Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Crises, and the Wasting Thereof

 

First, I will admit that I have, perhaps, not been paying as much attention to the coronavirus (or as I like to call it, the ‘Rona) as maybe I should. But crass as it may be, it also seems that there are opportunities here.

I’ve been thinking about the quote by Rahm Emanuel, “never let a crisis go to waste.” When it came out, it was much maligned by conservatives, and rightly so, for many reasons, foremost of which, as seen most recently with Nancy Pelosi, is that it isn’t a great look to be seen to attempt to advance political goals when in the midst of said crisis.

However, it also seems to me that conservatives are, as is often the case, missing a wider point here. I’ve read several articles about how FDA/CDC regulations are making it more difficult to bring coronavirus test kits to market or otherwise treat the disease. Similarly, people who normally claim that President Trump is too authoritarian are arguing that he should be ordering nationwide shelter-in-places when every state has a different situation (and the governors should be better placed to make that call than the President anyway).

In other words, we’re letting this crisis go to waste when we don’t argue that if we can cut regulations now, surely they matter less when there’s not an emergency, that letting local authorities make the decisions is better than letting the federal government do it, and that the private sector might be better placed than government at any level to help solve the problem. And I’m also aware that this is preaching to the choir.

But I will ask that now, and in the future, please don’t let a crisis go to waste.

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  1. Clavius Thatcher

    Excellent point. I’ve been thinking over the last several weeks as regulations are dropped to save lives, why do we have the regulation in the first place?

    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis. Remove that marginal cost of the regulation and you get a huge multiplier on growth.

    • #1
    • March 28, 2020, at 9:57 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. TheRightNurse Member

    Clavius (View Comment):
    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis.

    Regulation is largely bureaucratic fiat. There’s less of it that’s real legislation and community-driven. I would like to see almost a clean slate. Just stop the stupid laws that stack on law and regulations on top of that. They are redundant and do nothing but serve the bureaucrats that live off of penalizing violations of the tiniest nuances.

    • #2
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:06 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This post is the kind of intelligent, shrewd populism (not always the same thing–you can be smart but not shrewd) that is the best feature of Ricochet in these post 2015 times. At certain moments in history, the public mood is like an open door that can easily be moved either way–or slammed conclusively. There aren’t a lot of moments like that. 

    Not to be cornball, but it’s great to see younger conservatives come up with fresh ideas like this. 

    • #3
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  4. Clavius Thatcher

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):
    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis.

    Regulation is largely bureaucratic fiat. There’s less of it that’s real legislation and community-driven. I would like to see almost a clean slate. Just stop the stupid laws that stack on law and regulations on top of that. They are redundant and do nothing but serve the bureaucrats that live off of penalizing violations of the tiniest nuances.

    One of the major themes of the later Dune books is that bureaucracy leads to authoritarian rule. Frank Herbert was not wrong.

    • #4
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. RightAngles Member

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    • #5
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:12 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Clavius Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    Mexico has requested no entry from the US. Who would have thought?

    Although, Mexican immigration laws have always been tougher than ours. An Indian tech company set up shop in Mexico. But they mainly moved India nationals to Mexico rather than hire and train Mexicans. That operation is no more.

    • #6
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:16 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. RightAngles Member

    Clavius (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    Mexico has requested no entry from the US. Who would have thought?

    Although, Mexican immigration laws have always been tougher than ours. An Indian tech company set up shop in Mexico. But they mainly moved India nationals to Mexico rather than hire and train Mexicans. That operation is no more.

    True. People don’t realize how stringent Mexico’s immigration laws are. I think one of them is that marrying a Mexican citizen doesn’t automatically confer citizenship.

    • #7
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:22 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. RightAngles Member

    On a side note, isn’t is also amusing how all the woke organic and natural hipsters are suddenly so enthusiastic about household cleansers and sanitizers no matter how many deadly chemicals they contain, and never mind if the label says “Dow Chemical.” We should also be using ridicule more.

    • #8
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:25 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  9. TheRightNurse Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    On a side note, isn’t is also amusing how all the woke organic and natural hipsters are suddenly so enthusiastic about household cleansers and sanitizers no matter how many deadly chemicals they contain, and never mind if the label says “Dow Chemical.” We should also be using ridicule more.

    Pretty true statement - Album on Imgur

    • #9
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:56 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  10. Jon1979 Lincoln

    I think there’s definitely a point to be made about the nimbleness of the private sector to adjust to fast-changing situations, where the red tape inherent in the public sector means adjustments are plodding at best. But you also have to be nuanced in any calls for lesser regulation (i.e., the U.S. probably could have gotten test kits out across the country faster, if the kits from China had been acquired. But judging by reports from Prague, Spain and elsewhere, those kits have managed to be less reliable than just flipping a coin, so not having rushed those to market to offer up thousands of false negatives is an instance where certain regulations slow things down for a good reason).

    • #10
    • March 28, 2020, at 11:03 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Excellent point. I’ve been thinking over the last several weeks as regulations are dropped to save lives, why do we have the regulation in the first place?

    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis. Remove that marginal cost of the regulation and you get a huge multiplier on growth.

    It’s not like you can’t re-regulate if they prove necessary. 

    • #11
    • March 28, 2020, at 11:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):
    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis.

    Regulation is largely bureaucratic fiat. There’s less of it that’s real legislation and community-driven. I would like to see almost a clean slate. Just stop the stupid laws that stack on law and regulations on top of that. They are redundant and do nothing but serve the bureaucrats that live off of penalizing violations of the tiniest nuances.

    We should blow up regulatory bodies. 

    If Congress doesn’t even bother to pass a regulation why should it be binding? 

    • #12
    • March 29, 2020, at 12:00 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. Judge Mental Member

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    • #13
    • March 29, 2020, at 1:23 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    I like. 

    While not every parent is crushing it at homeschooling, some of them are and, after the state has (of necessity) dumped the children back on their parents, will not be pleased should Big Ed telling them that their efforts are sub-par. 

    • #14
    • March 29, 2020, at 1:42 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    I like.

    While not every parent is crushing it at homeschooling, some of them are and, after the state has (of necessity) dumped the children back on their parents, will not be pleased should Big Ed telling them that their efforts are sub-par.

    Even if we allow that state schooling will be happening, it’s not the worst idea to suggest that a more decentralized model that includes some distance learning might be effective.

    • #15
    • March 29, 2020, at 1:48 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. Sandy Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    Mexico has requested no entry from the US. Who would have thought?

    Although, Mexican immigration laws have always been tougher than ours. An Indian tech company set up shop in Mexico. But they mainly moved India nationals to Mexico rather than hire and train Mexicans. That operation is no more.

    True. People don’t realize how stringent Mexico’s immigration laws are. I think one of them is that marrying a Mexican citizen doesn’t automatically confer citizenship.

    I wasn’t aware that this occurred anywhere, but certainly not here. On the larger point, yes, and it’s of critical importance that we draw the correct lessons when this is over, because that is not a given.

     

     

    • #16
    • March 29, 2020, at 2:01 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    I like.

    While not every parent is crushing it at homeschooling, some of them are and, after the state has (of necessity) dumped the children back on their parents, will not be pleased should Big Ed telling them that their efforts are sub-par.

    Even if we allow that state schooling will be happening, it’s not the worst idea to suggest that a more decentralized model that includes some distance learning might be effective.

    Distance learning could be the thing that gets the best teachers to the hungriest students. All sorts of teachers are now taping lectures, but the fact is that we don’t need one taped lecture per 20 or so students; we could have one taped lecture for tens of thousands of students. 

    • #17
    • March 29, 2020, at 2:12 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Larry3435 Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    They do look dumb, and so does the Intersectionality Outrage Industrial Complex. Every time some idiot leftist reporter announces that the phrase Wuhan Virus is racist I can literally feel America rolling its collective eyes. Meanwhile, other countries that had been accusing Trump of being racist for wanting to control our borders are now slamming the door shut on their own borders. Maybe the voters will remember this. At least until November.

    • #18
    • March 29, 2020, at 5:23 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Vectorman Thatcher

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    Permanently eliminate “No child left behind.” Allow segregation of students (i.e. tracking) based on abilities and effort. Reward excellence in academics, rather than only in sports. Public, private, or homeschooling then becomes relatively equivalent.

    • #19
    • March 29, 2020, at 5:28 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    They do look dumb, and so does the Intersectionality Outrage Industrial Complex. Every time some idiot leftist reporter announces that the phrase Wuhan Virus is racist I can literally feel America rolling its collective eyes. Meanwhile, other countries that had been accusing Trump of being racist for wanting to control our borders are now slamming the door shut on their own borders. Maybe the voters will remember this. At least until November.

    My fear on that is that even though virologists and other health officials are warning that COVID-19 has a strong chance of returning as temperatures get colder in the fall, people are going to forget that by late October, and if new COVID-19 cases do pop up, the Democrats and the media are going to treat it as though it’s a completely unexpected situation, and shows how Trump completely failed to protect the American public.

    If I were Trump and his people, I’d make sure to keep reminding the public through the spring and summer that the problems with the coronavirus might not be over. If the outbreaks decline, and most or all of the country can return to normal activities by the summer, Trump can take a victory lap over that, but he’d be making a major mistake if he doesn’t remind people of the possible second wave and/or acts as though COVID-19 problems are now all over.

    • #20
    • March 29, 2020, at 5:36 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  21. GrannyDude Member

    My personal version of “never let a crisis go to waste” is “don’t waste pain.” By which I mean that, if when a bad thing happens, suffering is inevitable but wisdom is optional. Since we have to do the suffering anyway, we might as well learn as much from the experience as we possibly can.

    This thing is testing all sorts of ideas and systems. It’s a giant reality-whack, and at least some of the left’s more unrealistic ideas are teetering, at least, if not collapsing altogether.

    This isn’t about schadenfreude, and it certainly isn’t about taking advantage of people left vulnerable after a calamity (the spin that Emmanuel at least appeared to put on it!).

    I agree that Trump should be very realistic…and—as he seems to be doing already—very encouraging. Lots of “attaboy!” and “good job!” I think he understands that this is an opportunity not so much for him personally (though there’s that) but for the country. 

    • #21
    • March 29, 2020, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. RightAngles Member

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    While I’m not in favor of home schooling for a number of reasons, I do think the unmasking of certain elements of the system will be a good side effect

    • #22
    • March 29, 2020, at 6:48 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. RightAngles Member

    Sandy (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    Mexico has requested no entry from the US. Who would have thought?

    Although, Mexican immigration laws have always been tougher than ours. An Indian tech company set up shop in Mexico. But they mainly moved India nationals to Mexico rather than hire and train Mexicans. That operation is no more.

    True. People don’t realize how stringent Mexico’s immigration laws are. I think one of them is that marrying a Mexican citizen doesn’t automatically confer citizenship.

    I wasn’t aware that this occurred anywhere, but certainly not here. On the larger point, yes, and it’s of critical importance that we draw the correct lessons when this is over, because that is not a given.

     

    Every one of those bleeding hearts should be made to read Mexican immigration laws. For instance:

    Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” when foreigners are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests….”

     

    • #23
    • March 29, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. RightAngles Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    They do look dumb, and so does the Intersectionality Outrage Industrial Complex. Every time some idiot leftist reporter announces that the phrase Wuhan Virus is racist I can literally feel America rolling its collective eyes. Meanwhile, other countries that had been accusing Trump of being racist for wanting to control our borders are now slamming the door shut on their own borders. Maybe the voters will remember this. At least until November.

    My fear on that is that even though virologists and other health officials are warning that COVID-19 has a strong chance of returning as temperatures get colder in the fall, people are going to forget that by late October, and if new COVID-19 cases do pop up, the Democrats and the media are going to treat it as though it’s a completely unexpected situation, and shows how Trump completely failed to protect the American public.

    If I were Trump and his people, I’d make sure to keep reminding the public through the spring and summer that the problems with the coronavirus might not be over. If the outbreaks decline, and most or all of the country can return to normal activities by the summer, Trump can take a victory lap over that, but he’d be making a major mistake if he doesn’t remind people of the possible second wave and/or acts as though COVID-19 problems are now all over.

    I believe various persons in the administration have said there’s a good chance corona will become an annual thing, but that people will be vaccinated.

    • #24
    • March 29, 2020, at 6:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Vectorman Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Every one of those bleeding hearts should be made to read Mexican immigration laws. For instance:

    Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” when foreigners are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests….”

    That “law” is so vague that it is unenforceable, assuming the translation is correct. It contains no “shall” (only a “may”) nor definitions / cross references of “national demographics” or “economic or national interests.” But that’s a feature in anarchic states.

    • #25
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Mark Camp Member

    Clavius (View Comment):
    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis.

    Is it?

    I say, “yes”.

    It’s a very important question for America, but I should qualify my answer. I don’t have any rational reason to believe it. It is just a wild speculation. Here is why I don’t know the answer.

    • My “first law of economics dialog” is
      • If you want a valid answer to an economics question, start with a valid question: define the terms and implicit assumptions.
    • We don’t have a validated question to start with.

    Anyway, I have a well-defined question in mind, and a logical argument for speculating that the answer to that question is “yes”. But I have never read any facts to support my reasoning. “He’s eliminated lots of ‘regulations’” is not such a useful fact. The first question is, What regulations?

    • #26
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Clavius Thatcher

    TBA (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    One area I see this creating permanent change is in homeschooling. Eliminate regs to promote that, as it will reduce the propaganda impact of the left.

    I like.

    While not every parent is crushing it at homeschooling, some of them are and, after the state has (of necessity) dumped the children back on their parents, will not be pleased should Big Ed telling them that their efforts are sub-par.

    Even if we allow that state schooling will be happening, it’s not the worst idea to suggest that a more decentralized model that includes some distance learning might be effective.

    Distance learning could be the thing that gets the best teachers to the hungriest students. All sorts of teachers are now taping lectures, but the fact is that we don’t need one taped lecture per 20 or so students; we could have one taped lecture for tens of thousands of students.

    Effective education is more than lectures. Interaction between student and teacher is a part of effective learning.

    Not to say we can’t have more leveraged learning, but there should be a mechanism for real interaction.

    • #27
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Clavius Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):
    I think that the drive to eliminate regulations that the Trump administration had undertaken is a major factor in the great economy we’ve seen until this current crisis.

    Is it?

    I say, “yes”.

    It’s a very important question for America, but I should qualify my answer. I don’t have any rational reason to believe it. It is just a wild speculation. Here is why I don’t know the answer.

    • My “first law of economics dialog” is
      • If you want a valid answer to an economics question, start with a valid question: define the terms and implicit assumptions.
    • We don’t have a validated question to start with.

    Anyway, I have a well-defined question in mind, and a logical argument for speculating that the answer to that question is “yes”. But I have never read any facts to support my reasoning. “He’s eliminated lots of ‘regulations’” is not such a useful fact. The first question is, What regulations?

    I agree that yours is a good question but since they overshot their goal of eliminating two regulations for every one new and instead hit seven to one, I believe the impact is significantly positive.

    • #28
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Vectorman Thatcher

    Clavius (View Comment):
    Effective education is more than lectures. Interaction between student and teacher is a part of effective learning.

    If you are social enough, interaction between students before and after classes might also increase learning. In most work situations, such collaboration is also valuable. 

    • #29
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Jon1979 Lincoln

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Agree. There are other ploys of theirs that we should also be using. But even if we don’t, this situation is demonstrating their poor judgment in other ways. For one thing, don’t the Open Borders people look dumb right now.

    They do look dumb, and so does the Intersectionality Outrage Industrial Complex. Every time some idiot leftist reporter announces that the phrase Wuhan Virus is racist I can literally feel America rolling its collective eyes. Meanwhile, other countries that had been accusing Trump of being racist for wanting to control our borders are now slamming the door shut on their own borders. Maybe the voters will remember this. At least until November.

    My fear on that is that even though virologists and other health officials are warning that COVID-19 has a strong chance of returning as temperatures get colder in the fall, people are going to forget that by late October, and if new COVID-19 cases do pop up, the Democrats and the media are going to treat it as though it’s a completely unexpected situation, and shows how Trump completely failed to protect the American public.

    If I were Trump and his people, I’d make sure to keep reminding the public through the spring and summer that the problems with the coronavirus might not be over. If the outbreaks decline, and most or all of the country can return to normal activities by the summer, Trump can take a victory lap over that, but he’d be making a major mistake if he doesn’t remind people of the possible second wave and/or acts as though COVID-19 problems are now all over.

    I believe various persons in the administration have said there’s a good chance corona will become an annual thing, but that people will be vaccinated.

    But will the vaccine be available by September? I saw some talk that it might not be ready until 2021.

    • #30
    • March 29, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes