are you here if you believe as you do?

    • What kinds of deluded, bizarre response is that? This is an opinion article. Do you not think NY Times and WaPo do the exact same thing on a daily basis, but from a more Left-leaning perspective? Do you even understand how journalism works? Did you just crawl out from beneath a rock? Very strange comment.

    • Unless you just woke up from a coma, calling out one relatively obscure website for “taking advantage of Coronavirus” is… well… there is only one word for it… stupid.
      It is also not at all what the article is about.

  • I think there are a small segment of liberals who look at this pandemic as a chance to implement their socialist views. I just think the majority of Democrats have never worked in the private sector and have no idea of the damage these extended lockdowns are doing to the economy. I have liberal friends and some moderate republican friends who work at home or were in government jobs/teachers who know that their job will be secure whenever this things ends. They have no context to how a business operates as they look at every company as Walmart or Amazon and they have free money to play with until the pandemic ends. 70% of the businesses are small business and can’t withstand a shock to the system for 2 months so far, as I firmly believe this will go into the summer. They will have a rude awakening when the whole system collapses because they don’t understand anything about loans, mortgages, rent and how the Government can’t prop up the system forever. It’s more about ‘ignorance is bliss’ among our public right now because they just don’t see what’s going on. The people who lost their jobs and the small business

    • Very good points, especially for teachers and others whose salaries are paid primarily by localities. If people can’t pay their local taxes, you can expect teachers to see income impacts like wage stagnation or reductions or dismissals. Anyone cheering this Covid19 problem is very short sighted – look at the Great Depression for a clue as to how reduced incomes impact tax collections and their effects on local and state government employees.

  • So for those who work in the public sector who have no fear of losing their jobs, how about this? Whatever the unemployment rate goes to, that is how much government we cut? So if we are at 15% unemployment today, we have to cut 15% from every agency and aspect of gov that is not called out in the Constitution.
    Every gov’t shutdown in the past, they whine and complain of all the pain and suffering while they do not receive 1 or 2 paychecks knowing full well they are getting a free vacation because they always get back pay. But us commoners can live for months without a paycheck?
    Time to re-open smartly.

    • So – the less government = fewer services. Ya want that? Really?
      When you failed to get your check, you would be among the first to complain.
      Would you like them all fired? I see…
      As a 100% disabled vet I would suffer as well – would you be happier then?
      I worked for the government – in Vietnam – no cutbacks there; all the lead you could eat to go with the Agent Orange. I did 3 over tours – Yeah, cuz I hated Communism that damn bad. Some of us actually cared!
      Should we get our checks or shall we go hungry because you hate us and worse, ya can’t figure out how to earn a loaf of bread and so you want others to pay?
      Ya know, I get so little for being in a wheelchair or bed, was it worth it?
      Life choices do mean everything!
      So – Tell me again how bad-off you are.
      Please, I’m breathless with anticipation…

      • Your response is completely out of step with Mr. Schultz’s comment. He’s merely pointing out that without opening things up, more and more people will be unemployed long-term. They and their family’s futures are destroyed. And impoverished unemployed people don’t pay taxes. So inevitably governments have to cut accordingly. Simple fact! He’s actually stating that without a return to work, you could eventually lose your benefits. Yet you’re acting like that’s what he wants; when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Then you go into a fantasy diatribe about inferring that he hates people like you. He doesn’t want others to pay him to not work. He is just way smarter than you are, and knows this could eventually melt down the entire economic system…and that could end your benefits. I’m sorry if you’re confined to a wheelchair. Mr. Schultz though, just wants those who work in the public sector to be complacent…thinking this is just another paid holiday for them. This time, it may force all governments to make hard choices, and lay off a sizeable number of their workers. If you want to keep your benefits, better hope we get back to work real quickly.

  • AOC, an actual college graduate with a degree in Economics (Boston University should be so proud!) believes people work 70 hours and all they do is “put food on the table.” And this person is sitting in the US Congress? What a deplorable state of affairs.

    • There are absolutely people in this country who work 70 hours a week and barely manage to cover their costs.

      • Not many. Almost anyone working that many hrs is a corporate officer or a small business owner.

  • Another looming threat to re-opening America’s businesses is the avalanche of lawsuits that will be filed by the frigging lawyers against those businesses that re-open. Lawsuits will be filed to blackmail those businesses to “settle” out of court, by customer’s who will claim that those businesses “failed to protect any customers that voluntarily patronized the businesses after re-opening”, and subsequently “caught” Covid-19 at the businesses
    If you think that is not going to happen, think again. There are tons of advertisements for “seminars for lawyers” being offered right now on how to file these lawsuits.
    This has the potential to bankrupt any small businesses that survive the bankrupting potential of the shutdown.

    The republican politicians need to either institute a “loser pays” frivolous lawsuit protection act, or proactively pass legislation exempting voluntary attendance at re-opened businesses from Covid-19 lawsuits to prevent the re-opening of America from turning into a law-suit happy bankruptcy of the small business community from Covid-19 lawsuits.

    Trump, and the republican politicians, especially governors, should immediately get out in front and advocate for passage of legislation to protect re-opened businesses from Covid-19 lawsuits.
    MAGA 2020.

    • Loser pays law would be another way to reinvigorate economic growth in the US. This is the perfect time to institute this law to protect small business.

  • Something all of the New Green Deal liberals like AOC need to know is there are no 3rd world countries that can afford Green Energy.

  • I fear the columnist is right. It is heartbreaking to witness Democrats and their leaders, along with the mainstream press, enjoying the suffering and fear of so many Americans. Their hatred of President Trump is so overwhelming that everything else just pales beside it. We are staring down an economic and societal fall at least as bad as the Great Depression. In the midst of this, the Democrats and their MSM handmaidens even trash possible treatments that could ease suffering and even death just because Trump expresses support for them. They oppose lifting even the harshest and constitutionally dubious ‘lockdown’ orders. I am really afraid that our nation will not survive this.

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