Won’t somebody please think of the billionaires? This has apparently been the battlecry of the US conservatives in recent days, as social distancing, isolation, and quarantine measures continue to impact the stock market. Despite every scientist, doctor, medical professional and expert agreeing that everybody should be locking down right now, American right wing politicians have come up with an incredulity-inducing fallacy-riddled argument for doing precisely the opposite.
Lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, told the ever-reliable source of factual information, Fox news: “No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” But if they had? “If that is the exchange, I’m all in.”
Trump added his own all-caps twitter fuel to the dumpster fire with, “THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow ‘advising’ that “We can’t shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great,” and informing people that America was “going to have to make some difficult trade-offs.”
Before we really start, quick question – the economic cost is too great for which individuals, precisely?
Let’s ignore the ethics. This is stupidity of a depth beyond conception.
The current pandemic is being framed as an economic exchange. It is not. But let’s run with this idea for a second. Let’s do a thought experiment:
You sacrifice two million over-70s. You have two million new corpses you need to dispose of. Everyone else goes back to work in a week or so.
The virus hasn’t gone anywhere.
Coronavirus hasn’t become bored and left in the interim. It hasn’t arbitrarily decided to just kill old people, either – case in point, a 21-year-old woman died recently (which is a good incentive for people my age and younger to stop taking the piss). So, everybody goes back to work. Then they get sick. They can’t work. The hospitals, already at breaking point, now need to take on far more people than they can deal with. So everyone is still out of work. And then many die. And now you’ve got more corpses that need dealing with. And now you’ve still got a hole in your economy because the workers who might have been able to go back to work, eventually, can’t. Because they’re fucking dead.
So after you’ve sacrificed a couple million people to the stock market, Covid-19 is still there and now it’s got all the hosts you could possibly offer it. Now you lack workers because there either aren’t any or they’re recovering from an illness, and we don’t know whether there are permanent or long-term effects yet, which has a knock-on implication for productivity-over-time. In addition you now lack valuable long-term experience, training replacements is far more difficult, and the offices and shops are still empty. The markets still collapse, the economy is still damaged. But now the damage is far worse.
Am I missing something?
This kind of jaw-dropping inanity beggars belief. How is it legal to allow anyone this mentally insufficient to hold influence over anything more consequential than a vending machine?