Kimberley Strassel: Coronavirus vindicates capitalism – Here's why

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The left is never apt to let a serious crisis go to waste, as we see with its daily use of the coronavirus pandemic to bash the Republican administration. The bigger danger is the efforts it is already making to exploit the panic for its longer-term goal of destroying U.S. capitalism.

Socialist Bernie Sanders led the charge last Sunday in his Democratic primary debate with Joe Biden. Bernie rolled out his usual themes, this time through the virus lens. The pandemic “exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality” of the U.S. health system, he said; the cure is centralized, socialized care. Americans can’t get the drugs they need because “a bunch of crooks” run drug companies, “ripping us off every single day.” The virus exposes the “cruelty and unjustness” of an economy that allows “big-money interests” and “multimillionaires” to profiteer off “working families.”

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He’s hardly alone. The coronavirus has “laid this bare: America was less prepared for a pandemic than countries with a universal health system,” declared Vox. The pandemic has “inflicted new stress on a system already too unequal to function,” wrote Sarah Jones in New York magazine, lecturing on the need to “devolve power from wealthy interests.” “The coronavirus crisis exposes the stupidity of Trump’s healthcare policies,” railed Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik. A Morning Consult poll suggests this opportunistic sloganeering is resonating, with 41% of the public more likely to support universal health-care proposals amid this pandemic.

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Yet these claims are fantasy. Here’s the lesson of the virus so far: Relying solely on government bureaucracy is insane. To the extent America is weathering this moment, it is in enormous part thanks to the strength, ingenuity and flexibility of our thriving, competitive capitalist players.

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