Culture Wars/Current Controversies
New Study Pegs COVID-19 Crisis Costs at $16 Trillion—So Far
Reasonable people typically understand that multiple values of parallel importance can co-exist at the same time and that a sensible approach to value conflicts is to make reasonable tradeoffs.
Preventing the spread of a serious illness is a value. Preventing an economic meltdown is a value. Preventing government overreach is a value. Recognizing the class, ethnic, age, and geographical disparities that typically accompany epidemics/pandemics is a value. Recognizing that power-holders can and do use crisis situations for the advancement of their own nefarious interests is a value. Questioning official narratives that often turn out to be wrong is a value. Recognizing that “experts” can often be wrong, particularly in unknown situations, and have self-interest of their own, is a value. Recognizing that cures can be worse than diseases is a value. The swine flu vaccine that was used in response to the 1976 epidemic killed more people than the illness.
Unfortunately, many people want simplistic explanations for everything that can be fitted into comfortable narratives and end up embracing “opinions” that are about as childish as hoping their fairy godmother will make the problem go away.
By Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout
Estimated costs of the coronavirus pandemic are in. The results are not pretty.
A new study co-authored by Harvard economist David M. Cutler and former World Bank chief economist Lawrence H. Summers places the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic north of $16 trillion.