We Must Choose: Liberty or Lockdown

Source: American Institute for Economic Research.

The always interesting George Gilder pens a book review.

After marshalling the facts from his source, he says, “So let’s stop pretending that our policies have been rational and need to be phased out, as if they once had a purpose. They should have been reversed summarily in March and acknowledged to be a mistake, perpetrated by statisticians with erroneous computer models. Instead we were subject to six months of hell…”

I pick the quote because, as it happens, “two weeks to slow the spread” — the initial policy the Trump administration pursued in response to Covid-19 — ended at the end of March. Up to that point at least, the administration was adhering to “the science” scrupulously.

Of course the Covid panic remained so strong that the administration extended “two weeks to slow the spread” to a month and a half, reverting to public relations when “the science” had finished accomplishing all it was capable of as far as transmission was concerned.

It is going a bit overboard to suggest federal policy “should have been reversed summarily in March.” The administration tried, but the public was too scared. In retrospect, the extension was a shrewd move. The trajectory of viral spread could not have been changed at that point anyway.

7 thoughts on “We Must Choose: Liberty or Lockdown

  1. I find it impossible to take an article that begins with the following sentence seriously . . .

    “By late April 2020, with reports of plummeting death rates from all causes, the Covid-19 crisis was already essentially over.”

    Then the author goes on with the claim that deaths from Covid-19 are overstated. He can only do that by ignoring the fact that deaths from all causes have been running significantly higher than should be expected from past years and significantly higher than is explained by deaths attributed – rightly or wrongly – to the virus. In other words, the impact of the virus is being systematically under-reported because there is no mechanism to catch all of its effects.

    The icy on this cake of lunacy is his use of “slave states” to refer to states where public safety was taken seriously and “free states” where it wasn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “I find it impossible to take an article that begins with the following sentence seriously . . .”

      Fortunatly for the rest of us, your sensibilities are not the gold standard.

      In this case, the statement you find impossible to take seriously happens to be true. According to the CDC, the weekly number of deaths from all causes in the U.S. peaked on April 18 at 79,450, then dropped to 74,195 by the end of the month, and continued dropping to a low of 58,185 by the end of June.

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm#dashboard

      Apart from that, you need to decide whether you believe the increase in estimated “excess” deaths is caused by the virus or not. It cannot be true both that the excess deaths are “rightly or wrongly” attributed to the virus and that the impact of the virus is being systematically under-reported. It is more likely that excess deaths are wrongly attributed to the virus as Gilder’s book review claims.

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      1. That silly statement that the pandemic was “essentially over” in April was written in September when we KNOW that the pandemic was not essentially over in April and is not likely to be over any time soon does not require a gold standard of common sense to dismiss out of hand.

        And, it is ridiculous and offensive to equate science driven public health measures with living in a “slave state.”

        You obviously do not understand the point that deaths attributed to coronavirus do not explain all of the excess deaths we are experiencing. SOMETHING is causing increased deaths. It is likely a combination of undiagnosed virus infections in the elderly AND people avoiding medical care for other conditions.

        As for some of the other bullshit, so far we are approaching 50,000 people under the age of 65 who have died as a direct result of the virus so the “conservative” plan to sacrifice the old for money is not working.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “That silly statement that the pandemic was ‘essentially over’ in April…”

          That’s not the statement. The statement was that the “crisis” was essentially over by late April, which is certainly true by many measures.

          RE: “deaths attributed to coronavirus do not explain all of the excess deaths we are experiencing. SOMETHING is causing increased deaths.”

          Compared to what? Some years have more deaths than others. By some estimates I’ve seen 2020 will be a “low death” year, even with Covid-19.

          RE: “the ‘conservative’ plan to sacrifice the old for money is not working”

          That sounds like a hallucination to me.

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  2. My favorite part of this idiocy is the complaints about the ever changing models. The models changed as behaviors changed. As more people started following the guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing, the counts started decreasing. Once #LIBERATE started their nonsense, counts started going up again. All of it is based on expected behaviors. It’s how models work, but some people insist on saying they have been wrong all along. When in actuality, they have been more accurate than, oh, I don’t know, saying the virus will magically disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “My favorite part of this idiocy is the complaints about the ever changing models.”

      The models didn’t change. The ones Gilder mentions were just wrong. We discussed this at length here in the Forum several months ago.

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      1. ANd you were as wrong then as you are now.

        THe modeling shifts as input shifts. Input shifts as FACTS change on the ground. You can model something in January when the weather is cold and dreary, and then an unexpected change occurs and the model shifts.

        Common sense seems to be lacking in your thought process. Or do you just think whatever the Libertarian media tells you to think?

        Like

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