Policymakers around the country are starting to plan how to reopen our economy and our communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making these plans won’t be easy, but reopening America is a matter of protecting lives and livelihoods. What are the principles that should guide the complex decisions that governors, legislators, and local officials will have to make?
This week, the Goldwater Institute offers up three guidelines that policymakers should keep in mind to help steer their decision-making—to best protect both our physical and economic health as a country, and help get us back on track in the wake of this crisis. As we plan our way back, we must respect Americans’ right to take risks responsibly, we must protect the ability to speak freely, and we must develop clear and quantifiable criteria to guide our recovery. If we fail to do so, the havoc wreaked by COVID-19 will only be the beginning.
Government Thwarts Hot Chocolate, Hostas, and the American Dream
Home-based businesses help Americans earn and save money, keep a flexible schedule, and realize their entrepreneurial dreams. And now, during this current crisis, the ability to run a business from one’s home has become especially important. But all across the country, there are countless examples of government standing in the way of this needed way to earn a living.
“Cities and counties nationwide are using outmoded zoning, licensing, and permit requirements to stifle home-based businesses,” Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur writes at In Defense of Liberty. “Forcing entrepreneurs to comply with such obsolete restrictions deprives them of economic opportunity, provides consumers with fewer options, and punishes responsible citizens,” she continues.
Sandefur provides examples from Virginia to Massachusetts to Tennessee to Arizona of how government has needlessly intruded on inoffensive businesses. Read her full post here. And to learn more about what the Goldwater Institute is doing to protect home-based businesses, go here.
Where is COVID-19’s Civil Liberties Line?
Even in normal times, there’s an ever-present tension between protecting our individual rights and protecting public safety. That tension is especially strong these days—with a stronger presumption that government’s actions during a time of crisis are justified. So where is the civil liberties line during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Goldwater Institute National Investigative Journalist Mark Flatten examines this question this week at In Defense of Liberty. Flatten rounds up the latest information about how this tension has surfaced in communities from coast to coast—including crackdowns on protests and sweeping orders and restrictions that have infringed on Americans’ right to move freely.
THIS WEEK: Looking Ahead to Giving Tuesday
Our nation has been tested over the past two months, and we should anticipate there will be more challenges ahead. The Goldwater Institute was built for times like this. We have a comprehensive plan to help America recover and rebuild—you can read more about it here.
A special Giving Tuesday is coming this Tuesday, May 5, to support organizations responding to COVID-19. On Tuesday, we will ask you, our generous supporters, for your help to put our recovery plan in the hands of the policymakers and other people who need it the most. If you would like to help right now, please click here to make your tax-deductible gift.