News Story

The Shutdown’s Cost: ‘All My Life’s Work’ Savings, Jobs Created, Everything ... Will Be Gone

Frustrated that car dealer and repair shop can avoid person-to-person contact

The owner of a Michigan car dealership posted an open letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in which he called the government shutdown insane and said it was wiping out his business.

David Tubbs, president of Tubbs Brother Inc., posted the open letter on his Facebook account. His dealership is located in Sanilac County in the city of Sandusky.

“Unless I am allowed to resume business, all of this will be gone,” Tubbs wrote. “All of my life’s work, all of my savings, all the jobs that we created, everything my team built. And the frustration is that it is being done by government decree.”

Tubbs continued, “It’s not the result of a poor economy, or bad business decisions. It’s because of a government imposed shutdown.”

In the letter, Tubbs wrote about the safety precautions his dealership took before the governor’s March 23 executive order called for a shutdown of many businesses.

“Life requires risk,” Tubbs wrote. “You take risk when you leave your home and drive to work. ... A life without risk is no life at all.”

Tubbs criticized what he called a broad-brush approach to social distancing.

“I can fix cars but I can’t sell them even though I can deliver a car with fewer person to person contacts,” Tubbs wrote. “I can handle virtually the complete sale without a consumer entering the dealership, yet I’m prohibited from doing so.”

Tubbs continued: “I sell many vehicles out of state without ever meeting the customer. Credit applications are done electronically. Paperwork is overnighted. Funds are transferred electronically. ... What is the possible rationale for banning this? It makes no sense!”

Tubbs said there are many examples of government mandates that make no sense.

“My lawn service can’t mow even though it’s one person in the middle of 3 acres. It’s insane! ... I have 3 customers whose vehicles have been in accidents and declared a ‘total loss.’ Now they can’t purchase a vehicle? What are they to do?”

Tubbs ended his letter with a plea to the governor to end the mandated shutdown of businesses.

“Allow Michigan’s innovators and entrepreneurs to figure out how to do business safely,” Tubbs wrote. “Let me sell my cars. I can do it without undue risk. Let the lawn services mow our lawn. Let us choose. ... I fear the cure is much more harmful than the disease.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.