As coronavirus-induced lockdowns continue across most of the country, Mike Rowe is calling for a balance between safety and liberty.
The former “Dirty Jobs” host said during an interview this week with conservative radio host and author Glenn Beck that it’s time to establish “risk equilibrium,” arguing the lasting damage that’s resulting from our forced economic recession could unleash an entirely different national crisis.
This was the crux of Rowe’s argument:
There are times when safety first is wise and prudent. You don’t drive 55 when there’s an ice storm. You adjust, you recalibrate, you take the temperature of the room and you adjust your behavior. It’s called homeostatic risk, risk equilibrium.
We’re all hard-wired to adapt and adjust our behavior to the circumstances around us. There are times when putting safety above all things makes absolute sense, but there has never been a time where arbitraging everything else out of the equation — and venerating safety to the point that nothing else is even allowed to be discussed — there’s never been a point in our history, at least as I understand it, where that’s made a lick of sense.
Earlier in his discussion with Beck, Rowe predicted Americans will soon reach a tipping point, at which time they will no longer just follow orders from the government without asking questions.
“I think most of the country is going to come through this with the realization that we’re being treated like children and we’re being fed platitudes, bromides, and bowls of warm milk by people who want us to look at them as parents,” he explained.
During a separate interview Tuesday afternoon with Fox News anchor Dana Perino, Rowe said politicians are in for a rude awakening if they continue to suggest the jobs lost by millions of Americans as a result of nationwide shutdowns are “nonessential.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) faced particular ire when he lashed out at those living in his state who were speaking out after having been laid off from their jobs because of the lockdown. In his comments, the governor told New Yorkers to stop complaining and “take a job as an essential worker.”
“The illness is death,” Cuomo lectured. “What is worse than death? Economic hardship? Yes, very bad. Not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house? Very bad. Not death. Domestic violence on the increase? Very bad. Not death.”
That kind or rhetoric, Rowe told Perino, is out of touch and illogical.
“Thirty-four million people are out of work right now, and by definition, those people are out of work because, according to the governor, they are nonessential,” he said. “But if you look at the impact of removing those works from our economy, you know, our macro-economy, you can see that they’re absolutely essential.”
“So language matters,” Rowe continued. “This is one of those instances where the headlines have caught up to our vernacular, and if we don’t make some tweaks to our lexicon, we’re going to wind up sounding really — what’s the word? — stupid.”