Government In Action? Uh, no. Government Inaction!

Gist of the story – A Texas businessman with FOUR idle N95 production lines in his AMERICAN plant could not get our government to take any interest in opening them up even after the virus started spreading and the shortage of PPEs in the stockpile was obvious. Maybe this is China’s fault?

32 thoughts on “Government In Action? Uh, no. Government Inaction!

    1. @Tabor

      Trying to shift the blame? Again? But, who knows? Short of capital, maybe. The four lines in question were mothballed and needed some investment. Believe it or not, sometimes, the “free market” does not rise to every challenge or opportunity instantaneously.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With a worldwide shortage of masks, raising capital should have taken about 10 minutes. He could have sold them at a sufficient price to repay the loan pretty quick.

        Unless, of course, government controlled the prices he could charge.


        1. @Tabor

          10 minutes? Easy for you and totally beside the point. As a reminder, the point is that even while being briefed on the looming threat the Trump government was idle and indifferent. For many weeks. A fish rots from the head.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sorry, but that doesn’t pass the smell test.

            There is no way the manufacturer needed help from the government to get his production going unless there were price controls in effect.


    2. He was making millions of masks for overseas buyers. Just like other manufacturers. There were flyers coming from the Commerce Dept. offering assistance to get into Chinese markets in need of PPE‘s.

      “ On Feb. 26 — when total deaths had reached 2,770, nearly all in China — the Commerce Department published a flier titled “CS China COVID Procurement Service,” guiding American firms on how to sell “critical medical products” to China and Hong Kong through Beijing’s fast-tracked sales process. Doggett obtained the flier — from the division of the International Trade Administration’s Commercial Services Office in China — and other Commerce communications.”

      We were still encouraging export of PPE until just 2 weeks before Trump decided we had a problem.

      Nobody was minding the store here at home.

      Liked by 3 people

          1. Do you always pay for your trash? I always throw mine out every Friday. It’s a,sanitary thing. Try it sometime.


          1. Interesting factoid; Travel Insurance companies void insurance claims that are the result of a “Known Event” if the booking took place after the “Known Event” date.

            The “Known Event” date used by the industry for the Coronavirus is JANUARY 21.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Wow. That’s about the time that Trump first paid attention to a daily briefing about the virus and summarily ignored it.

            Liked by 3 people

    3. Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act, but has not used it effectively. THe N95 masks should have been a top priority for US use.

      It raises the question why didn’t Trump utilize his power properly to get PPE to our front lines? Maybe this manufacturer is owned by a Never Trumper?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read another article on the Prestige Ameritech issue that goes back a bit further, I’ll try to relocate the cite.

        The gist of it was that Prestige has been pushing reopening the the 4 closed lines for over a decade. What they wanted to do was for the government to buy masks for the national stockpile at substantially above the market price in order to keep the lines “warm” so they would be ready to ramp up in an emergency. Bright, one of the co-owners was concerned about being too dependent on China for PPEs. In retrospect, perhaps we should have listened to him.

        But both the Obama and Trump administration declined to do so, because the price was too much more than the import price.

        I think we will see a lot more of that in the future. paying a higher price for US made PPEs and pharmaceuticals in order to secure the supply line.

        Hindsight, again, is very sharp.


        1. Presidential terms are like musical chairs. When the music stops, one person is left standing.

          That is the president we rely on to lead in a crisis.

          Obama took office just as the worst economic crisis since 1929 was digging in. He was allowed a few dances at the Inaugural Balls before he had to do some serious heavy lifting. And that included a Swine Flu pandemic a few months in.

          When his term ended, he had presided over the longest period of positive job growth and positive GDP gains in history. And the deficit was cut massively.

          Trump got the COVID after 3 years of Easy Street, and a compliant Congress for two of them. It was his job to deal with it from day one. His responsibility for preparedness, reaction, organization…no one else’s. Not Obama’s, not China’s, not the Democrat’s, not the media’s or my dear departed Mother’s.

          The effectiveness of a president is how a crisis is handled. Well, this is a big one. This will be what will grade the incumbent as pass or fail, or somewhere in between.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Actually, it was Obama who had the free ride. He got on the boat at low tide, all he had to do was not sink it and enjoy the ride.

            And he did the best he could to mess that up with stifling regulations and high taxes.

            And you still have not shown me where any Democratic leaders advocated a better policy in real time. Nothing but ankle biting and hindsight.

            The truth is that this was going to be bad no matter who was in office. Given the international nature of business, there was never any real chance to prevent the virus getting here, something that became apparent as the highly contagious nature of the diseases became clear. Remember that the WHO was still denying human transmission into February.

            But this November will be a referendum, but on the press and Democrats as much as Trump.



          2. “In order to skirt the criticism and the tough questions, Trump took advantage of Twitter, the most effective tools he has used to circumvent the media and communicate directly with his base.“

            “Skirting tough questions…”

            Yeah, that’s Trump. Keep ‘em confused.

            He is good at insults and the media fell for that.

            I still prefer an imperfect, but varied media to any alternative preferred by the right, you, Trump and any others. For a few bucks a month I get access to most media across the board.

            If Trump and his fans had their way, I couldn’t do that.

            Liked by 3 people

          3. Trump’s free ride was much easier. All he was watch the same trajectory of jobs, growth and DOW continue. Then he and his GOP borrowed heavily to inflate the DOW, and give huge tax breaks to the top.

            And still, except for a quarter or so, the growth did not match the previous administration.

            Wages still grew a smidge over inflation Gig labor as cab drivers and delivery folks made up a chunk of the still low wage jobs.

            The the virus hit and we had nothing to fall back on.

            Brilliant economic geniuses in the GOP and the regime.

            They inherit a solid, healthy economy and go into debt with low interest rates to get what?

            Liked by 2 people

          4. The graph stops at 2017. Extend it to 2020 and you see a steady decline from Q2 2018 until 2020 when the bottom fell out.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. @Tabor

            As mentioned earlier, spreading lies is more offensive that some fool throwing out stupid insults. We are here for an adult and informed discussion of pressing public issues. Challenging easily disproved falsehoods is something that none of should have to do.

            But there you go again with the “alternative facts.”

            That Obama – whose calm and competent leadership saved us in a crisis brought on by Republican malfeasance – got a “free ride” is a matter of opinion. Silly and ungrateful opinion, but not a lie. Your opinion of his regulation reform is also just your opinion. It is something that could be discussed.

            But that Obama implemented high taxes is just plain false. And none of us should have to take the time to straighten you out on that for the umpteenth time.


            Liked by 1 person

          6. @Tabor
            People see what they want to see. That graph of REAL GDP proves only that Trump did NOT create any kind of inflection point with his extravagant tax cuts for billionaires. If you understood the graph you would see the longest, steadiest period of uninterrupted growth in history with a few ups and downs. Your use of “collapsed” to describe a minor slowing of REAL growth is frankly laughable.

            The graph of REAL manufacturing output also does not support your claims in any way either. Its most notable feature is the steady decline during 2019. You know, AFTER all that magic tax cutting.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. No, not my market at work.

            Requiring PPEs and pharmaceuticals be domestically sourced to protect the supply line, justified or not, instead of allowing foreign competition, is a government intervention into the marketplace,

            It may be, because of China’s malignant market manipulation, that in this case it might be justified, but wise or not, I think it’s going to happen.


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