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My personal view: Restart the economy ASAP.

My personal view: Restart the economy ASAP.

When people talk about saving lives above all else, I like to remind them that we can save tens of thousands of lives every year – guaranteed – if we just drop the national speed limit to 20 miles per hour.  Yet, we would not consider that for a moment.  Of course, we would pay a very high social and economic price to do that.  So, those folks will just have to die so that we can maintain our economy-driven lifestyle.

We make this trade off every day in thousands of ways.  Should we allow sports where people die – which includes virtually all sports?  Should we ban “thrilling” activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, skiing, etc? — all unnecessary activities that result in deaths.

If we grounded all airplanes, we would not see those terrible mass deaths in those all too frequent crashes.  We accept a periodic loss of hundreds of lives for the sake of pleasure travel and commerce.

For years, we have accepted the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans from various flu outbreaks while going about the normal course of life.  We could have shut down, self-distanced, wore masks and gloves and sat home in panic – and probably saved a lot of lives.  But at a cost we were unwilling to pay.

Millions of Americans have died from drug and alcohol addictions, and the most we do about that is to issue warnings and liberalize our drug enforcement laws.  We could outlaw smoking – as we tried with liquor.  But in both cases, we decided that the social lifestyle cost was too high.

Overall, we have generally left it up to individuals to make the life-and-death choices.  At the age of 75, I jumped out of an airplane for the first time knowing that I had the potential of dying. The death rate for skydiving (.0006) is just a little less than the death rate from the annual flu (.001).  Is skydiving a necessity?

The unpleasant question is … how much death is acceptable so that the rest of us can maintain our lifestyle and livelihood?  If you say “none,” you are a damn liar or hopelessly delusional.

There is a subtext, and I admit it is personal.  Many may not share my view.  I have long believed that dying for any reason after 65 or 70 from age and disease is NOT a tragedy.  It is unfortunate, sad and leaves behind those who may mourn.  A young person dying … that is a tragedy.

The older one gets, the less of a tragedy it becomes.  When my parents died, I did not feel the shock or trauma of tragedy.  I did not deeply grieve.  I felt a melancholy sadness.  I wept.  I miss them, but I realized that they had fulfilled a reasonable lifetime – maybe not the longest, but a good run.

And so it is with me.  At 77, I have just passed the life expectancy of an American male (76.2 years).   I feel blessed – luckier than many — to be entering extra innings.  I am among those high-risk people with underlying conditions that you hear about all day on the news.  Yet, I do not want to see America literally and figuratively destroy the lives of hundreds of millions of my fellow citizens – especially the younger generations — so that I might live a few years longer – or even a few days.  I prefer to take my chance.

In a previous commentary, I said that if I were bedridden, in pain, pooping in my diaper in a misnamed “extended” (as opposed to “final”) care facility, I would welcome the virus as a gift from God and anyone bringing it to me.  Issues of life and death are not simple.

Make no mistake.  I enjoy life very much — and have no desire to die.  But I have no fear of death, either.  I have family and friends who love me.  I have fans of my writing. But no one NEEDS me.  Everyone would go on quite well without me.

I do not find that a depressing thought, but rather a source of satisfaction.  Through the good grace of God and good fortune, I was able to get those who genuinely needed me in the past – children, elderly parents, a couple of friends and even employees – to be the self-sustained and independent individuals they are today.

The point is very simple.  If re-opening the economy was put to a plebiscite, I would vote a decided “yes.”  I would have no problem with taking reasonable precautions – a bit of social distancing, washing hands, covering coughs — but none of the extreme measures we see today.  I would not want to destroy the successful America we enjoyed just weeks ago – and replace it with so much lost opportunity and despair.

Like it or not, we all must determine the balance between deaths and the general health of our society and culture.  If it were up to me, I would immediately commence the process of a vigorous re-establishment of the commercial and employment economy.  I would begin in phases, but I would get American back to work.  Individuals could decide if they wished to eat at a restaurant, attend a sports event, gather in the park or attend religious services – or not.

And based on my own experience and what I see on social media, those express such deep concern for vulnerable folks like me may be surprised to learn that there are a lot of seniors who share my thinking.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Fran

    I completely agree with you. But how do we get the message out?

  2. T B

    I agree wholeheartedly
    You have definitely hit the nail directly on the head

  3. Elizabeth c.McCormick

    All I can say is that Trump is doing a great job . He done a lot better than any other president. And I believe he can do a lot more. People are just mad at him because he has helped so Manet people with jobs and Alabama was one of those he helped as we have been left out of everything. People in Alabama have been fighting for jobs for along time . Not everyone has a job some of these people can find a jobs but Trump it trying his hardest.

  4. Sandra S.

    I agree. I feel this entire thing is to push some agenda. Not exactly sure what yet, although several come to mind. But shutting down the economy and putting so many restrictions in place – places un-due burden on all Americans. Some can not get the medical attention they need because it is now considered Elective when that is far from the truth. Companies going ape-$H!t and making people give a temp. reading, steam cleaning entire buildings because one person came to work with a fever. Yet no proof he/she had C19. When My husband and I ask random people – do you personally KNow any one with this boogie bug, Not a 2nd or 3rd party hearsay – but YOU personally, the answer is a NO!. I personally feel that the numbers have been pumped up to push some agenda. That the actual cases and death from it are far lower. There have already been cases of false news reporting, as our liberal left media love to do. An Italian hospital video was peddled as a NY hospital. There is no accountability for media to tell the truth thanks to Odumbo’s rules regarding media reporting. We are killing our economy. People are subjected more now to domestic violence. There will be more and more in the next few weeks. How do we know this will be lifted in another month? It may be allowed to continue thru May, thru June?? who knows. People have lost jobs and yes they can get unemployment, but for some, the cutting of hours does not allow to file for unemployment, and that cut of pay is hurting them. Our Shadow Govt. has latched on to something and used it to scare everyone into an Illegal House arrest. Yet the sheeple do not realize they are under arrest. They blindly follow the shelter in place order like their lives depended on it. Yes, I am for using caution… if you are of a low immune system – then by all means watch when you go out and take precautions (mask, distance, etc.) If you are of normal healthy, as the greater percentage of us are, you will be fine. THX for the time to write my feelings today regarding this nonsense.

  5. Elizabeth C. McCormick

    Question what has trump done for the so called board members to be so mad about I think they just didn’t want him in office. That’s why I think they had all this planed.Trump needs to get all them out of office and put a new people in those sets we needed people in office that are going to do what they say in stead of telling us lies if you get on stage to face the people and you make promise to the people and not fall through than you don’t need to be in office because you can’t be treated by the people. I have faith in Trump. He’s the only reason why I’m righting this. Now Obama didn’t do anything for this country but bring back things that are not true. And did nothing but cause trouble around the world. Most of you pollinations only want to do things for your selves and your state . ( Not ) to day people Alabama and the other low statues needs funds to we can’t make it on low paying jobs.we need good paying jobs just like you have in that big state’s.. stop thinking that you’re the only people that exist and deserve better jobs and more pay because you don’t y’all have kept the lower 48 at a stand still. Now it’s our turn we also deserve to grow.

  6. Joel

    Joe science DOES matter and maybe you think you’re expendible but not everyone thinks like you. Also if people resume activity too soon the pandemic will just come back. Please stop worshipping at the altar of the almighty $ and smell the coffee

    • Larry Horist

      Don’t blame Joe. The article inadvertently carried the wrong author name. I wrote the article. You are correct. Not everyone will agree with me, but you can see by the response, a lot of people do. And you should not be so arrogant to presume that my opinion is based worshiping money. I do not. But I do care about the millions upon millions of folks suffering from the economic shutdown — even though I am not one of them.. Do you care about them? I am all for reasonable social policies to fight the pandemic — distancing,washing, masks, etc. I just believe that destroying the livelihood of so many is too much — and I say that knowing we are heading into a very bad few weeks — disease-wise and economically. If a restaurant had a policy that patrons should wear masks, I would be good with that … and I would got there for dinner. But as you not, we are all different.

  7. MK

    I agree Joe!

  8. Cheryl Rives

    I totally agree. I am a 71 female. I, too, do not want to die. But, I have had a wonderful life, and do not want to see our great American way of life, the economy, and millions of people out f work and suffering financially. I do not want to see America become a totalitarian dictatorship resembling the former Soviet Unon, Cuba, or currently, Venezuela. Please, let America Work Again!!!

    • Ann Henry

      Thank you and Amen. This is why you are my favorite.

  9. Sharon Tudor Isler

    I totally agree. Our society takes many chances (thinking of speed limits and airplanes) that we don’t even think about. Closing everything down and ruining our economy will kill people also. Let’s get it going again and just use common sense.

  10. Knobby

    The longer this goes on, the longer it will take to recover. The flow of Private money has ground to a halt, and public money ($1200/person, Payroll protection, etc.) has taken over. Since Joe Average has mortgage, rent, car loans, and credit card payments, he/she will be hurting in short order. So “government” says, freeze foreclosures, evictions, etc. What about that bank or Teacher’s retirement fund that holds that debt? Can they just get by without the monthly payments?

    Big business will get bailed out, but this time they will have to trade Warrants on their stock for the privilege. Small business gets a loan forgiveness, if you can pay out 8 weeks of payroll and survive until the money actually gets moved into you account. Hope your employees will accept an IOU. Many are already closed up for good. Those evil business owners (Capitalists in Liberal-speak) still have to pay rent and equipment loan payments even though they had to close their doors.

    This is like having 4 flat tires all at once and having only one spare. You can sit in the car an wait for help, until it runs out of gas. Then you freeze and or starve.

    Actually, “recover” is a relative therm in this instance. Each time a “big” event goes down like this we the people lose some of our freedoms. What will be lost this time?

    Think about Pre-911. No TSA, no body scans in the airport, No “travel-worthy” drivers license required, no asset forfeiture, etc. What will they think of this time? Governmental control of all your health data: Blood type, body mass index, accidents, alcohol consumption, etc. Try getting life insurance after all that. How about 24-7 location tracking, like in China. See how much that protected them? It is an erosion of liberty, and you can bet that this is coming soon.

    I am (only) 63, and I agree with Larry: Bring back private commerce before it cannot come back to life. I love my country, my family, my business, and my employees (I am still paying full wages and benefits) and I would walk the plank, swallow the pill, face the firing squad, if it would bring everything back to January 2020. But it doesn’t work that way.

    Call me an idiot, but I played my turn, worked by backside off, and would do it all over again for half of what I have been privileged to experience. Life is a game, and you only get one turn. Quit wasting time. Get back to work.

  11. George Blumel

    Larry’s common sense advice should be obvious but, of course, it isn’t to the professional politicians who see advantages to their power at the expense of we the people. There are many changes in work and play habits that will be beyond inconvenient but in the face of the CCP virus, are essential. We understand that and would make the sacrifices necessary without government dictates closing the economy which, longer-term, will be much worse for the future of our country. At 83 I’m concerned about the prospects for our progeny and putting them in deep debt and limiting their freedom with an authoritarian government is not fair to them. Larry’s right –let’s get back to work –in a responsible way– but back to work!!

  12. marleen davis

    I’ve been saying it for weeks! The mentality of the masses has gotten to a point of ridiculousness as they are so brainwashed from the MSM they are nuts! Most businesses can install safety measures and get them running. We need to do this before the economy tanks and we are in trouble so bad we cannot get out. (Just what the dimms want). The liberals are so bad now, they are cow-towing and spewing hate to the people that want this over. They are not understanding that this is what Hitler did in the late 1930’s to get all the people to fear everything and comply.

  13. Susan L Loeffler

    I agree as well. My siblings and I are doing everything we can to enable our parents to quarantine safely because we would be devastated to lose them (ages here: “sibling generation” in the sixties, “parent generation” one on each side of ninety), and would do so whether required or not. But the devastation to society (not “just” the economy) is worse than any natural loss would be. Obviously there is the economic toll. For instance, neighbor is being encouraged to rat on neighbor. The only human interaction allowed is via electronic means – I..e., fully monitorable by the state, if they so desire. News is censored and twisted. I am afraid of these changes as much as the economic troubles, and much more than any virus, man-made or not.

  14. Richard Edwards

    please help us to share this

  15. Eugenia Heim

    Just celebrated my 76th birthday yesterday with family via Zoom. Do I want to leave an economy in shreds for my grandchildren? I’ve had a good run and will take my chances.

  16. Debra Nolasco

    Coincidentally, I ‘penned’ very similar thoughts & sentiments in an e-mail to a friend yesterday. My husband & I also fall into the ‘high risk’ category. I am 68 yrs. old & my husband is 73. We both have asthma & he has diabetes. Neither of us would fare very well if we contracted this virus. That said, too many people are struggling financially & mentally as a result of this lockdown. An economic death can be just as devastating & final as a physical one. Knowing which segment of the population is the most vulnerable, we can assuredly protect them, while the rest of society resumes their livelihoods & lives. Allowing our country to continue to swirl down the drain, in terms of our economic health, in an effort to protect this demographic is both short-sighted & foolish in the short-term & a travesty for the longer-term. Sadder is that it appears to be politically motivated.