Several times this week when I have advocated for a safe and responsible re-opening of our economy, I've had people angrily suggest that either I don't know what I am talking about or that I am being selfish by putting the economy ahead of people's lives.

One person thought I should get a part-time job with a home delivery company, and another felt I should volunteer at a hospital. What? Both are among my most liberal friends and both are former reporters.

Do these folks know how utterly silly they sound?

Why is it that the liberal mentality feels the need to pit us against each other? If you are comfortable waiting in your home until some politician tells you it is safe enough to venture outdoors again then have at it. But understand this, there are many folks out there who do not have the luxury of time. Many have kids who need to eat and no income. They have businesses that employ others with kids who are now without income.

It is absurd for those like my lawyer friend who gets paid to see clients on Zoom from home to criticize those whose businesses are going under for wanting to get back to work.

"There are programs to help those people," he told me. "They can get food at PACE if their children are hungry."

Other friends who draw Social Security or some other retirement benefits while sitting at home sipping wine in the afternoon warn that it is too soon to re-open the economy. Too soon for whom? And says who? Funny how the wine light can fuzz over reality.

People need to work. Their kids need to eat and they need to get back to school. All of these things can be done safely with or without the blessings of the little dictators and do-gooders who know what's best for everyone else. By the way, the politicians who are ruining your lives are still getting paid.

Let's get the economy open again so people can work and provide for their families.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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