In hindsight, it's now become clear that we overreacted.
In a pandemic-fueled panic, our leaders enacted a near-nationwide lockdown that crippled business, stifled growth, gutted our economy, impeded education, caused irreparable physical harm to those barred from necessary medical treatments and procedures, inflicted an emotional toll of anxiety and depression that is only beginning to evince itself, deprived thousands of final moments with beloved family, and left millions subject to an environment of volatility and insecurity.
To be sure, the decision to do so was understandable given the perfect storm of conflicting information, spiking death rates, unproven treatment methods, vague awareness of the most vulnerable groups, and uncertain theories on the method and rate of transmission of this novel coronavirus.
But with the passage of time, the unarguable reality that quarantining healthy people only prolongs their inevitable exposure and infection rather than preventing it, the shocking comparison of Sweden as a non-locked down "control group" population, and the now-accumulated CDC survival rate by age:
- 0 to 19: 99.997%
- 20 to 49: 99.98%
- 50 to 69: 99.5%
- 70+: 94.6%
…it all bears witness to the lamentable truth that locking down human interaction was ill-advised at best, catastrophically counterproductive at worst. It must never be allowed to happen again.
Those last few words may seem patently obvious given our current efforts to restart the economy, save jobs, and save lives simultaneously. Our people's health depends on our economic vitality.
But there's a reason that if you tour Washington, D.C. you will pass countless government buildings that house offices and agencies established as "temporary programs" during the depression-era New Deal. There is nothing as permanent as a temporary government program. Why? Because government craves power. Once given a little, it desires more. It is unquenchable, insatiable, and unrelenting.
Over the course of the last several months, the playbook for the power-hungry has been updated. They know the strategy, and the language to use to bully and guilt the population into willfully surrendering their own freedom.
- Claim a health crisis exists and demands the immediate forfeiture of travel and commerce.
- Promise the demand is only temporary until it is safe.
- Bully those who are non-compliant by shaming them as selfish and unconcerned about the health and well-being of others.
And guess who is waiting in the wings to give it a whirl:
There is no more effective way of gaining control of a people than seizing their ability to produce and utilize energy. That's why it should be no surprise that statists and Marxists have made green the new red. For a generation now, they have been predicting and warning about impending planetary peril if the population doesn't allow them the power to dictate its behavior.
- Salt Lake Tribune 1967: "Already too late: dire famine forecast by ‘75"
- New York Times 1969: "Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989"
- Boston Globe 1970: "Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century"
- Washington Post 1971: "New Ice Age Coming"
- Time Magazine 1974: "Another Ice Age"
- New York Times 1976: "The Cooling"
- Agence France Press 1988: "Maldives completely under water in 30 years"
- The Independent 2000: "Children won't know what snow is"
- Associated Press 2008: "Arctic will be ice-free by 2018"
Their dismal record of fantastically erroneous predictions, far from causing them any introspection, seems only to embolden their stubborn determination to be right this time as they issue the latest climate doomsday demand.
Yet they aren't oblivious to the fact that each successive apocalyptic swing and miss leads to a noticeable decline in the public trust. Fewer people than ever take the alarmism seriously. Outside of college campuses, concern over climate change ranks somewhere between animal rights and the No Child Left Behind Act on the priority list of voters.
And things get even worse for them when voters are able to see a snapshot of what life would look like if the climate changers ever seized power. California's brownouts and thermostat police are a microcosm of the kind of visionary genius these folks would bring the country.
So it should come as no surprise that Mariana Mazzucato is introducing us in her piece to their new approach:
"We are approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require dramatic interventions."
Make no mistake, those "interventions" will be government-imposed lockdowns. To save the planet, of course. And don't think your selfishness in wanting to provide for your family or run your business will go unnoticed. How dare you want to kill people.