I drove to an essential grocery store this weekend to buy some essential food. On the way, I noticed that Best Buy was still open. I also passed a Dunkin Donuts and a Dairy Queen that were still open and packed with customers in their drive thru lanes. Apparently doughnuts, ice cream, and TVs are all considered essential, which I suppose doesn’t surprise me, nor do I necessarily disagree. These have all certainly been essential elements of my own life.
But it does raise a question about what the government actually means when it declares a business “essential,” thus allowing it to stay open, or “inessential,” thus shutting its doors and possibly driving it into irretrievable ruin. I am not arguing that the stores mentioned above — or for the matter liquor stores, or any other business that our benevolent overlords have permitted to remain operational — should be closed. I am happy that they are open. My point is that every other business should be open, too.
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