The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Dueling Ph.D.s

11/08/2020

I try to seek out the Libertarian view on most issues and often agree with those views.  The current controversary over lockdowns is no exception.  The conventional wisdom is that lockdowns are effective tools to combat the coronavirus.  The Libertarian wisdom is explained in their new Great Barrington Declaration — that people are different and different tools should be used for different risk profiles.  The three Ph.D. epidemiologists behind this are from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.  Since different age groups have different survival rates with the virus, we should have “focused protection” for the aged, while everybody else behaves normally, which will build “herd immunity”.  There would therefore be less damage to the economy and less emotional stress.  There is no mention of masks or social distancing.

To be fair, the conventional wisdom does NOT favor complete lockdowns, just selective lockdowns by location/industry, such as bars and restaurants and other “spreader” businesses.  Essential services such as grocery stores can remain open.  The best known leader of these conventional epidemiologists is Anthony Fauci.

It is similar to the debate over the impact of carbon-based fuel on climate change.  A large majority of Ph.D. climatologists believe it does, while a minority does not.

I don’t have a Ph.D. in epidemiology nor climate science.  So, am I entitled to have an opinion?

I have a distant relative (albeit not distant enough) who enjoys being an iconoclast, loudly defending the minority opinion on all subjects at all times.  The majority opinion is always wrong.

With respect to the virus, Shep Smith now works for CNBC, after many years at Fox.  His recommendation is to “follow the Fauci”.  I think I will.

With respect to the climate, since I live on a beach and can witness sea level rise, I must assume that something is causing it.  Having smelled the exhaust from buses, I believe it might have something to do with the air we breathe.

So, who needs a Ph.D.?

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