Merriam-Webster’s definition of the term “Murphy’s Law” as “anything that can go wrong will go wrong” is an accurate description of New Jerseys mismanagement under current Governor Phil Murphy. Unsurprisingly, Murphy who had bought the State Democrat nomination for governor just as he had purchased his only previous government experience, the U.S. ambassadorial post to Germany, was inadvertently encouraging hundreds of thousands of New Jersyans to flee to affordable states by increasing the cost of living even before the Covid-19 crisis. It is little surprise then that Murphy, governor of a state filled with potential, has provided no plans for rebuilding the economy after the Covid-19 virus, no meaningful plan to aid the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans out of work, and no help for the millions struggling to make ends meet during these trying times. Nor is there any astonishment at the seemingly endless inanities of Murphy’s contradictory crisis management. Here is a short, by no means exhaustive list, of what we shall call “Murphy’s Laws”:
- Murphy’s Law Number 1 – Make New York Governor Cuomo more popular than you! Daily press conferences at a time of crisis should build support for a governor, but Murphy’s regularly uninspiring tele-presence has made neighboring New York Governor Cuomo the go-to state level leader that millions of north Jersey residents to tune in for. Coumo’s repeat bickering with New York City Mayor DeBlasio and unforced errors, including canceling DeBlasio’s shelter in place order before ordering the same statewide and his contradicting DeBlasio on whether NYC schools will be closed for the year, should have made him persona non-grata to millions of north Jersey TVs, but when compared to Murphy’s lackluster and teenager sounding press conferences, Cuomo is the governor of choice for many north Jersey residents.
- Murphy’s Law Number 2 – Wait until it’s too late to fix the unemployment insurance non-system. Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans are unemployment due to the Covid-19 virus related shutdown. How did Murphy fail to realize that shutting down the state economy in March would lead to a wave of unemployment benefit claims? Who knows? But it wasn’t until Saturday April 4 that he asked the public for help to work on the 60-year-old programming language, COBOL, which the ancient technology of the state unemployment system runs on (when it isn’t repeatedly crashing).
- Murphy’s Law Number 3 – Lockdown residents, but release the criminals. Beginning with those in county jails, Murphy decided to engage in an extreme left wing social engineering experiment during a time of public health crisis. Sadly, Murphy’s delusion that freeing people with a proven track record of disobeying societal rules at a time of new, stricter, and increased rules is not his alone. Rather, hard left Democrats around the country have been releasing what they identify as “non-violent” offenders including molesters and murderers, some of whom have undoubtedly led to the increase in crime. Like a driver asleep at the wheel, Murphy could have taken an off ramp and ended this policy at the county jails, instead he not only stayed the course, but doubled down and is now releasing criminals early from state prisons.
- Murphy’s Law Number 4 – Open spaces are dangerous, but only became so on April 7, after we began to flatten the curve and projections were reduced. The statewide lockdown began in March but Murphy didn’t close state and county parks until April 7. Either walking alone in a park for fresh air, fishing, etc.. was dangerous before or it isn’t now. Moreover, he took this measure after both the infection rate began to curve and projections of the severity of the virus had gone done from millions to hundreds of thousands and then to tens of thousands. Every life is important, but the timeline of Murphy’s flippity-floppity decision of whether people have the right to social distance on park trails and paths rather than only on sidewalks just doesn’t make sense. What makes less sense is that it takes just as much enforcement to post police to guard a closed park as it would to have police there enforcing social distancing rules.
- Murphy’s Law Number 5 – Construction for me, but not for thee. For weeks now Murphy has been stressing social distancing, shuttering businesses in order to flatten the curve -so why did it take until April 8 to ban new construction? While the list of exempted “essential” construction deemed permissible by gubernatorial fiat includes important things like hospitals, why, it must be asked, does it include “affordable housing” projects? To ask this is not to weigh in on the pros and cons of state attempts to ghettoize and warehouse lower income earners, distort markets, or to create higher density. Rather, it is to ask how construction of market based and privately funded development that does not involve reaching into the tax payers pocket in a more affordable towns is less safe than building government mandated “affordable” housing in built up and expensive urban areas?
The battle against Covid-19 is a battle being won by our brave first responders and New Jerseyans are doing their part by social distancing, but the ever-changing hodge-podge of rules rolling out of Governor Murphy’s mouth show that if he didn’t have double standards, he wouldn’t have any at all. The out-of-touch temporary resident of the governor’s office can’t hold adult press conferences, couldn’t be bothered to start fixing the unemployment insurance system in March, is drunk on his own self-declared authority, and is addicted to pushing far left policy goals during a time of crisis. Intended or not, Governor Murphy’s Laws are a joke at our expense.