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Heaven is high and the emperor is far away

Summary:
A long time ago, there were two great kingdoms. The Kingdom of the East was ruled by a cruel emperor. One day, wise men in the center of his great country noticed a threat to the kingdom. They tried to warn the emperor of evil spirits, but local officials stopped them. The threat was not addressed in time and caused great destruction. The Eastern emperor was unhappy about not receiving the warning, but in reality he was to blame for his misfortune. He had allowed local officials to silence the speech of wise men, and this is why he failed to receive the warning in time to stop the threat. The Kingdom of the West was ruled by a silly emperor. One day, wise men noticed a threat from afar. Evil spirits were spreading in the Eastern Kingdom, and threatening to invade the West.

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A long time ago, there were two great kingdoms. The Kingdom of the East was ruled by a cruel emperor. One day, wise men in the center of his great country noticed a threat to the kingdom. They tried to warn the emperor of evil spirits, but local officials stopped them. The threat was not addressed in time and caused great destruction.

The Eastern emperor was unhappy about not receiving the warning, but in reality he was to blame for his misfortune. He had allowed local officials to silence the speech of wise men, and this is why he failed to receive the warning in time to stop the threat.

The Kingdom of the West was ruled by a silly emperor. One day, wise men noticed a threat from afar. Evil spirits were spreading in the Eastern Kingdom, and threatening to invade the West. They tried to warn the emperor, but officials in the emperor’s court and their pet Fox blocked their way. The threat was not addressed in time, and caused even greater damage than in the East.

The Western emperor was unhappy about not receiving the warning, but in reality he was to blame for his misfortune. He had told his officials that he did not like to receive bad news, as he was convinced that he was a great ruler who presided over a happy kingdom.

PS.  Good article on Japan:

The other big lesson from Japan is that masks work. Face coverings have been universal there for months, in large part because “Japanese people [already] feel comfortable wearing masks on a daily basis,” as Shigeru Omi, vice chairman of the Japanese government’s expert coronavirus panel, recently explained.

Also the Japanese wash hands often, and don’t hug or shake hands.

And this made me laugh:

But like everything else in the U.S., mask wearing is already becoming politicized and polarized. According to the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll, a full 87 percent of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 say they will continue to wear a cloth mask in public after lockdown ends; fewer than half as many Trump voters (42 percent) say the same.

Mask wearing is now a political issue?  Yup, we’re a banana republic.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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