The Flinchum File

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Economist or Epidemiologist ?


My favorite right-wing website on economics is the American Institute of Economic Research ( ).  Right-wing media usually focuses on any potential loss of personal freedom, AIER focuses on any potential loss of economic freedom.  If you have a steady diet of MSNBC or even CNN, I recommend a weekly visit to AIER’s website.

While I have great respect for its adherence to classical economics, I sometimes object on a particular issue.  For example, it has frequently discussed the harm of lockdowns, comparing our higher incidence of Covid with that of lesser-developed nations.  Developed nations have more lockdowns but also have higher death rates from the coronavirus.  That is true, but there are reasons for that.

First, the average age of lesser developed nations is usually lower, and we know increased age brings increased Covid risk.
Second, western nations with a higher incidence of Covid traditionally house senior citizens in congregate-care facilities, instead of keeping them in the families.
Third, lesser developed nations are often in hotter climates, without air-conditioning, where windows are kept open for better circulation.

I know a lockdown is an economic disaster, but I’m not an epidemiologist and respect the advice of those who are.  Of course, those who have been ruined financially by lockdowns . . . might feel differently.

The point is this — just because I don’t agree with everything on AIER doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them.

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