You know what? I'll play. Because it's illustrative and gets more to the core problem here.
Jared Dillian pointed out on Twitter that it isn't capitalism if the failures aren't allowed to go bankrupt. Pithy. But here's Matt Levine in Bloomberg:
The ordinary reaction, for a company that doesn’t make stuff or earn any money, is to go out of business and lay off all of its workers, but it is pretty widely recognized that that would not be a good reaction, for most businesses, right now. Your favorite local restaurant’s revenue has not gone to zero because its food was bad, or because it failed to innovate to keep up with changing tastes or whatever. Its revenue has gone to zero because a plague has caused governments everywhere to prohibit eating in restaurants, we hope temporarily.
The LIBERTARIAN viewpoint is that businesses should choose their risk level, customers should choose their risk level and the government should stay the fuck out of it. The CAPITALIST argument is that the most successful businesses will have amassed a stockpile of money and supplies to ride this out because they have demonstrated themselves to be the most adroit at navigating unforseen crises. The problem here is that the invisible hand of the marketplace isn't being permitted to shake the tree enough.
Unfortunately we've seen what libertarian economies do during pandemics.
And I mean, if you ask Barron's, they'll point out that the Black Death of 1349 was the second worst economic shock in 800 years of history after the prorogation of parliament in 1629). So really, a third of the population dying did less damage than eliminating the mechanism by which taxes could be raised for ten years. Now that's an anti-libertarian argument! But the real problem here isn't capitalism, isn't socialism, isn't libertarianism, isn't AOCism or whatever, it's corruption.
And the longer I spend looking at this stuff, the more I'm coming around to the idea that it isn't so much the rules that you follow, it's whether or not you follow them. I mean, the "free market" can't even compete if FEMA is just gonna seize ventilators:
I don't think society is particularly fragile. The opposite in fact. I think society has pretended that things are normal and unchanged for the sake of its own mental health while the oligarchs and the sociopaths take over. I mean what if I told you a standing US Senator took the advice of a classified briefing and dumped all her travel stock while publicly proclaiming for a month that nobody had anything to do with it? That's Michael Bay shit right there. Dr. Evil crap. But here in The Darkest Timeline not only did she do it at least twice, she did it while being married to the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and she isn't even the only one.
You can't really bitch about one person's philosophy over the other if the rules we all agreed to aren't being followed.