it's always the counterfactual.

developed countries fall broadly into two categories, failures w/cumulative mortalities ~1/1000 (within a factor of 1.5) and successful suppressors (NZ, KR, DE etc) with much less death. the US is a failure. 1/
the Trump administration deserves condemnation unequivocally. it sabotaged and undermined all of the tactics successful suppressors employ, ignored pre-existing plans and sidelined experts, intentionally starved the states of resources that might have let them step in. 2/
but was the US well-placed to be a success, if it had not been for this active sabotage by the Trump administration? 3/
arguments for the prosecution: the US is a rich country, had (what used to be) the world's preeminent communicable disease management agency in the CDC, is home to the vanguard of medical research. ex ante, most of us would have thought the US better placed than its peers. 4/
arguments for the defense: actually executing on suppression requires extraordinary public trust, and politicians capable of imposing restrictions + inconveniences while they appear to be overreactions, and offset those with large, contentious support and public health pgms. 5/
under a different administration, one that wasn't actively denialist and saboteur, would an American government have been able to succeed? 6/
we'll never know. but i think it's more than fair to hold the Trump administration responsible. it might not in the end have succeeded, we'll never know, but it could have meaningfully tried, or the very least made it as easy as possible for others to act. it did the opposite. 7/
and the bitter divisions in the public that render America, um, exceptional among developed countries in our inability to coordinate intelligently at a political level have been multiplied, intentionally, by the Trump administration. 8/
the US (so far) is an ordinary, not extraordinary, failure in terms of developed world cumulative mortality. but it could have and should have been a success. 9/
we can't know the counterfactual under a different administration, but we can know this one did the opposite of maximizing our chances of success. the failure might have happened anyway. but this one is on them. /fin

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Steve Randy Waldman

Steve Randy Waldman Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @interfluidity

20 Sep
One of the more interesting and nuanced calls for devolution to address bitter US political divides, by @RajaKorman. 1/
I don't see those divides as purely or even mostly geographic. (In fact, I see them largely as artifacts of the incentives that govern the political parties who n turn reshape our politics and our selves, qua @leedrutman isbn.nu/0190913851) 2/
So I'm skeptical of devolution as a solution to our deadlocked bitterness. If we became several fully independent nations that kept our current electoral system, we'd soon all become little UKs, bitterly divided within while also scapegoating greater America like an EU. 3/
Read 10 tweets
20 Sep
bookmarking some supreme court reform pieces: 1/
"How Abraham Lincoln Fought the Supreme Court" @karpmj jacobinmag.com/2020/09/abraha… ht @jbouie 2/
"Reform the Court, but Don’t Pack It" @rddoerfler @samuelmoyn theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… ht @karpmj 3/
Read 6 tweets
7 Aug
@doobeedoo2 All of what you say might be right, but it still doesn't make a targeted ban of these two services make sense. Certainly they do not comprise the main levers of dependency that enables Chinese coercion of Western companies to remain silently complicit in abuses. If we want 1/
@doobeedoo2 to address that, we have to decouple broadly. If we want to address particular atrocities — China's treatment of Uighurs, repression in Hong Kong, China's various tools for internal discrimination, surveillance — then 1) you wouldn't choose two companies; and 2) you HAVE to 2/
@doobeedoo2 condition the sanctions on the policies you mean to change. Punishing unconditionally is a like a Full Nelson in wrestling — justly banned because it hurts without offering submission as an out. You need the Half Nelson, which punishes but simultaneously offers a path to 3/
Read 8 tweets
6 Aug
We are told that equities are claims on very long-term cashflows, but we also accustomed to equity values fluctuating based on very short-term news (even when interest rates are low). 1/
One explanation for that is path dependence: The effects of immediate-term events accumulate in ways that compound over time, rather than the firm reverting to the prior path. 2/
I think current market action suggests a different explanation: 3/
Read 14 tweets
5 Aug
When we look back on the pandemic, it may simultaneously be true that (i) “herd immunity”, if that’s what we’re seeing in eg Sweden, may have been achievable at lower mortality, and so less unreasonable to pursue, than COVID hawks predicted; and (ii) countries that succeeded 1/
at suppressing the pandemic until a vaccine (Nordics ex Sweden, Taiwan, S Korea, NZ, Uruguay, etc, if they don’t lapse) experienced much, much lower mortality and morbidity than those that failed (the US, most of Europe ex Germany/Nordics). 2/
No one, under these circumstances, need admit they were wrong. COVID hawks will point to the huge mortality/morbidity relative to successful suppression and tut that their countries should have listened. COVID doves will point to the much-lower-than-initially-modeled mortality 3/
Read 6 tweets
28 Jul
@RickMandler @matt_levine @ritholtz 1/ they are good for low information investors, but undermine the informational purpose of stock markets (outsized return should be a reward to information work);
@RickMandler @matt_levine @ritholtz 2/ they set up a terrible political economy: it's bad enough that firms and industries lobby for the state teat, but now the investor class broadly lobbies (very successfully) for support of indices of firms. the S&P 500 is politically too-big-to-fail;
@RickMandler @matt_levine @ritholtz 3/ as discussed in the paper, they are a tacit form of old-school trusts. cross-ownership and board participation are what inspired the original anti-trust movement. we've brought that back dressed angelic in saving mom-and-pop from investment manager fees;
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!