If federal or state officials are considering relying on dates and scores from the University of Washington’s IHME team to decide what to do and when to do it, they should carefully reconsider delegating such authority to unaccountable technocrats to make social, health and economic choices that will deeply affect many millions of American lives.
The trouble with being too easily led by models is we can too easily be misled by models. Epidemic models may seem entirely different from economic models or climate models, but they all make terrible forecasts if filled with wrong assumptions and parameters.
It is important to avoid scaring people about the risk of death from COVID-19 by continuing to ignore the fact that the vast majority of cases “have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.”
An advisor to Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign has written an impressively fact‐free Wall Street Journal article claiming her “remedy for health care costs” would be a wonderful gift to American businesses.
Properly understood, the facts about U.S. after‐tax income distribution and growth are insufficiently alarming to justify the political misuse of questionable pretax, pretransfer income statistics as a false argument for redistributing after‐tax income.
There are many credible ways to measure economic well‐being (such as real after‐tax income and/or wealth), but giving a few thousand people a multiple‐choice exam about how they might prefer to pay an unexpected $400 expense is not one of them.
An author’s political agenda often drives the arguments, which explains why extreme rhetoric about hypothetical “crises” in the future are typically abused to excuse extreme proposals for government meddling in the present.
The Trump Administration’s trade warfare with China began in earnest last March 22 (following steel and aluminum tariffs that primarily hit other countries). U.S. and Chinese tariffs on each other’s goods then escalated repeatedly through September 18 with threats of much more the same by March 1 of this year.
To sum this all up: 1. Stock prices have been high relative to earnings because bond yields have been low; 2. Bond yields have been low because the fed funds rate has been low; 3. The fed funds rate has been low because inflation has been low.