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There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.
Our friends on the left have a proclivity for monomania that appears to be getting worse. It is normal for debaters to emphasize the value of outcomes they favor and to minimize the cost of achieving them or to take the exact opposite position. But we are entering a new kind of politics in which we are simply not allowed to consider costs or even frame policy questions in that way.
To combat COVID, we have imposed hideous costs. We are losing lives to the broad and real effects of massive economic loss, depression, and delayed medical treatments. Our 14-day effort to “flatten the curve” was based on the realistic assumption that we could only delay the spread not really stop it. But that was too much like a reasonable trade-off so now idiot politicians are actually saying things like “if even one life..” as if there are no competing considerations. It is bad form to allude to dead businesses, lost jobs and all that accrues from that damage when Lives Are At Stake.
To combat climate change, we are asked to incur hideous costs and surrender economic rights in order to achieve minuscule decreases in atmospheric CO2. We were supposed to join the silly Paris Climate Accord so that we would be Doing Something About It or ‘At Least it is a Start’ or some other bumper-sticker level of reasoning. Many people don’t even consider that there might be a choice between mitigation and adaptation. The planet is at risk so costs do not matter, even if they will almost certainly be born by poorer people.
Because about one-tenth of one percent of all homicides of African-Americans involve unarmed persons killed by police, we must toss out the Constitution, rewrite American history and each forever live out our assigned identities in a script written by second-rate Marxists. The solutions proposed to cure “systemic racism” are so spectacularly stupid and so divorced from the actual history and substance of the expansion and protection of our rights that is stunning that so many succumb in silence. And if one criticizes the current massive destruction and looting by concerned citizens of the leftist faith, the usual non sequitur response is “how is any of that worth more than a human life?”, presumably George Floyd’s.
Inequality requires the end of capitalism and private property. Young women are not permitted to reject the ideology that gave us hook-up culture, so we have to eliminate all due process in favor of elastic notions of consent instead. Medical care, college tuition, and personal income must be freely provided as if there are no downsides, tradeoffs, or costs.
One problem (among others) in our current political discourse is that it is no longer characterized by reasonable debates among grownups of goodwill about costs and benefits but a series of monomaniacal demands for outcomes that are not likely achievable in any event and which failures will come at an astronomical cost.