A government that cannot even pass a budget will now measure exactly, precisely, the right moment to push exactly the right buttons and pull the right levers to achieve exactly the intended outcomes. Don't bet on it. This is, in part, a comforting illusion to reassure a bewildered and poorly educated public with the idea that it has more real control than it actually does. This also to allow politicians to foist the blame when things go wrong on each other. Governors will say, the President told us to start the process. The President will say the Governors did not - as indeed some will not - follow the plan.The provisions of the plan are themselves vague where not impractical. Sorry, but social isolation is routinely being violated already in every American grocery store. The step-by-step nature of the plan almost also assures that the economy's recovery will be delayed. Business will not re-start until it feels safe to do so. Consumers will not go back to the restaurants and the malls until they are sure it is safe.CONT.
This is a recipe not for re-starting the economy, but prolonging the misery. Moreover, as the fall arrives and the risks of a return of the virus rises with cooler weather, it is as likely as not that the whole thing will have to be un-done in a flash that which was implemented at a snail's pace.Bottom line, the President's plan is the illusion of control without its reality. It is using the blunt instrument of government to achieve precise and narrow goals. It is based on data of whose reliability even science cannot be sure. The appropriate approach would have been a fast move to a limited lockdown. Better still, a limited lockdown at the outset. Alas, science has been misused by a public that thinks it is entitled to perfect security, that ever problem has a solution rather than is a difficulty to be managed, and that it has total control of every situation. The pandemic ought to have shattered such illusions, the President's proposed cure will paradoxically not resolve the problems such delusions have caused but merely reinforce them.
For the first time, I have substantial doubts as to your wisdom in this problem. At this apparent midpoint, I wonder if your suggestion is based on what you have gleaned as the debacle has progressed, using a certain amount of hindsight. I remember you seemed to hint what your approach would be, when I asked if the media was over hyping this from the outset That was way back when it first came about. We shall see how it all shakes out obviously.But tell me, do you know of others who believe as you do, that we would end up with similiar if not better outcome had we done nothing? Or as you say, a quick but brief lockdown , and protect the most vulnerable in our society, assuming we even knew who they were? I have , in the back of my mind, often thought this whole thing is nuts, not because of any actual reasoning on my part, or any amount of knowledge, but rather just a “feeling” in my gut. But I have no confidence in it really meaning enough to believe. .
And what about the doctors, all of whom seem to agree that we must do all these things to ensure that the most lives are saved, and to not follow their directions, is really just killing more people. And factor in the politicization of it all, as you said, no one wanted to take responsibility for the tens of thousands of lives that would surely be lost, if you’re wrong. The pressure on Trump was immense, and he’s no doctor, so he is left to his own instincts, which were obviously, what he ended up doing. So would your course even have been possible, considering all the outside “wisdom” that would certainly be presented as being the real truth? What would the chances be that anyone would be able to convince enough people to go along with what would be called a gamble, with literally everything on the table?
I was especially alarmed at how this thriving multi trillion dollar economy and proud nation of three hundred plus million came to a sudden screeching halt. I mean... crickets... as you know being in so, Nevada the Las Vegas strip is in my backyard, and in fact it is, or was, my workplace. For the first time in history, it was all closed, every single hotel, bar, restaurant, casino. Convention hall, airport hangar shuttered. It was eerie if not outright chilling. I remember that first night, the darkened strip, some small groups huddled amongst each other, nervously looking around, in obvious disbelief. It was the most insecure I’ve ever felt, since my parents both passed, some ten years ago. I kept thinking I wished my papa was here, he would know what to think, how to act, what o expect.
Never said, do nothing. I said use a more limited lockdown and keep the economy moving. As it is, the mistake in the President's plan is that it assumes that all we have to do is push the right buttons, pull the right levers, and do so in the exact right order at the exact right time and all will be well. It is, as that litany suggests, pure nonsense.Society - and its economy - is not a tinkertoy that can be pulled apart and reassembled at will, according to a perfected vision of an a priori plan. The chances here for error are gargantuan and the law of unintended consequences pertains.The best approach would have been a limited lockdown targeting vulnerable populations, leaving the economy to otherwise function. This recognizing that any approach will have its costs. The nation having chosen, in the event, to lockdown the economy - with all the casualties and costs that must entail - and still taking fatalities from the illness. The best approach coming out of this would to have been to reopen the economy outright, leaving in place those restrictions consistent with a more limited lockdown such as those in Sweden and Japan. Noting that these countries have casualty rates have fatality rates equal or below the American full lockdown model.As it is, by this step-by-step process, any economic recovery will be delayed as business and consumers await the next step to see if the last step was successful. One blip in the highly variable data will be enough to derail the whole thing.The paradox being that the cure for the is based on the same flawed logic and premises as the initially flawed cure itself. To repeat, the illusion of control and the comical idea - first discredited in the aftermath of the Great Society's Promethean ambitions - that government is a scalpel and not a sledgehammer.
Typed the above before I saw that you had sent two subsequent postings. Bottom line, you are mischaracterizing my argument. Certain limits will have to remain in place - though some of the ones that have been suggested are silliness on stilts. That said, the notion that this will be rolled out in stages and differently in different places is, as I say, to suggest a degree of control and precision that simply cannot be. Government, especially given three levels of government, is simply not that precise an instruments.As to the scientists. As I have noted elsewhere. They are answering a scientific A+B=C questions in scientific A+B=C ways. Asked how to stop the spread of a contagion, they give a scientific answer. Asked to factor in the need for maintaining essential services, to calculate the collateral costs in lives and income and such, of such a scientific answer and they cannot do so. It is beyond their skill and competence of science and the very root of the problem in the handling of this issue to date has been that it applies abstract scientific principles to a real world dynamic. As any good conservative ought to know, that is not possible and will result in many unintended consequences, many of them not good.
Last but not least, herewith the text of what the President's plan should have said:"As of [X] date, the lockdown is ended. Each state and local government is free to continue with such restrictions as it deems appropriate consistent with its constitutional powers and their nexus with applicable public health standards." Amen.The rest, as I say, is pure nonsense and the fiction of positive control. A three step process that is the illusion of control without the actual fact of it.Oh, as to the poetry of an economy stopped cold. Be advised, that such stopping was entirely voluntary. The result of the pursuit of a pure safety that is not to be had in this life.
The lockdowns worldwide are showing that they are working though? Governments worldwide are now looking towards reopening economies as many societies with lockdowns enforced are starting to move beyond the peak. At this point, Governments will look towards reopening the economy where it can with social distancing measures still in place to mitigate the long term damage to the economy.
@ayque The science on that is ambiguous at best. Please note that the partial lockdowns of Sweden and Japan are attaining infection and fatality rates equal or better than the full lockdown in the United States. Now certainly a lockdown of some kind is necessary, but the evidence that a total lockdown is the best approach is debatable as science and certainly as broader government policy. In terms of the former it is worth noting that infection rates are declining - but only as spring is coming. Thus how much the improvement owes to a lockdown and how much to other environmental factors - viruses of this kind have tended to wane in the warmer months - is not clear.As broader policy, a total lockdown may indeed be improving matters, but that is not taking account of the collateral costs of the policy. Unemployment has soared, suicides are up, reports of domestic and child abuse ditto. Alcohol consumption has soared. Screenings for cancer and other voluntary procedures have been stopped. These are costs that science cannot and does not factor into its calculated costs of its preferred policy of lockdown. They are costs that policymakers ought be considering and weighing against the alleged savings in lives and other costs from the lockdown policy.As it is, an abstract policy has been proposed the practicality of which is dubious. Not least because if the disease does not lend itself to herd immunity, this problem will recur. The lifting of an absolute lockdown is wise, because it ought not have been proposed to begin with. If policymakers go into the lifting of such policy in the assumption that the problem will be solved, they will fall back on a total lockdown the instant fatalities and infections rise again.
You make good points regarding the collateral costs. Governments are considering the collateral costs and wouldn’t want to keep unsustainable total lockdowns in place for too long. And now that peaks are passing, they are looking at relaxing lockdowns. The curve flattening has occurred in a variety of climates and it’s generally agreed by scientists that the effect of the lockdown is the reason curves are being flattened. Going back into total lockdown would be something to avoid, that would devastate economies. Hence why Governments are taking a cautious approach so as to not lift lockdowns too early and to do so gradually. Once daily cases are decreasing, it will be easier to not exceed hospital capacities as long as there’s distancing in place to keep the R0 below 1.
@ayque The scientists are absolutely right - but for the fact that they cannot account for why Japan, with the oldest population, demograhically speaking, on Earth, has fewer deaths than Britain. There is more certitude here than certainty.However, leaving that aside, my point remains. First, total lockdown is a fiction insofar as essential services must remain open and thus the potential for transmission, while reduced, is not eliminated. Moreover, in any case, from the outset, a total lockdown policy was unsustainable from the start. Thus a more limited lockdown, aimed primarily at protecting vulnerable populations, would have been and remains the most sensible approach. This dalliance with total lockdowns, however limited in duration, is the illusion of control without its real substance.
Regarding Japan, I think that’s cultural. Culturally, they are more sensitive to infectious disease than western countries and tend to take precautions early and consistently. Nevertheless with rising cases, they have moved closer towards a total lockdown. However, they have achieved a significant cut in foot traffic without a total lockdown. I would again say that is cultural. With regards to transmission reduction, that is the aim of lockdown. Lockdown’s aim isn’t to eliminate transmission or to reduce the number of people who contract the virus. It’s to reduce transmissions and slow the spread over a longer period of time so that the number of people who become seriously ill at any one time is reduced and hospital capacities aren’t exceeded. On vulnerable populations, a quarantine of this group alone wouldn’t slow the spread enough to guarantee an R0 below 1. Could there have been lighter restrictions in some areas? Probably yes. But given that many countries failed to act early to contain the virus (in which case we would likely not have needed any lockdowns or distancing at all) and the high risk of hospital capacities being exceeded, it was the best option at the time. You are right that economic shut down is devastating the longer it goes on for. We will likely see GDPs shrinking, companies laying off employees and going bust, stock markets crashing etc which would have a knock on effect on society in the long term. And that’s why it’s important that we get it right the first time so that we don’t resort to a second lockdown.
@ayque On your first point, that is sort of my point. Science is asserting something for which it cannot account for all the variables. The bald assertion that the "full lockdown," for alck of a better term, did the trick is making all sorts of assumptions that it cannot account for.Hence my point about the illusion of control rather than its fact.As to the other point regarding the purpose of the lockdown, I understand what you are saying. My only point being that it is being given more credit than an actual analysis would warrant. (Indeed, how many times have the models on which the assessment of a lockdown's effectiveness been changed?) Again, this without taking account the attanedant costs that offset the alleged benefit.As regards a more limited lockdown not being effective, define effective. We are now down in fatality estimates to about what we sustain in deaths from the regular flu. However, the difference being we got there at the price of mass unemployment, a rise in sucides, spousal abuse and other costs that generally do NOT come with the casualty count of the regular flu.Add it together and "effective," in this context, must be judged cautiously, relatively and indeed, somewhat diffidently. A less rigorous lockdown - as done in Sweden and Japan - would not have been without costs. It is just that the costs would have come with less collateral damage.
You are correct on your first point. Science is all theory. Even well established science is theory. However well established science tends to be less controversial because it’s been proven to work time and time again over a long period of time. You are right that this science doesn’t have the same test of time and repetition. So to an extent, it is a judgement call for politicians based on the evidence they have available. You are right that there’s no absolute evidence that the lockdown is what had that effect (as explained above, no science is 100%). However, it’s just as unlikely that the reduction in spread rate in multiple countries where lockdowns have been imposed across the globe is a simple coincidence. Whether total lockdown is required is debatable. This is as much a question of culture and society as it is the epidemiological science. The science tells us that to reduce the spread rate, you break the chains. The proposed method for this and the method many countries are using is to cut foot traffic by a certain percentage. Lockdowns are an effective way of doing this. As to Whether a Japan style lockdown would work everywhere is again debatable. Each country has different circumstances in terms of their epidemic, their demographic and cultural norms. This would in itself influence what may or may not work as a way of breaking chains of transmission.
CONT With regards to looking at the bigger picture, this is important and something which I believe scientists miss and thus why Governments must take wholistic advice from a range of advisors (economic, business, healthcare, public health, emergency planners etc). It seems generally accepted that in the short term (by Government, experts and the public) that a short total lockdown is effective and a sacrifice enough people are willing to make. In the long term, however I agree with you it’s completely unsustainable. I wouldn’t like to second guess what a pure scientists opinion might be but in an ideal world for scientists where the economy and other social factors can be ignored, a total lockdown until the number of active cases is close to 0 as possible is probably what is required. However, this is totally unrealistic as it would mean enduring a lockdown for longer and also is disproportionate. For example, we may as well start taking cars off the road to reduce the number of road fatalities to 0. In conclusion, The policy many Governments have gone for is essentially to reduce hospital capacity exceedence by reducing deaths in one go. It has also reduced deaths overall. And so in this way, lockdowns have been effective. Would other measures have had the same effect, which I guess is your main point? Again, debatable and one which I don’t think can be easily answered. Governments took the worst case scenario as it’s the safest option and what the public wanted. Was it worth the economic and social consequences? Again, debatable and not easy to answer and this becomes a debate of politics as much as science, I think. There is a huge amount of uncertainty in any model (whether scientific or economic) and so all politicians can do is to an extent go off gut feeling.
@ayque Actually, we are in agreement and are arguing the details.You make two points that I think are in error. 1) However, it’s just as unlikely that the reduction in spread rate in multiple countries where lockdowns have been imposed across the globe is a simple coincidence.This is not something I said. In fact, as I noted, a perfect lockdown would end the spread. That would not be a coincidence. That would simply be the logical and predictable outcome. Rather, the point is that the lockdowns are not consistent - indeed could not be - and that in some cases where the lockdown was partial or conditional, you are getting also a reduction in the contagion.The point being that there are a whole host of variables that science cannot take into account of its nature. Science measures molecules, it does not measure culture or economics or other such factors and thus does not proffer than in the calculus of any management of the problem.2) "There is a huge amount of uncertainty in any model (whether scientific or economic) and so all politicians can do is to an extent go off gut feeling." Nope, not "gut feeling," rather cost/benefit analysis. Gut feeling suggests mere intuition when what policymakers ought be doing is weighing and balancing the benefts based on the known data as against the costs.In this case, as you rightly say, the policymakers, except in cases like Sweden and Japan for different reasons, were driven to consider one variable to the exclusion of all others. This was an error of the most fundamental nature. Prudence being the highest virtue in politics and government, policymakers ought consider all the relevant variables, not just the illusion of control and safety that public fears caused to be embraced.
Agree on point 1. It’s a matter for policy makers taking into consideration a wholistic view. As I noted earlier, it will vary by country and to a certain extent, it will be trial and error due to the uncertainties you mention. On 2, yes it’s related to cost benefit analysis but in the realms of decision making, there is some level of gut feeling to account for the uncertainties and due to the subjective nature of cost benefit analysis.
@ayque No argument on point 1 as you noted.As to point 2, agreed, but to the extent that we maximize the use of data and analysis and minimize the use of intuition, that is to be infinitely preferred.
I think personally had I been in the seat of our leaders, I don’t know if I would have done anything different in relation to lockdowns though. I think it’s always easier to criticise our decision makers (I am myself guilty of that) but it’s a very difficult situation for any decision maker and I’m sure whatever course of action they take, there will always be A lot of critics, particularly In an emergency situation where they are under pressure to make decisions with limited information and limited time.
@ayque Well, we are back where we started. A more limited lockdown, thereby reducing economic costs, would have been a more prudent approach.As I mentioned quite a while, the public was driven by an unreasoning fear rooted in a rudimentary understanding of the illness, a blind faith in science, and too little appreciation of the costs. benefits and trade-offs. While for their part the policymakers had a novices appreciation of the science and were eager not to have the blame for any casualties from the disease, so they went as a matter of policy to the closest approximation of the science as practical realities allowed. This forgetting that science itself would not take into account factors - economics, law, culture, politics - not related to the pure science itself. So, no, the policymakers were mistaken and their response was extreme. Taking too much of science for granted while knowing to little of its limits. This not to suggest that the policymakers were being merely political - their good intentions were real enough - but measured through too narrow a perspective and the prism of the assumed equivalence of their narrow interests and the public good.
Well yes they did what they thought was the right decision at the time. It worked though whether it was the right or wrong decision.
@ayque Again, you are presuming the meaning of the word, "worked." You have a death rate approximately the same as that of the regular flu. However, with the added costs of rising suicides, rising alcohol consumption, rising domestic disputes, and a collapsing economy - all of which were predictable enough.If that is the definition of what "worked," then it must be, at best, a highly relative definition of the term.
That’s a political debate. What “worked” would be different for everyone taking into consideration the wholistic views (including the collateral damage) and uncertainties we discussed.
@ayque The debate must invariably be a political debate. This because the science cannot be applied in a purely laboratory sense. Rather, it must be applied in a real world venue where its application will impact - and has impacted - things well outside its purview.When you dismiss it as a political debate you are postulating the fallacy of the false alternative. It is not as if the science could ever be applied outside of, or independent of, a broader context. You never had that choice.Even then, in the narrow scientific sense, the notion of "worked" has been a moving target. Based on the changing data and altering models. So even there, "worked" needs to be understood only in the very narrowest sense.
Yes, I agree with you. I did not say that it should not be a political debate or that it should be a purely scientific led decision. I am simply stating that it is a political debate. On the science however, ignoring economic and social factors, I believe it worked. Whether lighter measures would have also worked, is another debate.
@ayque No, you are separating that which is not separable. Moreover, as noted, even as pure science it is debatable. The science was proffered as if it were policy - thus you had Dr. Fauci advocating the end of handshakes and the imposition of ID papers.You are trying to make a neat and tidy distinction where not only one does not exist, it was not and could not be possible.
Unfortunately, I don’t wish to debate the interpretation of what I said. However, I thank you for the offer.
@ayque You are welcome, albeit that I was debating the definition of what "worked" or "works" and not your interpretation of what you said.
I see. Apologies, my misunderstanding. In terms of “worked”, you are correct. I separated the science and the wider wholistic picture and agree that in real world application you can’t do that. I simply chose to do that for the purpose of this debate.
He wasn’t wrong. In a state of emergency he is the commander in chief. That’s constitutional.
@Moonchild714- Let the word go forth to friend and foe alike, that the Child of the Lunar Surface-714 is HAPPY WITH TRUMPs plan to re-open the country. Thanks for your reply.
@Girther10 just happy he finally listened to the Experts and leave to the Real Leaders of this Nation!!
As if that’s something new... 😅😂🤣 see, you think I’m like the rest of you boneheads on here, and don’t pay attention yo reality, I do, and he has consistently followed the advice of his team from the start, it’s not “finally”... and guess what? It’s been over three years since he was elected, and you still can’t accept he is in fact, your president. You cannot change that. That’s going to haunt you for the rest of your life, no matter what happens in the election. And that seems to. Be at the root of your psychosis, which I hear is a common symptom of acute TDS. Trump is the only true leader of this nation, no matter what you try to say, he’s saving your ass every single day. And he doesn’t care if you care.
I think it was calculated. He even got MSNBC to endorse federalism! And now it is on each state's governor.As far as the Constitution, he is as clueless as most politicians. A lot of governor's issued unconstitutional executive orders that obviously violate portions of 1A. Beshear of KY has already been restrained by the courts. Murphy of NJ even admitted he did not think about the Bill of Rights when issuing his orders. Whitmer of MI and DeWine of OH are being protested.
I think you are right. Trump played them like a fiddle. He knew exactly how they would respond when he came out alll authoritarian about who was in charge, that day... and they took the bait hook line and sinker, just like they always do... 😅😂
So now we have fifty born again federalists all across the country, just like Trump wanted, so shhhhh!!! Don’t tell the democrats... ... lol
He is obviously no legal scholar, but that’s what his aides are for... when they can get him to listen... lol
I think this whole thing is fucked up, a major over reaction to this virus, pushed with glee by the democrats and their minions, the media, it’s just what Bill marr was hoping for, perfect set up for November...
Wow, thank you for the MHO
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Do you know what Trumps plan is? He has not, to date, “ignored” anything his Task Force members advised, why would he start now? Besides, it is the governors decision in every state. All he is doing is providing guidelines based on the advice of the experts. There is no “one size fits all”.
No other countries have done what Trumps plan is. Do you even know his plan?
Sadly, these small businesses aren’t coming back though.
Do you even know what Trumps plan is? Bc if you do, that comment makes no sense.
That’s right. I loosely refer to it as a “plan”, when technically speaking, it is just guidelines being offered by the TAsk Force.
@ecfresh- so, are you happy with his guidelines, or not?
Honestly I glazed over when they were being presented because I knew the press would be picking them apart and it’s likely within a week or two some details may change. I know people worked hard on producing them so I appreciate that effort.
So, that means you are happy with the plan. Why not simply answer “yes”?
And yes, even if it's just guidelines. 🙄
Ok tough guy, what would president CarlMayBCurious do instead? It’s so easy for lazy haters like you to criticize, but you offer no suggestions of how it should be done. Your reply is useless otherwise. #wussy
Well I wouldn't have spent the month of Feburary GOLFING on the tax payer dime. LYING to the American People... And I sure as hell wouldn't have FIRED THE ENTIRE PANDEMIC TEAM... DUMBFUCK
Ok those are what none of us would do, but anyone can say those idiotic things. Ok so I will put you down as: too stupid to answer.
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