NYC Mayor: Say, this would be a great time to nationalize some private industries

Apparently, Democrats/socialists just can’t help themselves. Taking to heart the old political maxim of never letting a perfectly good crisis go to waste, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show yesterday to discuss (what else?) the coronavirus. After blaming everything conceivable on Donald Trump, Hizzoner declared that the extraordinary nature of this threat requires extraordinary measures to combat it. Since we don’t have enough test kits, respirators and other key medical equipment, the federal government needs to seize and nationalize the factories where they are made and start cracking the whip. (Washington Examiner)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio advocated for nationalizing certain industries to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus…

And after de Blasio blamed the shortcomings of the federal government for the decreased supply of testing kits and ventilators, he called for the federal government to nationalize “crucial factories and industries.”

“This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need.”

Just as a brief reminder to those who may have missed it, this is a guy who was running for president last year and there were people who took him seriously. And when an actual crisis comes along, his first impulse was to have the federal government seize control of private corporations.

De Blasio went on to say that those factories should be “running 24/7” all the time. He is apparently under the impression that the companies manufacturing respirators or COVID-19 test kits are sitting around twiddling their fingers while a massive market opportunity is knocking on their doors.

The Mayor is apparently unaware of the realities of creating the test kits in question. As Modern Healthcare noted just this week, the manufacturers of the test kits have run into significant challenges in developing new kits for the novel coronavirus, including reagent supply shortages and a lack of instrument access. They finally got into production and are cranking them out as fast as they can, but there are limits on how many can be produced in a short period of time.

As for respirators, the most popular manufacturers of that equipment are companies including Honeywell, 3M and Kimberley-Clark. They’ve been doing this for a long time and know how the process works. Respirators are not a high-volume sales item so they only make as many as the market typically requires and don’t keep huge backlogs in warehouses. They’re already cranking up production but it doesn’t happen overnight. Does Bill de Blasio honestly think that the federal government, model of efficiency and innovation that it is, knows how to produce respirators faster and better than 3M?

The instinct to seize control from the private sector runs deep in liberal politicians like de Blasio. And a national emergency is the perfect cover to jump in and do just that. This is simply one more example of why these people should never be put in charge of anything more complicated than a lemonade stand. (And they’d probably run that out of business on the first day.)