Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: Swarna Bharat Party

My elaboration to a commentator about why the Swedish/SBP approach is the best

EXTRACT FROM AN EMAIL I SENT OUT A MOMENT AGO

I do wish to suggest a difference in the way I’m looking at the issue. I’m not so bothered about how bad the virus is (these are debates for the future). The only question of interest is: what is the cheapest way to return to full normalcy?

All societies will ultimately achieve herd immunity – some at lower, others at a higher cost. Monckton (in the article you cite) is also clear that S.Korea is developing herd immunity but much more slowly. Btw, he also notes that that unreported cases could be up to 100 times more than the reported ones.

The way forward is simple: societies with full lockdown will take the longest to achieve herd immunity (and at highest cost), those with the most sophisticated (Swedish type) lockdowns will achieve it quickest and at lowest cost.

It would be best that instead of debating death rates, participants in this debate lay out their best plan for the end game (herd immunity).

I still believe that Sweden is on the top, with countries like Taiwan/S.Korea a close second. Further, the approaches being adopted in Taiwan, Korea are not within the capacity of the West to emulate. These nations have advanced at a level well beyond the capacity of the West. They learnt from their SARS experience and built up a fortress against viruses. E.g. Taiwan produces and distributes 10 million masks each day to its 23 million residents. USA can’t hope for that capacity even in the next 12 months. Taiwan is a well-oiled virus fighting machine. USA, UK or Australia have no clue what is going on.

So most Western nations (and definitely India) really don’t have many choices, unless they want to commit suicide and wipe out their entire economy.

 

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Further notes on CBA for pandemic options

Apart from the outline info I provided here, I’m going to make note of further thoughts here – this is a placeholder post.

If readers have any thoughts, please add.

OTHER POSTS ON WHICH I’M COMPILING RELATED INFORMATION:
Economic consequences of lockdowns – including their regressive impacts

The prospect of inflationary expectations as lockdowns continue

Constitutional, legal and libertarian objections to lockdowns

The cost of saving lives in this lockdown is too high – RUSSELL LYNCH Telegraph, 5 May 2020

 

INDIRECT COSTS

[Some already mentioned, e.g. “being unemployed for months on end also has adverse social consequences: feelings of anxiety, inferiority and worthlessness, depression, suicidal thoughts, money worries that lead to marital conflict, breakups and violence.”- source]

Fewer resources for other emergency surgery (e.g. cancer) – leading to additional deaths

Reduced productivity from people working at home/ reduced agglomeration effects

Resources directed to otherwise unnecessary production (masks, sanitisers, gloves, ventilators)

Increased deaths from supply chain failures (this could take place at many levels, not just for essential things like drugs and PPE but things we don’t think of as essential but which can save lives).

Preprint paper states: since the full lockdown strategies are shown to have no impact on the epidemic’s slowdown, one should consider their potentially high inherent death toll as a net loss of human lives [Source]

INDIRECT BENEFITS

Reduced deaths from reduced air pollution

Better gardens at homes since people now devote more time to these house tasks

MY TWEETS

RESOURCES

“Sledgehammer” policies will destroy us; we need open economy says Johns Hopkins professor

Has the coronavirus panic cost us at least 10 million lives already? – 18 March 2020

A COVID Cost-Benefit Analysis – Robert Verbruggen, 23 March 2020

Determining the optimal duration of the COVID-19 suppression policy: A cost-benefit analysis – Anna Scherbina 27 March 2020, AIE Working Paper

Covid-19: from model prediction to model predictive control – Ingmar Nopens, 27 March 2020

The Benefits and Costs of Using Social Distancing to Flatten the Curve for COVID-19 – Thunstrom et. al. 27 March 2020, SSRN

Cost-benefit analysis for the COVID lockdown – Junkscience

Can you put a price on COVID-19 options? Experts weigh lives versus economics – Warren Cornwall 31 March 2020

Reflections on the Economic Value of Life – Max Gulker, 25 April 2020

2 Lockdown Cost-Benefit Analyses – Robin Hanson, 27 April 2020

 

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