The Greatest Peacetime Policy Disasters In American History
Between allowing us all to be forcible locked down, devastating the economy supply lines, allowing BLM and Antifa to destroy most major cities including Washington D.C. itself, enacting “Operation Warpspeed” which led to covid vax mandates and a dangerous vax, opening up the money printer to insane levels causing massive inflation, encouraging a significant chunk of his most ardent supporters to get arrested and later imprisoned/tortured due to Jan 6, doing absolutely nothing to stop Big Tech/Big Pharma, and him immediately running away out of the spotlight for months after the transition, it’s really difficult to pick which decision was the worst of all.
But if I had to pick just one, I’d probably go with the lockdowns. They are still the most apparent today, with the very obvious economic and supply chain damage that has been done. Not to forget the mental health issues, decreased socialization and increased ostracization, excess deaths, ability for elite power grabs, transition of wealth from small business to big business, normalization of crisis mode, loss of any semblance of numerous freedoms, and plenty more.
I’m not alone, as research studies have been pouring in with regard to this topic.
Covid-19 Lockdown Cost/Benefits: A Critical Assessment of the Literature
An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths. Generally speaking, the ineffectiveness stemmed from individual changes in behavior: either non-compliance or behavior that mimicked lockdowns. The limited effectiveness of lockdowns explains why, after more than one year, the unconditional cumulative Covid-19 deaths per million is not negatively correlated with the stringency of lockdown across countries. Using a method proposed by Professor Bryan Caplan along with estimates of lockdown benefits based on the econometric evidence, I calculate a number of cost/benefit ratios of lockdowns in terms of life-years saved. Using a mid-point estimate for costs and benefits, the reasonable estimate for Canada is a cost/benefit ratio of 141. It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Policy Responses on Excess Mortality
As a way of slowing COVID-19 transmission, many countries and U.S. states implemented shelter-in-place (SIP) policies. However, the effects of SIP policies on public health are a priori ambiguous as they might have unintended adverse effects on health. The effect of SIP policies on COVID-19 transmission and physical mobility is mixed. To understand the net effects of SIP policies, we measure the change in excess deaths following the implementation of SIP policies in 43 countries and all U.S. states. We use an event study framework to quantify changes in the number of excess deaths after the implementation of a SIP policy. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases. The increase in excess mortality is statistically significant in the immediate weeks following SIP implementation for the international comparison only and occurs despite the fact that there was a decline in the number of excess deaths prior to the implementation of the policy. At the U.S. state-level, excess mortality increases in the immediate weeks following SIP introduction and then trends below zero following 20 weeks of SIP implementation. We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies. We also failed to observe differences in excess death trends before and after the implementation of SIP policies based on pre-SIP COVID-19 death rates.
There are plenty more that can be found with a quick search of the literature.
One could argue that Trump did not lock us down directly, but he sure allowed it to happen on his watch. That’s just as bad, given his entire selling point as a “fighter”. We elected him to fight, not sit on the sidelines while we’re all confined to our homes and our economy is decimated because of the flu.
While Trump may have caused a lot of damage on his way out, and while the lockdowns in particular may be one of the most damaging peacetime failures in modern history, it sure seems like Biden is trying to outdo him.
I don’t want to speak too soon, but it appears like Biden might be gunning for that top spot right now with his provocations of Russia, even worse money printing, and the decimation of the reserve currency status/petrodollar.
Too early to determine for certain who will hold the title. Guess we’ll wait and see.
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