When schools closed in March, there were many unknowns. But the latest research supports the fact that this instructional dysfunction is unnecessary. Experts now know that locking children at home doesn’t keep people safe from COVID-19’s infectiousness or mortality, and sending them to school doesn’t carry much risk either. Studies that looked at the reopening of German schools found that “neither the summer closures nor the closures in the fall have had any significant containing effect on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among children or any spill-over effect on older generations.” The investigators also didn’t “find any evidence that the return to school at full capacity after the summer holidays increased infections among children or adults.”
Regulatory fiat is no substitute for the valuable role that financial markets play in directing capital to productive uses, including companies developing solutions for mitigating climate change. When not constrained by government taxonomies, capital can shift quickly to new sustainable solutions as they emerge. Pre-planning by regulators is not nimble, and I can guarantee that regulatory taxonomies, even if initially well crafted, will not keep up with technological innovation. The Commission, after all, still requires some regulated entities to submit reports via telegram. Government rulebooks may not be the place to look for the authoritative word on state-of-the-art technology, whether in communications or in sustainability. Regulatory usurpation of decision-making by individuals voluntarily engaging with one another to fund and build transformative technologies will be harmful to liberty and to our shared goals for a greener, safer, healthier, and more prosperous world.
Vaccines alone cannot thaw frozen state economies unless and until they in some way encourage governors to reopen. If any lockdown-prone governors do reconsider their orders, there is a distinguished team of Ivy League economists who stand ready to advise that reopening closed economies could make little “immediate” difference. That would be terrible advice.
Several months ago, diversity reached a comic apotheosis when Trader Joe’s was criticized as racist for selling brands such as Trader José and Trader Ming. Some might see Trader Joe’s as the reductio ad absurdum of this movement’s political demands. The selection of the Biden cabinet, a serious matter, has become an almost absurdist exercise in box-checking appeasement.