Who Gave Gov. Newsom the Power to Decide Which Jobs Are Essential ?

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest half-baked coronavirus lockdown orders, Los Angeles County issued another stay-at-home lockdown order Friday, jerking around businesses in-and-out of “essential” and “non-essential” status: you can still shop at the mall, ride public transit, get your nails done, hit balls at batting cages, go to the library, but you can’t gather in your home with people who aren’t members of your household.

Playgrounds and card rooms are also closed.

Many employers and employees in the state want to know just what is considered an “essential” and “non-essential” business.

What is open in LA County?

    • Essential retail – 35% maximum occupancy
    • Non-essential retail (includes indoor malls) – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Personal care services – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Libraries – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Fitness centers operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
    • Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
    • Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy

Outdoor activities like going to the beach or playing baseball require masks.

  • Outdoor recreation activities all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing:
    • Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.
    • Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.
    • Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.

One Tweet summed it up well: “You can get your nails done and go to the mall but your kids can’t play outside at a playground – makes perfect sense.”

This is arbitrary and non-sensical. And you will notice that not one city, county or state job or agency has been deemed “non-essential.” This is ironic given that private sector businesses must succeed based on marketplace demands, and government just creates agencies and jobs in an attempt to grow.

Most people are still confused over the concept of “essential business,” and “non-essential business,” and why Gov. Newsom and his Secretary of Health and Human Services (CHHS), Dr. Mark Ghaly get to pick and choose.

Perusing the California State Agency Listing is enlightening (not really), but it does show the gross exponential growth of the administrative state, with more than 230 state agencies.

The Office of Digital Innovation jumps to the front of the list of obviously “non-essential” agencies, given the many state agencies with 19th Century IT messes.

Or the eight different “health” related agencies.

Maybe the Bureau of Household Goods and Services should take a “non-essential” hiatus since we don’t really know what they do. Same with the Landscape Architects Technical Committee, and Ocean Protection Council – we already have a Coastal Commission.

The Department of Parks and Recreation was caught in 2012 sitting on nearly $54 million in “surplus money,” while soliciting private donations to keep state parks open, and as top agency employees were bilking the state for vacation pay buyouts… it’s not hard to imagine that this agency is still a mess today and ripe for a “non-essential” designation.

What about public school teachers? They aren’t working in the classroom. Doesn’t that make them non-essential?

The ludicrous orders are tough enough to take in the ninth month of this absurd lockdown, but when public officials flaunt their own orders as Gov. Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and many other elitist politicians have done, the orders become even more stupid, as the politicians make a mockery of this supposed public-health crisis… which they apparently don’t really believe is a crisis.

It makes one wonder just how long Californians are really going to tolerate this fraud, as their businesses and employees are deemed “non-essential,” as their children fall into deep depressions while “distance learning” from home, as their sports and clubs and social lives have been also been deemed “non-essential” by uncaring politicians.

Think about this: You are ordered to wear a mask while walking on the beach (hint: outdoors). You must wear a mask while playing golf (outdoors), playing tennis (outdoors), or riding a bike (outdoors).

What is “essential retail?” Why is a pot dispensary essential but gyms, fitness centers and game stores aren’t? Smoking and ingesting pot is “necessary” for your health but working out isn’t?

What about essential churches? Doesn’t the soul need essential maintenance? Why is it essential to go to a museum at 50% capacity, or to Walmart or Target, but not to church?

Liquor stores are “essential.” Go figure.

Why are dog groomers essential but the hair and nail salons next door are not? Hair and nail salons were forced to move outdoors, but dog groomers were not.

Why were gyms forced to open outdoors, and only at 50% capacity?

Why can a grocery clerk refuse to bag my grocery items in my reusable bags after just touching all of the items as she rang up the order? Where is the sense in that?

Think people.

And if porous masks really work at keeping the coronavirus at bay, then why is there a “surge” in “cases?”

Answer: because the governor ramped up testing.

Californians, as with Americans across the entire country, are not only capable of assessing their own risk, they already do it every day.

Gov. Newsom’s scheme for re-opening the state includes four color-coded tiers:

Purple (widespread), Red (substantial), Orange (moderate), and Yellow (minimal). Instead of varying metrics and factors between counties, only two metrics will be used to move states up or down tier levels: daily new COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates.

The new color-coded reopening tier guidelines unveiled by Governor Newsom on August 28, 2020. (Photo: State of California)

Even with these color-coded tiers, counties were making enough headway and re-opening, so naturally the governor locked them down once more by changing the rules again.

California’s lockdown is not about public health.

Full dose of hypocrisy

Remember, while California was in full lockdown in July, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring the month as “California for All Small Business Month.” Yet beaches, restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, card rooms and bars in 19 counties were all closed – most of which were small businesses.

All irony was clearly lost on the governor. But he did it again today in this Tweet, after locking down most of the state:

“Today is Small Business Saturday. California is home to over 4 million small businesses. This holiday season, shop safe and shop local to help support our economy and the over 7 million workers that help keep our small businesses going.”

Here we are in November, still in various punitive stages of lockdown since March 4, with many predicting that 50% of the state’s restaurants will never re-open because of Gov. Newsom’s random, arbitrary orders declaring which businesses are “essential” to keep open during his lockdowns.

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