Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Mon. Jun. 29, 2020

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Mon. Jun. 29, 2020

Open for Business, If You Want
During the pandemic, we all longed for the day when we could open stores and restaurants back up. We’re getting closer…but now some are taking a step back to regroup.
And it’s all working the way it should.
I’ve noted here before that anyone who would be surprised that there would be a spike in cases after we starting coming back out in public wasn’t very knowledgeable. Of course, there’d be a spike. The question would be how to handle it.
Iowa’s increase is something to watch, but nothing like places like Texas and Florida. There have been spikes among young people in Ames and Iowa City…not coincidentally, towns that are homes to large universities.
So some businesses in Iowa City, stores and bars alike, have voluntarily closed again…better to shut down for a short while now, they reason, than to be part of a major infection and be forced to close for an extended period later. It makes good business and public health sense.
The governor was badgered about those Ames and Iowa City increases, being asked what she was going to do about it. The answer from her office was, in my mind, perfect. This phase of the recovery is about personal responsibility, was the response.
That’s not something some folks like to hear…that they themselves are responsible for their actions…they’d rather have the government be some sort of dictatorial parent.
If businesses aren’t smart enough to conduct themselves appropriately, we have a larger problem. Same goes for citizens. If they engage in risky behavior, and make bad choices, there’s not much government could do to stop that.
Having businesses be proactive proves that government doesn’t have to take charge of everything. Keeping rioters out of the streets and stopping vandalism is a governmental role. But not micromanaging businesses, at this point.