How do we get enough of the respirators, personal protective equipment, and medicine we need to get through the COVID-19 pandemic?
Fascinating to watch the press conference Saturday 3/21/20 with various federal officials and members of the coronavirus task force. Most fascinating feature was looking at the various comments and questions/answers from an economics perspective. Thought about Friday’s briefing as well.
Here is the difference in perspective I perceived: do we rely on capitalism or fascism as our model to get things done?
Underlying the comments from all the federal officials is the idea that the private sector can figure out how to provide everything we need.
The common thread underlying a huge portion of the questions from media is the idea that the federal government should tell which specific companies how much of which specific products to produce, specify they price they will charge, and provide the addresses for where to send each pallet of supplies.
In other words, should we use a capitalist model to provide goods we need or should we use the fascist model?
As a thumbnail description, in the fascist economic model the means of production are owned by the private sector but the central planning authority tells companies how much of which product to produce. In contrast, the next step away from freedom is communism, in which the means of production are owned by the government and a central planning agency decides how much of each specific product to produce.