The problem with public-health strategies born of fear and disdain is that they create unrealistic expectations and smother dissent. The country has shifted from a period of public unity and cooperation in March to one of blame and opprobrium. Approaches to managing the pandemic that fall outside mainstream thought are shut down. States become willing to make trade-offs that would have been unthinkable in saner times.
Also in the Wall Street Journal is columnist Gerard Baker’s biting criticism of today’s reigning political superstitions. Here are his opening paragraphs:
The most intolerable irony of the past few miserable months has been listening to our self-appointed moral leaders lecture us on the nation’s irredeemable sinfulness from the comfort of their own secure, well-upholstered positions, while we endure daily the urban nightmare of a world created by their political allies.
As our cultural, media and corporate chiefs deliver their social and political wisdom from their redoubts in New York’s Hamptons, Palm Beach, Fla., and the greener pastures of the San Francisco Bay Area, America’s cities have been ravaged by successive predations of lockdown, disorder and violence.
My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy riffs on the Inspector General’s report that found that state governments are not spending all of the largesse dispensed to them by Washington under the CARES Act.