The Economy is Too Important to be Left in the Hands of Doctors
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Even as more states begin slowly lifting the restrictions on movement and commerce taken in order to slow the effects of the coronavirus on the nation’s health care system, some are arguing the pace of getting back to “normal” needs to accelerate.
Among them are Wall Street traders, who told Vanity Fair’s William Cohan that the longer it takes the economy to get moving, the worse things will be for tens of millions of Americans currently unemployed:
We can’t continue any longer in lockdown mode. Something has to give, because more than 36 million newly unemployed Americans are not going to be able to pay their monthly bills, feed their families, or maintain their mental health if the economy remains shut. And the problems are only going to get worse the longer so many Americans are out of work.
Circumstances could be even worse elsewhere in the world:
They reference United Nations’ projections that 250 million people could be on the brink of starvation by the end of the year. They also cite a report by the Stop TB Partnership that if the COVID-19 lockdowns continue that an additional 1.4 million people will die from tuberculosis because they will be unable to get treatment
The debate about when to open, and how much, is framed as a life v. death option – which is a false choice. What’s needed is a wider understanding of the risks prolonged shutdowns, or even over-cautious reopenings, can bring. It means listening to more than just health professionals. Economists and civil libertarians need to be involved too:
That would make for a much more serious discussion about the danger of a new, deadly, and highly contagious virus, balanced with the risk of poverty and despair from shutting down societies in order to battle that virus, and considering the peril inherent in turning the world into a vast prison in order to enforce a shutdown.
Image Credit: Craig from Richmond, Virginia`, United States [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
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