By Hannah Cox
There is overwhelming evidence that government lockdowns are ineffective at containing the coronavirus. Yet city and state governments continue to employ the economically crushing tactic amid rising COVID-19 case counts even though it means forcing millions more out of work.
Heavy-handed politicians have pummeled small businesses the hardest of all this year. Many are teetering on the edge of fiscal solvency. Nearly 100,000 independent businesses have already closed for good, and one estimate predicts more than 40 percent may close by the end of quarter four. Instead of offering those owners a lifeline by reopening, politicians are giving them a final push over the edge with more lockdowns—attempting to, inadequately, justify it with an inefficient, wasteful, and second corrupt stimulus package.
To be clear, the pandemic would have seriously hurt the economy no matter what, but government lockdowns have exponentially worsened the financial pain. Even worse, politicians did this while also flouting the rules themselves and unnecessarily increasing COVID-19 deaths by mandating that nursing homes accept COVID-positive patients. So, if there are Americans still looking to the government to help them after all we’ve seen this year, it’s time to give up the ghost. These people are not coming to save you.
But while our politicians are out to lunch (quite literally, and in the very establishments they’re trying to ban for the general public), actual leaders are stepping in to fill the void.
Dave Portnoy, the founder and president of popular media company Barstool Sports, has vocally opposed the shutdowns. But beyond criticism alone, Portnoy is rising to the occasion and using his reach to provide real assistance for small business owners.
Last week, Portnoy launched a fund to bail out small businesses and alerted his 1.8 million Twitter followers to the cause. It seems he is spending this money out of his own pockets, a heroic and commendable endeavor, and challenging others to join him in the cause.
Introducing The Barstool Fund
If you are a small business that needs help staying in business because of covid email us your story to [email protected]. We will try to help as many people as we can. pic.twitter.com/9BS8HeyHaq
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 17, 2020
They say when a strong man takes a stand the spines of others are stiffened, and that certainly seems to be the case here. Social media influencers across Twitter began donating to Portnoy’s fund, many of them unsolicited.
Michael Rapino, the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, contributed $50,000 despite concert venues being one of the hardest hit industries in the pandemic. And there were countless others like him. Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, contributed generously. Gary Vaynerchuck of VaynerSports joined in. The list goes on.
Everyday Americans are stepping up too, giving generously out of what they have to help others. Across the board, all have been motivated to action by Portnoy’s leadership.
As of this writing, Portnoy has raised an impressive seven million dollars and counting.
7 million. LFG. https://t.co/lk6jxtzw21 pic.twitter.com/0JQFF1BlvR
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 27, 2020
His timeline is now filled with heartwarming stories of the people whose livelihoods he has saved. These are the stories of hard-working Americans. People who were simply seeking to do the right thing, offer a service, and provide for their families. Watching their reactions is both heartwarming and infuriating. These are our fellow citizens and they’ve been victimized by our government.
BARSTOOL SPORTS SAVIOR: @mackstenders201 went from facing bankruptcy to a sales record overnight all thanks to @BarstoolFund. @barstoolsports has raised $6M to help small owners, and this owner got the news on Christmas. Hear from him on @abc13houston at 6pm. pic.twitter.com/7vzwxhh5vp
— Nick Natario (@NickABC13) December 26, 2020
Calling Julie from Salon Volume to give the good news pic.twitter.com/bNCTU2SzGO
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 26, 2020
This is the America you can be proud of.
Our government lets us down repeatedly. Our politicians fail us. They tread on our liberties, they bet against us. And yet we still rise.
Americans are generous people. In fact, we have been ranked number one in the list of most generous countries for the past decade. Now just imagine what we could do for one another if the government weren’t seizing—and largely wasting—a huge chunk of our income each year.
The moral of the story is that we do not need the government to come save us. When left to our own devices, Americans will rally to help each other—and do it far more efficiently than the government ever could.
Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer, commentator, and activist. She’s a Newsmax Insider and a Contributor to The Washington Examiner.