Dan Popp
Work is food
By Dan Popp
April 21, 2020

By the sweat of your face you will eat bread.... – Genesis 3:19, NASB

"Who cares about the economy when are lives are at stake?" Have you heard something like that recently? Or, "What price do you put on a human life?" There are actually adult human beings who don't understand that "the economy" and "lives" are the same thing.

To these people I ask, "Where does food come from?"

"Food comes from the ground," they may say. Well, OK, but someone has to get it out of the ground. Someone has to work. The farmer has to work, but his work only feeds him. In order for you to get the food, you have to work to provide something the farmer wants. So food is work. Work is food. You're chewing the results of your work – either recent work or past work. And if you didn't work for your food then someone else did, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

There's no food without work.

So to shut down work – even work you consider to be "non essential" – is to make less food. I'm sorry for talking baby-talk, but apparently that's necessary. If there's less food, and then much less food, don't people eventually die? Your merely "economic" decision to forbid work turns out to be a decision to end the lives of human beings.

Now, let "food" here stand for everything like it: clothing, housing, medicine, education – whatever goods we need and want on the physical plane. None of these comes to us without work. To ban work is to make people poor, sick, homeless, uneducated and dead. (Just like socialism. What a coincidence!) If you forbid work you can "save some lives" from the virus now – maybe – but you will definitely shorten some lives later due to lack of societal resources.

There can be no disagreement about that.

People in rich countries live longer and healthier lives than people in poor countries, generally speaking. That's indisputable. (The Left used to care about the harm done by poverty, or so they claimed. But I digress.) The United States has spent the past month intentionally turning herself from a rich country into a poor country. Since those two things are true, only one conclusion is possible: We have intentionally jeopardized the health and lives of Americans for the stated purpose of safeguarding the health and lives of Americans.

There was a time when we were wise enough to understand that shutting down the economy to stop a virus is like shooting yourself in the head to cure a headache. Your strategy will be successful, but....

The resources we have now to fight the coronavirus: where did they come from? Didn't they come from people working, adding value to the lives of other people, producing, creating wealth, building Capital? Isn't work ultimately the reason we can have masks and ventilators and drugs and hospitals and testing labs? Imagine dealing with this crisis in Venezuela or Ethiopia. Money (as seen in "the economy") saves lives.

If we end people's opportunity to support themselves and rebuild wealth, with what will we fight future viruses? Or future attacks by enemies? Or other threats not yet imagined? We've been throwing all our cargo overboard as if this will be the last storm, ever. That's an almost suicidal level of stupidity.

We have been very sheeplike. We've allowed our leaders to "play on our fears," as Al Gore might wail. We've initiated another Great Depression. Nice.

But it could be worse. We could allow the same power-drunk twerps who built policies on uncalibrated models running incorrect and imaginary data to keep us idle for even longer.

Go back to work, America. Take as many precautions as you deem prudent, but for the sake of your kids and grandkids, go back to work.

Because work is food.

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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