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Samizdata quote of the day

“There must logically be a point at which the cost of the containment measures, in terms of human welfare and even of fatalities, outweighs the cost of the virus.”

Daniel Hannan.

52 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Freddo

    Unfortunately our measurement is calibrated for “cheap media outrage on a 24-hour news cycle”. No surprise that chasing the wrong parameter is having nasty side effects.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Obviously. That’s why they didn’t bring in more severe measures earlier. That’s why they were trying for ‘herd immunity’ rather than complete suppression. That’s why they’re talking now about turning the lock-down on and off instead of just keeping it on until the virus is gone completely.

    Logically, there is such a point. But it’s a different point for everyone. Some people put more weight on lives, others put more weight on the economy. Opinions differ. Value systems differ. People have different stakes in the game.

    The same logic implies that there must be a point at which the cost of the virus, in terms of human welfare and even of fatalities, outweighs the cost of the containment measures. It’s the same argument, seen from the other viewpoint.

    But everybody thinks their own viewpoint is the only valid one, and that everybody else should defer to it. Peacefully making joint policy decisions for all of society on controversial topics where different groups of people disagree is precisely what politics was invented for. Rule by democracy, or rule by elite? And if by elite, which one?

  • APL

    NiV: “Some people put more weight on lives, others put more weight on the economy.”

    And some people don’t seem to understand that you cannot support 60,000,000 people without a sophisticated functioning economy.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “And some people don’t seem to understand that you cannot support 60,000,000 people without a sophisticated functioning economy.”

    And some people don’t realise just how resilient a modern technological economy is to shocks and disasters.

  • Mr Ecks

    Sez you NiV–Can we send you the bills if you have been naïve and over-optimistic?

    Not for the first time.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Can we send you the bills if you have been naïve and over-optimistic?”

    Can you resurrect the dead if you’ve been naive and over-pessimistic?

  • Henry Cybulski

    For all the preachers of economic doom and gloom till the end times: what came after the 1918-19 flu? The roaring 20s. What came after all the massive destruction and dislocation of WW2. Incredible economic resurgence in many, many countries. Too bad you Brits had such a hopeless government.

  • Mr Ecks

    NiV–Nice try with the reframe but thinking the coro a damp squib would make me an optimist also.

    And there will be plenty of dead if the economy goes–including future coro dead as we will have no money to counter it adequately again if it is what you –naively–think it is. You are wrong–also not for the first time.

    H Cybul– In one sense you are correct. Despite the ocean of debt and malinvestment we already have and even with the additional damage of lockdowns –we COULD recover relatively quickly after a shortish period of de-flation and bad times. Iceland post 2008 is a mini-example of that.

    But the 1930s disaster followed the much shorter boom of the 20s. They tried to keep the balloon inflated with dreadful consequences. And there is NO chance that todays shower will not put us into prolonged depression and hyper-inflation trying to maintain and restore a vanished status quo.

  • CaptDMO

    Sure there’s a point.
    When every single human on the planet is dead, the value of imposing survival measures is moot.

  • Nico

    It’s pretty simple. We really do put a monetary value on human lives. Our courts sure do. It’s around $2mil typically. In civil court specific cases it may vary with the deceased’s age and wealth, but $2mil is a pretty good figure.

    $2mil * 50,000 dead is $100 billion. Add in the cost of the sick — say, double or triple that.

    Double or quadruple that, and that is the limit to which society should be willing to go in a pandemic like this one. Of course, there could be worse pandemics where we could be looking at, say, 10 million dead in the U.S. that would justify this level of social isolation and then some. But no one -absolutely no one- thinks this virus could get near that level of devastation. So a maximum economic cost of $1 or $2 trillion is all the U.S. should accept. Scale that to the UK and elsewhere. Even Italy, with a death rate of an unbelievable 160 per-million, doesn’t quite have it as bad as to justify what’s already coming to it as a result of the shutdown.

    Hunger, poverty, and economic shock kill too. Perhaps less immediately, perhaps less visibly, but this has to be considered.

  • Henry Cybulski

    Me Ecks, I take your point on the dismal 30s. Unfortunately, it all comes down to what the government does post disaster (and at any other time for that matter). If it gets out of the way and lets the economy roll the economy will come roaring back. I’m not holding my breath on that one but I am a bit hopeful. In the meantime, I’m just dealing with the situation as it is to the best of my abilities. (As an aside, my wife is an MD on the front lines of battle against the Chinese virus.)

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Of course, there could be worse pandemics where we could be looking at, say, 10 million dead in the U.S. that would justify this level of social isolation and then some. But no one -absolutely no one- thinks this virus could get near that level of devastation.”

    10 million would be 3%, right? Estimates of the fatality rate currently hover around 1%. (For example, this one on the Diamond Princess estimated 1.3%, where everyone got hospital treatment.) And if the hospitals get massively overwhelmed so most people don’t get treatment, what would the figure be?

    I don’t know. The numbers are highly uncertain, and may be wrong. But those are what the numbers are. When you say “no one -absolutely no one- thinks this virus could get near that level of devastation”, on what basis are you saying that? Do you have evidence? Or is it a case of not *wanting* it to be true?

  • Nico

    @NiV the 1% mortality is not for the whole population.

    Even Italy, with 160 deaths per-million is far from 1% of total population dying from this, and their rate is over 100x worse than that we’re seeing in the U.S.

  • Mr Ecks

    Mr Cybulski–about the economy I agree with you.

    But even Trump is still an old style New York Liberal former Democrat (from before Marxist madness took them down harder than rabies).

    There is no way I can see even he allowing a Doug Casey style deflationary collapse and deadwood clear-out. All the factories and assets of our society will still be there but a Crash would see most of them going into the hands of those who can use them in the new business world. That is a huge part of the return to health. But can you see today’s vested interests taking that without all out war? Just the bits Trump has done has already driven them round the bend. Full on laissez-Faire? They would rather die and take us with them.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “@NiV the 1% mortality is not for the whole population.”

    No, it’s for the number infected, (after the disease has run its course), which as yet is not the whole population.

  • Ferox

    It’s worth pointing out that the rate at which new cases are being detected is still increasing, which means we have not yet begun to even level off. Meanwhile overall morbidity seems to be holding steady.

    So any mortality numbers we talk about now should be suffixed with “so far”.

  • Nico

    @NiV: In principle, yes, but we have such bad data for number infected (because we don’t have an antibody test, and we don’t have it widely available), that it’s worthless. There’s plenty of reason to believe that when all is said and done, total mortality will be not much higher than the normal flu.

    Indeed, few believe it’s the mortality that is the problem — it’s the morbidity that is the problem. I.e., how much will our hospitals be overwhelmed. But even this can have a monetary figure assigned to it, and we can talk about trade-offs.

    There’s an interesting issue here too, that as a society becomes wealthier and healthier, it must also have less healthcare capacity. Otherwise one would be idling healthcare workers, and that’s not good. Which means that wealthier and healthier societies are necessarily more vulnerable to shocks like this one. I don’t know what can be done about that. More automation, more emergency and minimal training of temporary healthcare staff — something.

  • Mr Ecks

    Ferox–Are they new though?

    The tests –where being done –are poor and full of false negs/pos and most are being assigned coro status –either alive or dead –without truly knowing if what they have IS coro–or flu/cold/pnuemo etc.

    The entire expanding bubble could be bogus for all we know. And it is quite possible that coro has been spreading around the world since October and that far more have had it and got over it . Either without noticing or thinking it just a cold/flu.

  • If you want to argue about deaths, I have plenty of graphs based on ONS figures at my blog, eg:
    https://hectordrummond.com/2020/04/01/updated-graphs-of-nothing-much/

  • Nullius in Verba

    “In principle, yes, but we have such bad data for number infected (because we don’t have an antibody test, and we don’t have it widely available), that it’s worthless.”

    The data underlying that estimate came from the Diamond Princess, where everyone was regularly tested.

    There is an antibody test now.

    “There’s plenty of reason to believe that when all is said and done, total mortality will be not much higher than the normal flu.”

    Such as? And in that case, why are all the epidemiologists saying otherwise? And why is Italy’s health system being overwhelmed when they deal with flu every year quite easily?

    “Indeed, few believe it’s the mortality that is the problem — it’s the morbidity that is the problem. I.e., how much will our hospitals be overwhelmed.”

    The question is how much the hospitals being overwhelmed will affect mortality. I think it’s pretty certain that all the people who need an ICU bed will die without it, which would roughly double the mortality. But how many of the rest in hospital would actually die without treatment (e.g. extra oxygen), and how many would survive? Half? Three quarters? What fraction are we assuming, when we say it’s not a problem?

    Where’s the data backing the belief?

  • Nico

    I agree with Mr. Ecks. We just don’t know, but from the data from South Korea we certainly know that the rosy scenario looks hardly worse than the normal flu.

    Supposing it does turn out to be hardly worse than the normal flu… and even if it doesn’t… the corona virus panic will have done two incredible things: a) show us how vulnerable we are to mass panics and delusions (including manipulation by foreign and domestic news / propaganda), and b) how fragile our prosperity is. This is truly shocking.

    Even if covid-19 does turn out to warrant the panic we’ve had, it would still be the case that a future panic might be whipped up with much less justification.

    For me, this panic changes everything.

  • Nico

    Such as? And in that case, why are all the epidemiologists saying otherwise? And why is Italy’s health system being overwhelmed when they deal with flu every year quite easily?

    Excellent question. Similarly: why does Italy have it so much worse than South Korea? The numbers in SK really aren’t bad. Why the huge difference? Part of it is that SK contained the spread of covid-19, but there must be much more to it, and it is too soon to say.

  • Paul Marks

    Logic, reason, has got nothing to do with the current situation.

    It was clear BEFORE the virus that we are ruled by people in love with government spending and ever bigger and more intrusive government – and I do not even mean the elected government, as they follow the “advice” of unelected people.

    The virus gave the international establishment elite the chance to do what they have always dreamed of doing – “but the cost”, the cost is NOT relevant to them.

    And look at what the media can achieve – there is no real opposition in the United Kingdom to the measures taken, and no real questioning of why the virus was allowed to take hold in the first place (the borders were kept open for months). The media tell people want to think – and most people then think it.

    In the United States the Tim Pot Despot Governor Cuomo is wildly popular. Why? Because the media present him as wise and good – he is neither.

    Governor Cuomo and President Trump saying the same thing on X subject – the Governor will be praised, and the President savagely condemned for-saying-the-same-thing.

    And, if like the President of Brazil, you resist destroying liberty and concentrate on supporting medical doctors who are trying to find medicines to treat this disease – then the media (such as the Economist magazine – which PRETENDS to deplore what is happening whilst actually supporting it) will denounce you and try and make everyone hate you.

    The only “good” thing is that this can not go on for ever – like the policies that destroyed the Roman Empire from the inside, the present ever-bigger and ever-more-intrusive government policies must come to an end at some point.

    The end will be terrible – but at least it will be the end.

    During the Dark Age (not “Late Antiquity” please) the memory of learning and civilisation in Western Europe was kept alive in Irish Monasteries.

    I do not know what will happen this time.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the virus.

    No widespread international establishment elite anger at the Chinese Communist Party Dictatorship for the creation of the virus in a Research Centre and covering up when it leaked and spread.

    Indeed this is called an “urban myth” or “racism” by the international establishment elite.

    How about treatments for the virus?

    Again no real international establishment elite interest – indeed they (for example Twitter) try and CENSOR discussion of possible treatments.

    They do not want the guilty party (the Communist Party Dictatorship of the People’s Republic of China) blamed (they even scream that keeping out the disease is “racist”) and they do not want the disease cured.

    Think about that – they (the international establishment elite) do not want the disease cured. If they did want it cured they would promoting the free discussion of possible treatments and that is the opposite of what they are doing. What they are doing (especially the American “mainstream media” and the social media companies such as Twitter) is CENSOR or RIDICULE any discussion of possible treatments.

    If the disease was cured – then the justification for the ever bigger and more controlling government policies the international establishment elite (including the “mainstream media”) are pushing would fall away. That is not what they wish to see occur.

    What produced them? The international establishment elite were not vomited up from Hell and put in power by the will of Satan. No the truth is much more boring – the truth is that they are the “good students” the people who believed what their teachers and university lecturers were saying and what the approved books said. They then went on to get “good jobs” in the government, media and general corporate bureaucracy.

    The truth really is that boring. They work to undermine the basis of “capitalist” society (even when the are high executives in big “capitalist” corporations) because that is what they were taught to do.

    They do not have horns and tails, they are just people – people whose activities are destroying Western Civilisation.

  • Sir Patrick (if I am recalling correctly who stood to Boris’ right in the briefing) said much the same as Daniel, back when they were expecting to start the lockdown in early April, not late March. He also said that it was not sensible to believe that Britain’s children would remain in lockdown for 3 whole months, let alone longer, even if the government ordered it.

    The only question is, when is the tipping point: already passed?, in three weeks?, in three months? It is clear what the trend of opinion is on this blog – the disease’ effect will be less and the economic effect will be more than the public domain coverage implies. It is just as clear that Boris will make the call – so we must hope the experience of ignoring the Brexit doomsayers stays with him. We should know more soon – and it seems very unlikely that Boris will act until we know more.

  • Nico

    The truth really is that boring. They work to undermine the basis of “capitalist” society (even when the are high executives in big “capitalist” corporations) because that is what they were taught to do.

    Ain’t that the truth.

    Sometimes I despair and think it’s all lost and we will enter a dark age.

    Then I remember that the Democrats ruled almost uninterrupted in Congress and most of the States for 62 years, between 1933 and 1995, and some of those years must have felt quite dark.

    But there is a difference between the Democrats then and the Democrats now. There is a naked thirst for naked power that is way beyond what was ever displayed back then. The difference is that the Left has marched through all of our institutions. This means that people may well tolerate things that they wouldn’t have even as recently as 1995 or even at the high-point of crisis-as-opportunity governance in the 30s.

  • Itellyounothing

    Professor Neil “Lockdown” Fergusson already dropped his official guess for half a million dead to 20,000 and now 5,700. The expert who locked down the UK now thinks it’s just the flu.

  • Nico

    @Itellyounothing tell NiV.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Professor Neil “Lockdown” Fergusson already dropped his official guess for half a million dead to 20,000 and now 5,700.”

    Sheesh! How many times do I have to say it? No he didn’t!

    The half a million is a hypothetical baseline for comparison, that only applies if the UK takes *no measures* (which was never expected to happen) and ignores any increase in mortality due to the hospitals being overloaded (which of course is going to give a gross under-estimate of the true figure). The 20,000 figure was the estimate *with lock-down* in place, aimed at keeping the demand for beds within the NHS capacity.

    The 5,700 figure (which was new to me, thanks) is not by Ferguson at all, but by Pike and Saini, and basically shifts and scales the China data onto the initial data for several other nations, including the UK. It’s the sort of analysis somebody could do by cutting and pasting the graph for China onto the UK graph. Even if you believe the Chinese data, the UK isn’t China. We’ve got a completely different profile for population density, social contact, long-range commuting, health service capability, ability to test, and policy. It’s pretty much meaningless.

    Pike and Saini give their address in the paper as: “Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London”. Because that’s Imperial College, the newspapers seem to be confusing it with Ferguson’s team. I’m pretty sure he’s not with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering!

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Hannan’s question ignores the value of containment measures to the State. What is any ‘cost‘ to the State when it isn’t paying?

  • Gary

    Test, Test, Test.

    All else is futile idiocy.

    All countries should be following the examples of South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, and Singapore.

    Governments that are so inept they can’t even do testing and provide doctors and nurses with PPE, and allow anyone to waltz in through Heathrow airport.

    The failure to provide PPE to medical staff is a national disgrace, a national scandal.

    British government ministers should face criminal charges for the deaths of doctors and nurses for which they are clearly responsible.

  • Mr Ecks

    Test is not that accurate.

    Got any answer as to why you are still on a bogus moral high horse when you endorse a cult with 150 million killings on its hands–up to date.

    And the same cult that started the corocrap anyway? As leftist YOU should be in court as an active supporter of evil and tyranny.

  • Chester Draws

    If it gets out of the way and lets the economy roll the economy will come roaring back.

    Big IF there. Some countries are talking about massive nationalisations as the cost of loans.

    Other possibilities are equally likely. Inflation takes hold due to too much money sloshing about. That causes people over-mortgaged to be unable to pay — and that wasn’t pretty last time with an otherwise good economy. Added to even more debt and lots of people already unemployed, that’s not good.

  • bobby b

    “That causes people over-mortgaged to be unable to pay — and that wasn’t pretty last time with an otherwise good economy.”

    You lost me. Back when we used to have inflation, my mortgage just got cheaper and cheaper as inflation pulled up my income.

    ETA: Wait – is this related to, “all of my mortgages have been fixed rate and that’s not the norm anymore”? Yeah, variables would not be a good thing then.

  • Ferox

    AFAIK, inflation is generally only a big problem for lenders and for people with fixed incomes.

    Lenders get cheap money back in return for the pricier money they lent out. People with fixed incomes find that they have less purchasing power.

    Borrowers tend to benefit, by being able to pay back loans with cheaper money. And those whose incomes scale with inflation just have to write bigger numbers on their checks.

    Ultimately the economic problem I see is that both production and aggregate demand are going to fall precipitously this next couple of quarters. Less production means we are objectively poorer, no matter what numbers appear on our bank statements. And a reduction in aggregate demand means that production will tend to stay lower, thus keeping us objectively poorer for an extended period of time.

  • Mr Ecks

    Massive inflation should cause interest rates to rise which would be a small bit of good news as savings/investment are the engines of prosperity.

    But if interest rates hit even 6-7% then nearly all the Wests tax take would have to be used by the scummy states to pay the interest on the massive amount of borrowing they have done. They could–and ultimately will-default because there is no way to pay off such sums as they have borrowed. But imagine the knock on effect of that default.

    Polipigs will print ever more funny money to avoid that fate.

  • Lee Moore

    Really excellent graphs, and write up, Hector. Please keep ’em coming, if possible, weekly or however often the government updates its numbers.

    Keeping track of total deaths from all causes is an essential check on the problems of trying to count COVID deaths, for the reasons you state in your piece. And nobody else seems to be doing this. I did see a reasonable BBC piece about the problems of counting COVID deaths realistically and consistently, but no actual numbers were attempted.

    I suspect that your graphs will show an uptick in the next few weeks, as we are past the regular flu season, the announced COVID deaths are picking up rapidly, and so if there’s a real caused-by-COVID spike it ought to show up in April.

  • Lee Moore

    Don’t follow Mr Ecks.

    Higher nominal interest rates don’t help savers if their capital is being eaten away by inflation. They just finish up paying lots of tax on their interest income, while their real return is zero.

    And absolutely nothing is jollier for debt laden governments than a good dose of inflation.

    After ten years of living off borrowing, the German government’s debt at the end of 1923 was eleventy eleven squillion billion gadzillion marks. Actual value, ninepence.

  • Nullius in Verba

    I just saw this by Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute, and thought it relevant to the discussion. I think some of the numbers are debatable, as they always are in economics, but it may be of interest.

  • APL

    Mr Ecks: “Massive inflation should cause interest rates to rise which would be a small bit of good news as savings/investment are the engines of prosperity.”

    That’s the old paradyne.

    The new Paradyne: Central bank ‘prints’ twenty billion currency units. Lends half to the government treasury to blast at the public sector, the other half to the banks to blast into the private sector. What they don’t know or haven’t bothered to check is that in the Private sector, the bank CEOs just carve it up between themselves, and in the Public sector the Public Sector CEOs just carve it up between themselves.

    There is already a massive disconnect between the rate of interest the government pays, and the rate of interest on commercial money the banks are supposed to be lending.

    UK BoE base rate 0.1%, secured loans in the commercial sector are already 8 – 10 % ,unsecured 25 – 40 %

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Does anybody have any info on overall mortality rate for these two months for severely affected nations compared to previous 5 years?

    Is there really any statistical difference?

  • Lee Moore

    I haven’t seen any overall mortality figures for foreign places. Just an anecdote that the deaths in one small Italian town had gone from an average of 40-50, to about 160, in the time period measured. Obviously any pop like that in the UK as a whole will show up pretty spectacularly.

    Hector’s splendid graphs indicate that we should normally expect about 10,000 deaths a week in England and Wales in April. Within a range of maybe 8,000 to 12,000. With coronavirus deaths now being reported at getting on for 1,000 a day, we should expect the total deaths to spike rapidly beyond the normal range boundary to 15,000 a week plus. If each reported coronavirus death is an extra death.

    But if, say, 50% of reported coronavirus deaths are simply replacing another reported cause of death, and would have happened anyway, we’d see the death rate staying within the normal range, maybe ticking up to 12,000 a week or so.

    Obviously the age breakdown of deaths may tell us more.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In reply to the Wobbly Guy:

    Does anybody have any info on overall mortality rate for these two months for severely affected nations compared to previous 5 years?

    We can probably agree that figures from China are not particularly reliable, so let’s look at Italy. And remember, the bodies started piling up in Italy only a few weeks ago, so forget about February.

    This page is in Italian, but i’ll provide a summary of the relevant points.

    Look at the plot at the bottom of the page:

    The thick green line with dots is the historical average of deaths
    * for people 65 and over;
    * in the 19 largest cities in Italy (including 20% of the population).
    Thin green lines represent confidence intervals.

    The red line is the mortality this year, and yellow line is a projection.

    By week 11, there is a significant but small increase in mortality.
    Neglecting the projection (which seems to have come to pass, but i did not check the figures), the excess mortality does not seem like a big deal, but please note:
    * The last week in the red line is week 11 of the year, which i assume ended on March 17, by which time there were 2500 deaths from covid-19 in Italy. Today there are 14000 and counting.
    * The 19 largest cities in Italy do not include Bergamo, Lodi, and Padova, where most of the early deaths occurred.

    The reason Hector’s plots are pointless is that the UK is about 2 weeks behind Italy. (Italy reached 1K deaths on March 12, the UK on March 27.) That means that week 12 in the UK is equivalent to week 10 in Italy, and there were no excess deaths in Italy on week 10. (Not in the largest cities, anyway.)

    Here is a page in English from the same site, showing another interesting plot.

  • djc

    Lee Moore

    But if, say, 50% of reported coronavirus deaths are simply replacing another reported cause of death, and would have happened anyway, we’d see the death rate staying within the normal range, maybe ticking up to 12,000 a week or so.
    Obviously the age breakdown of deaths may tell us more.

    The older you are the more likely you are to die, and the more likely you are to die in winter. Those winter deaths among of the very old vary very much from year to year, if you are 85+ you are in God’s waiting room; if not called this year maybe next, rejoice with every summer, it may be the last.

    2020 so far has been a low year for winter deaths of the very old, if there is a spike late in the season then it will have to be a very big spike to make much impression on the averages.

  • Mr Ecks

    Snorri–How many more times –Italy has all sorts of factors we don’t and is –I increasingly see it as –lying about cases and causes of death. We are not two weeks behind anywhere –that is just bogus.

  • BigFatFlyingBloke

    Has anybody mentioned yet that there is approximately a 2-4 week lag in deaths with COVID-19. I.e. the deaths recorded today are looking that long in the past as it relates to infections. This is significant.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Steve Sailer managed to find some info for Spain.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/excess-deaths-in-spain-graphed/

    I think that huge spike is convincing enough for the skeptics?

    The question now is: what is the economic tradeoff between the lives lost if there was no lockdown vs the lives lost through economic distress if there is a lockdown?

    In the absence of perfect information, all many of us, and even the decision makers, is guess, and hope we guess right.

    The huge peaks for Spain do tell us that it’s hard to ignore such a spike in deaths, and the lockdown is (probably?) worth the deaths via economic distress?

  • The Wobbly Guy

    OTOH, a commenter provided data on past peak flu mortality rates in previous years.
    https://www.unz.com/comments/all/?commenterfilter=Hail

    And this set of data says that it’s actually in line with expected mortality rates.

  • Julie near Chicago

    For those of you who are feeling obsessed, distressed, and suicidal over either C-19 or the jabber about it, you might find somehing a little less depressing in Richard’s (Epstein’s) take from, admittedly, two weeks ago: “The Libertarian: Law, Economics, And Coronavirus,” in which he discusses the friction between libertarianism and the (apparent) facts on the ground at that time.

    ~ 22 min, with Troy Senik.

    https://www.hoover.org/research/libertarian-law-economics-and-coronavirus

  • Paul Marks

    The government could, if it wants to, limit CONSUMPTION for a long time.

    But if the government limits PRODUCTION for a long time then there will be economic collapse and mass death.

    The factories, and so on, must reopen – and they must reopen soon.

  • Paul Marks

    The elected government must take control of the unelected government and insist that all attention is concentrated on CURING THE DISEASE.

    No more waffle about hiding from it till it goes away.

    I do not believe that the Prime Minister (or any minister) wants to die of this disease – and I do NOT believe they want anyone else to die of the disease.

    More than five thousand people have died of COVID 19 in the United Kingdom – it is time to reconsider policy and follow a different line of policy.

    The objective of policy must be to cure the disease.

  • Paul Marks

    Hopefully policy is already changing – and medicines, both existing medicines (such as those suggested by the President of the United States and others) and new medicines, will now be used.

    We can not bring the five thousand dead people back to life – but we can make efforts to save other people.

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