Back before SnapChat, remember duck, duck, goose? As kids we would have everyone on the playground in a circle and we would walk around patting people on the head. As the “chosen one” you would ultimately decide who you like and they would be the goose.
Well, it appears to me that every layer of government today, not just in the United States but globally, is playing a version of duck, duck, goose. Only in this game, businesses are chosen to fail and families' lives are destroyed rather than just running in a circle if you are chosen. “In the name of protecting you, because clearly you can’t protect yourself, we will decide if you are a duck or a goose.”
Small businesses are struggling today—from farms to local main street shops. I am not sure which bothers me more, the willingness of some many to continue to take it quietly or the fact that it is happening to begin with. Farmers are on the top of that list for me. There is another $14 billion up for grabs at the local U.S. Department of Agriculture office. Well, I say, “No, thank you.” We haven’t taken a farm subsidy dollar and we don’t plan to. When you make more on government subsidies then you do on your farming operation, you need to take a hard look at that.
Last week I was traveling with Tanya Storer who is running for the 43rd District in the Nebraska Legislature. We literally just drove down Highway 20 in northern Nebraska and stopped in small shops to talk to people. Most people were greatly concerned about the state of our country, although in the Hay Springs and Rushville area the people were just flat angry. Their situation dates back to pre-COVID-19 but I feel it gives a great glimpse into the path we have been taking for far too long.
White Clay, Nebraska, has a population of 11. It is a town on the South Dakota and Nebraska border and it garnered tremendous national attention in 2017 as the town had four liquor stores that were shut down. Yes, the town of 11 had sufficient beer demand to keep four businesses open and 22 locals employed. I talked to one of the individuals who lost his job because our state government decided this very legal business was doing something wrong. Fetal alcohol syndrome was a huge problem on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2017 and it is still a huge problem in 2020 even though the liquor stores are closed and people are without jobs.
The do-gooders did not assist in improving the health of the tribal members. They simply changed the source of their beer purchase. Instead of driving to the border town, they are now forced to drive to Rushville, 25 miles down the road to buy the beer that kept these businesses open. In reality, what government intervention has done is put more people at risk from drunks driving on the roads.
I lived on the edge of Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota for five years and shutting down legal businesses is not going to address the problem. I might add that the problem was not fueled by beer, it was completely fueled by government handouts to tribal members. For the record, that is not a racist statement against American Indians but a statement about human nature. If you pay people for doing nothing, you will get a series of problems that will lead to dependence and an unproductive society. Does that sound familiar on a much larger scope since COVID?
Where does it all stop? We have the same exact thing happening in every town from coast to coast. The government is “here to help.” Once a great, resource-rich nation with a pride in production and improving both the planet and human health, we are now stymied and basically shut down for business.
Call this phase anything you want but I will go back to my original premise of duck, duck, goose. Paying people to do nothing is socialism. Shutting down some businesses and not the ones that pad your pocket is not a health issue but a political issue. You can call it anything you want in 2020 but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck then it is a socialist duck.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at email@example.com.