Saturday , June 6 2020
Home / S. Sumner: Money Illusion / Five stages of denial

Five stages of denial

Summary:
[Before starting this silly post, let me say that I’m seeing some positive signs in data from many countries; the curves seem to be starting to bend. Yay!] Five Stages of Denial: Stage one: I feel for those poor Chinese suffering from the terrible coronavirus. Glad we don’t have it. Stage two: You say the problem is becoming worse here than in East Asia? That can’t possibly be true. Those East Asian countries must be faking the data. The West is superior. Stage three: OK, maybe the East Asian data is accurate, but we are much freer than the East Asian countries.  That’s why we are getting hit harder.  Freedom has a price. Stage four: You say it’s now gotten so bad in the West that many of us now have tighter restrictions that some of the East Asian countries?  OK, but the

Topics:
Scott Sumner considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Cowen writes Solve for the equilibrium

Tyler Cowen writes Thursday assorted links

Tyler Cowen writes Chesapeake travel notes

Scott Sumner writes The Fed cannot allow another lost decade

[Before starting this silly post, let me say that I’m seeing some positive signs in data from many countries; the curves seem to be starting to bend. Yay!]

Five Stages of Denial:

Stage one:

I feel for those poor Chinese suffering from the terrible coronavirus. Glad we don’t have it.

Stage two:

You say the problem is becoming worse here than in East Asia? That can’t possibly be true. Those East Asian countries must be faking the data. The West is superior.

Stage three:

OK, maybe the East Asian data is accurate, but we are much freer than the East Asian countries.  That’s why we are getting hit harder.  Freedom has a price.

Stage four:

You say it’s now gotten so bad in the West that many of us now have tighter restrictions that some of the East Asian countries?  OK, but the Chinese are to blame for all of this.  They delayed reporting the severity of the epidemic for several weeks.

Stage five:

OK, you say that an extra few weeks would have made no difference, as the West spent nearly 2 months twiddling its thumbs once we found out? And you say that our governments also lied to us? Well then the Chinese are to blame because they are a barbaric race that eats wild animals, and that’s what created the disease in the first place, just as Africans created AIDS and Europeans explorers brought smallpox to the New World.

And BTW, you are an apologist for Communist China because you are forcing me to confront the fact that the West might not be as superior as I had assumed.

I guess it was inevitable that this crisis would push people toward “us vs. them” thinking, but it is still quite worrisome.  Even within the US, you have states trying to keep out residents of other states.  And that prejudice is directed against our fellow Americans; just imagine how Americans feel about foreigners right now.

Unfortunately, things are no better in China, where Westerners are now widely viewed as a disease-ridden menace that needs to be kept out of their country.  Let’s hope that sanity prevails in the long run.  Looking back at history, I think it’s fair to say that a global rise in hypernationalism generally doesn’t end well.

PS.  Here’s the pro-communist WSJ explaining how China successfully controlled the coronavirus.

PPS.  Here’s an excellent NYT article on how the Wuhan government covered up the problem.  It’s the best account I’ve seen.

And LOL:

Trump spent weeks downplaying the coronavirus — but now thinks keeping US deaths under 100,000 would be ‘a very good job’

To quote Former President Bush: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”.


Tags:

 
 
 
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".

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *