The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, April 10, 2020


The mainstream media, along with far too many leaders of their preferred political party (the Democrats, in case you've been living under a rock) has resisted even the suggestion that the economy should be re-opened sooner rather than later. It was all about "saving lives." Now that these geniuses are seeing long, long unemployment lines and chaos at food pantries and other support organizations, they've discovered what those of us who recognized the the economic threat early have been saying for over a month—a shut down of the country leads to very serious economic dislocation. Undaunted by their abject stupidity. they now complain that the government is not reacting fast enough to the tsunami of unemployed. Two examples from the headlines of the Left's house organ, The New York Times: "‘Sudden Black Hole’ for the Economy With Millions More Unemployed," and "Virus Throws Millions More Out of Work, and Washington Struggles to Keep Pace." This was the same NYT that has argued that it is irresponsible to re-open the economy, and we should wait for as long as it takes to be rid of COVID-19. Talk about Chutzpa.

Mollie Hemingway writes about this using comments made by one of the most biased and least insightful of all mainstream media celebrities:
There are no costs associated with being “overly alarmist” in the face of a global pandemic, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd claimed on Sunday. His comment encapsulates the attitude of the media and other elites as they drive people and state and local governments deeper into a panic that has resulted in the loss of tens of millions of jobs, the likely permanent closures of hundreds of thousands of businesses, a general inability to pay rent and other monthly bills, a lack of treatment for non-coronavirus health problems, the closure of churches and schools, the exacerbation of disparities by socio-economic status in educational attainment, disruptions to the supply chain, and the destruction of trillions of dollars of American wealth.

Pushing governors and other politicians to do even more to shut down communities and their economies, Todd asked former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, “Are you surprised that more politicians aren’t erring on the side of caution here? Because there seems to be if you’re wrong about this, boy, is that a bad way to be wrong. If, if you’re wrong and you’ve, and you’ve been overly alarmist, well, nobody’s, nobody extra has died. But if you’re wrong and you’ve underplayed, boy, you’ve got a lot to answer for.”
Like many of his fellow catastrophists, Todd has wrapped himself in virtue signaling, all in the name of "caution."

So ... let's examine Todd's caution. Is it cautious to put tens of millions of people out of work, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck. Is it cautious to make decisions that impact the lower rungs of the economic latter far more perversely than the upper rungs (Todd continues to collect his paycheck). Is it cautious to drive additional millions into debt? Is it cautious to ruin the life's work for hundreds of thousands of small business owners, many of who will never be able to recover. Is it cautious to impoverish millions who work in the gig economy and now have no income whatsoever? Is it cautious to place entire industries in jeopardy with the resultant loss of the jobs of all the people they employ? Is it cautious to add millions of people to social programs where they become dependent on government for their sustenance? Is it cautious to rack up trillions in federal debt?

Yeah, I know, it's all worth it if ... we "save lives."

But that's intellectually dishonest and disingenuous. It's all about cost and benefit. When the human cost of a decision made to save lives far outweighs the marginal cost of the lives that may have been lost by rescinding that decision, it's time to change course. We may not be there yet, but we'll get there shortly.

For those catastrophists like Todd, who will assuredly call Donald Trump and any State Governor a "murderer" ("blood on his hands") as soon as he announces a change in course, I can only suggest that Todd and those who agree with his narrative are "destroyers"—of livelihoods, of businesses, of the very cultural fabric that binds us together.

"Murderer" of a relative few or "Destroyer" of millions. To quote Chuck Todd: If you choose the path of the Destroyer, "’ve got a lot to answer for."


An addendum from Joseph A. Ladapo:
The pandemic crisis now rests on a fulcrum. On one side is Covid-19 and every possible action that might prevent people from contracting and dying from infection. On the other side is everything else that matters: livelihoods that allow people to feed and shelter their families; civil liberties; the education of children; social well-being, including the prevention of loneliness, isolation and domestic violence; and all other medical conditions, from cancer and heart disease to dental emergencies. The belief that it is worth sacrificing anything and everything at the altar of flattening the coronavirus curve is foolish. But many leaders are behaving that way. We need a clearer picture of all that is at stake before those at the helm burn down the village to save it.

Examples of bad actions, often by well-intentioned leaders, are proliferating. The mayor of Chicago warned joggers that a stay-at-home order means they may not go on long runs without risking arrest, a flagrant disregard for the American values of liberty and prudence, not to mention the common-sense benefits of exercise. A city in Texas threatens to fine residents up to $1,000 if they (and their children) don’t wear masks in public. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recommends a policy of social distancing within your own household. “Keep your distance between yourself and other family members,” he cautioned recently. More broadly, governors have ordered shutdowns to slow the coronavirus without acknowledging what these shutdowns cost.
And therein lies the rub. Catastrophists have shut down debate by accusing anyone who questions the current approach as uncaring about lives. They have gained widespread support by promoting skewed reporting on the virus, presenting frightening numbers without context or qualification, and otherwise fostering fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The majority of Americans believe we have no other choice. That's not true.

The catastrophists wrap themselves in caring, but their absolutist position indicates they care only for a relatively small segment of the broader population.