Unleash Prosperity Hotline Issue #34 Written by Stephen Moore
Unleash Prosperity Hotline
Issue #34 Written by Stephen Moore
1) Why California Is In Trouble
The state has 340,000 public employees with $100,000+ paychecks at a cost to taxpayers of $45 Billion. Those are the figures from our friends at Openthebooks.com. They have exposed why California Governor Gavin Newsom keeps coming to Washington for a handout. You may have heard that last week he said if Washington doesn’t bail out California in the weeks ahead, cities will have to lay off health officials and first responders. Hmm, we have an idea: why not slash these preposterous salaries for school administrators who work nine months a year and keep police and fire fighters on the job?
2) While Georgia Is Looking Great
Georgia open 24 days ago — now nearly four weeks into what the liberals and the doomsayers assured us was “two weeks” before a wave of COVID would punish Governor Kemp — who we gave a well-deserved A on our report card — for allowing people to return to some semblance of a normal life. The verdict so far:
3) We Handled The Last Great Pandemic Without Panic
The New York Post ran a fascinating piece last weekend titled “Why Life Went On As Normal During The Killer Pandemic of 1969.”
The Hong Kong Flu killed over 100,000 Americans in 1968 and 1969. One of the Apollo 8 astronauts circling the Earth caught it. Actress Tallulah Bankhead and former CIA chief Allen Dulles died from it.
But schools and workplaces remained open and even Woodstock was held, albeit with dozens of doctors on hand to monitor the situation.
Jeffrey Tucker, the editorial director for the American Institute for Economic Research, concluded from his research: “That generation approached viruses with calm, rationality and intelligence. We left disease mitigation to medical professionals, individuals and families, rather than politics, politicians and government.”
The new phenomenon of lockdowns means “we are in effect part of a grand social experiment.”
4) COVID is a Long-Term Care Disease
For weeks now the majority of deaths reported in state after state have been residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, as we are tracking here:
This is especially the case in the northeastern states that are driving most of the national death toll.
Pennsylvania — which reportedly blocked many infected long-term care residents from its hospitals, keeping them empty for a New York-style surge that never came — leads the pack with more than 68 percent of its COVID deaths in long-term care, more than 3,000 such deaths.
Another way to look at it, and the total absurdity of Governor Wolf’s lockdown, is this: Pennsylvania has more COVID deaths over age 100 than under age 45. More deaths over age 95 than under age 60. More deaths over 85 than under 80.
The national picture isn’t quite so extreme, but it’s awfully similar — and the nursing home deaths have only increased since the last data release.
5) 22 Countries Opened Schools; Zero Caused Virus to Surge
Britain’s Daily Mail reports: “Reopening schools across Europe has not caused a spike in coronavirus cases.
Evidence from 22 European Union states that have restored classes suggests little or no risk to pupils, teachers or families.”
Former British Labour prime minister Tony Blair broke with his country’s teacher unions this week and backed calls for reopening schools, saying: “‘If you look at all the best evidence, and my Institute has assembled a lot of the different data on this, especially for younger children, the risks of transmission are actually quite low.”
UK schools are slated to open June 1.
6) Denmark Scales Back Social Distancing, Britain Shows Old Limit Was Arbitrary
Denmark, a country that has reopened its schools without a spike in virus cases, is now reopening pubs and restaurants this week. It may have a solution on how U.S. restaurants can economically survive when they are allowed to reopen.
The BBC reports that social distancing has been scaled back from 2 meters (6.5ft) to 1 meter (3.25ft). “The two meters was a big issue because it didn’t allow us to have enough revenue,” says Jacob Niebuhr, Chairman of Denmark’s Restaurant and Cafe Association.
The Danes know that the minimum distance for social distancing is somewhat arbitrary.
Professor Robert Dingwall, an advisor on the virus to the British government, told the Daily Telegraph this month that he was told by a senior public health official that the authorities knew the proper social distance was one meter. But the official told him “we doubled it to two (meters) because we did not think the British population would understand what one meter was and we could not trust them to observe it so we doubled it to be on the safe side.”
7) Deleting Dissidents On The Virus
Social-media companies have provided great forums for public discoure. But their efforts to stop “misinformation” about COVID are overbroad and are increasingly eliminating legitimate scientific debates fom their platforms in favor of lockdown monomania.
Take Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics and epidemiology at Rockefeller University. YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus with more than 1.3 million views.
His sin was apparently his view that social distancing is of little use and that lockdowns are mostly unnecessary. Wittkowski says YouTube won’t explain whey they banned him and will only say he violated “community standards.” “Anything that goes against WHO recommendations would be a violation of our policy,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has told CNN. In other words, as Claudia Rosett writes, the group that got everything about the virus wrong is now the arbiter for what passes for commentary on it.
Nor is YouTube alone.
Medium deleted a well-written, data-based post by A. J. Kay laying out the case for COVID being in America for months before the first known case — a hypothesis that has since been proven correct.
Facebook employs “fact checkers” to review posts, makes those that don’t pass their test harder to find, and directs users to, yes, the WHO. Twitter plans to add warning labels to tweets that don’t pass muster with “public health authorities.”
We love these companies, which have provided remarkable value for consumers, usually free of charge. We think the recent antitrust actions against Google are incredibly shortsighted. But these companies need to do a better job of playing it down the middle if they want to avoid alienating their natural allies on the right. They will need us in the fight against big government interference in their business.
8) Anti-Hero of the Day
She’s Not A Physician, But She Runs LA Anyway
When the history of the virus is written, a big question is why our three biggest cities – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – all handled it so poorly.
The City of Angels has a particularly sad story.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has brutally enforced his ban on “non-essential” businesses opening to the point of cutting off water and power to any store that opens.
The county of Los Angeles, which has 10 million people, hasn’t been far behind. Its public health commissioner is Barbara Ferrer, whose doctorate is in social welfare, not medicine.
Meanwhile, there has been a clear failure in protecting the elderly and vulnerable with over half of the county’s deaths found in nursing homes.
We’ve no doubt that Ferrer means well, but the lockdown is having both devastating economic AND health consequences the longer it goes on. That negative impact on “social welfare” needs to be considered.
9) The new risk assessment:
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