[ExI] you'll never see this again

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Jul 3 14:41:49 UTC 2020



> On Behalf Of John Clark via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] you'll never see this again


On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 9:23 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:


>> …Which state is that guy in the video the governor of?


>…Why do you feel obligated to jump to the defense of that guy whenever there is any criticism of him? 


Because it misattributes the causes of the pandemic, which causes the pandemic to be worse.  There isn’t that much the federal government can do here.  


By the way… I didn’t jump to anyone’s defense.  Pointing out that POTUS has no jurisdiction in this case isn’t defending POTUS.  Note however that you perceived it as a defense of POTUS.  Do gaze deep within yourself at that observation please.


>… If he just said there should be a mandate that people wear a virus mask when in public, people would do it…


On the contrary, the POTUS has no authority to mandate wearing masks (Bill of Rights, Amendments 9 and 10.)  The level of vitriol has grown so intense that if POTUS were to issue orders that all US citizens must wear masks in public, bitter haters would discard theirs, which would perhaps make the pandemic worse.  


The rioters and BLM demonstrators are generally not wearing masks already.  We don’t know how to pressure them into doing so, but the recent spike (no relation) in California cases is partly driven by the rallies and protests (we think.)


>…Democratic governors want to do it anyway and obsequious Republican politicians (the only type of Republican politician that hasn't gone extinct) would piss on a spark plug if Trump ordered them to…  John K Clark


Ja, and that makes my point exactly.  The virus has no political party.  By trying to make the pandemic political, we risk making the pandemic worse.  The guy in the video can’t do much of anything, because he isn’t a governor, only a POTUS.  POTUS doesn’t have the authority a governor has in this case (Bill of Rights, Amendments 9 and 10.)


We can observe that all the hardest-hit jurisdictions (in the entire world) are Democrat-led US states and the lowest case jurisdictions (in the entire world) are Republican-led states, but to attribute that to a systematic difference in policy is dangerously misleading and ignores the obvious: the critical factor is not political party but rather population density and factors related to population density.


As soon as you hear the name of a political party used in this context, it is an indication that data is not the policy driver, political considerations are the driver.  I urge we focus on the data rather than the politics, reduce the problem rather than use it as a weapon.


Each level of jurisdiction very much does have the authority to do some things.  The federal government can stop all international flights, while recognizing that every nation has citizens abroad that must have some means of getting home.  Reducing international tourism might help, but that too has enormous economic and social consequences, all of them negative.  


States can suspend all liquor licenses for consumption on-site.  That looks like a good option to me.  We can live without bars for a while.  Suicide rates from loneliness and isolation might rise some, but it looks like a reasonable tradeoff, ja?  


Counties can shut down school districts, which they are doing in California for the most part.


Cities can (perhaps, not sure on this one) stop subways, but that too has enormous consequences, for plenty of homeless are already using those as rolling bedrooms.  They will come anyway even if the subway isn’t moving.  If people cannot get to their jobs, death rates from other factors will likely go way up.


The governor of California has made some interesting comments.  He is enough of a business guy to recognize that just shuttering all “non-essential” businesses is a cure that might be worse than the disease in the long run.  Plenty of other governors have come to the same conclusion.  Some businesses can just declare themselves essential, such as the local lawn services and gun shops did.  Who gets to tell them they are not essential?  


Many of the lawn service workers are illegal immigrants, so they are not eligible for relief payments.  Their families will starve if they shut down.  So… on they went.  As for the gun shops, you don’t even want to go there.  (Well, I do want to go there, but I mean you don’t want to go there with the idea of making them shut down (because gun shop owners know the law (the legislature didn’t passed any new laws for covid (and the governor’s declaring a health-related state of emergency still doesn’t give him the authority to close a gun shop.))))  


The California government is struggling with how the state is going to make up the enormous budget gap caused by what has already been done.  It can borrow of course, but it is looking like a risky bet to me.  Would you buy California bonds?  Neither would I. 


The governor of California has urged everyone to wear masks, but he recognizes that the state legislature has passed no laws requiring them and are most unlikely to do so.  Governors do not make law.  Only legislatures can do that.  The legislature has not and will not.  The US congress has passed no laws on covid and will not.  In my town, about half wear masks, perhaps slightly less than half, but the school district has said no one on campus without a mask.  The school district does have the authority in that case, for it is the property owner.


As soon as we recognize the pandemic is not a left-right issue, that covid doesn’t know or care what political party or what governor is in charge, we can focus on workable solutions.  Otherwise we are looking for ways to leverage a crisis into an opportunity, which is really an opportunity to deepen the crisis.





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