The major Northeastern metropolitan areas are largely “shut down” today.
Not by choice. But because the “know it all” government officials love the mantra: Never let a disaster go to waste.
As we know, there are certain government officials who love to shut down business. Many of them also love to exercise power. You can tell them by their love of the negative imperatives.
You can’t. You won’t. Or the simplest word — No!
While kids love school days and most of the American working public is salaried (meaning a snow day is a vacation day), the fact remains that the economic engine of the developed world is the entrepreneur, the individual contractor.
Bad weather is never controllable — some Native Americans may still disagree — and farmers will tell you that weather is the variable risk factor they can never eliminate in their budgets. But many other businesses get hammered, and cannot ever replace that lost revenue in the future.
For these business owners (e.g. restaurant owners), or anyone not paid on a traditional salary basis (which in a “gig economy” is quite a lot of people), lost sales are NEVER recouped. These are revenue opportunities lost forever.
Now, government officials can’t overtly announce the motives behind their actions. The smart, devious ones know that the stated objectives must always mask, hide and divert from the actual objective. (Why do you think public officials hire public relations consultants and spokespeople?) That would be too anti-business, and smart generals know never to awaken a sleeping giant.
So the message has to be subtle.
So weather events are the perfect excuse, particularly for a gullible public increasingly inured to critical thinking and also shockingly obedient.
Our leaders, our Maximum Leaders, can’t shut down our businesses. But they can shut down transportation systems. Naturally, always in the name of “the public good.” They can effectively shut us down by making our employees afraid they will be stranded, unable to return home. Ditto for customers.
In New York City, the authorities are shutting down the Metro-North train lines (which run to the affluent northern suburbs) at noon Tuesday.
But the latest official forecast — not from some crackpot blogger, not from Infowars, but from the National Weather Service! — shows New York City has received only four inches of snow as of 8 am, and is only expected to get one to two more INCHES of snow after 8 am. That’s a total of six inches — far from the expected 12-18 inches the forecasts of yesterday predicted.
Indeed, a blizzard warning was cancelled. (No one talks about this.) It was replaced, not even by a “winter storm warning” but only by a “winter weather advisory.”
With such wildly fluctuating forecasts and actual, sharp downgrades by official forecasters, why haven’t other government officials pulled back their draconian, inconveniencing actions?
New Jersey Transit announced a systemwide shutdown last night, taking effect at midnight, or several hours before the first flakes. Storm totals so far are under six inches. Those are amounts which don’t warrant anything more than expected delays. Yet that statewide transit system, covering both buses and train lines, is totally down. So that’s a state of nine million people essentially frozen in place! (The governor? Chris Christie.)
A snow day for all!
I’m afraid these moves are not about caution.
They are about power trips, egos, and control.
Because actions “in the public good” are the ultimate regulation.