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Eric Zuesse Says COVID Proves Socialism Beats Capitalism

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Eric Zuesse returns to debate his article “Ideology and Coronavirus.” He writes:

“There are two polar-opposite approaches for dealing with the challenge of coronavirus-19: libertarian proposals prioritize the economy above the public’s health, whereas socialist proposals prioritize the public’s health above the economy. Libertarian countries rely on developing ‘herd immunity’ to the disease, in preference to imposing social distancing and ‘lockdowns,’ which aim instead to reduce the spread of the infection. Unlike socialist measures, the ‘herd immunity’ approach doesn’t need any regulations, because it allows the disease to spread so that the people who survive it will become predominant; it allows survival-of-the-fittest to take its course, so as to develop a ‘strong herd’. Social distancing, etc., countervail that goal, by protecting the public from the virus.”  He adds in an email: “Obviously, the best-governed countries would be those that have the lowest infection-rate, the slowest (if any) increase-rate, and the lowest overall Covid-19 death-rate.  In order to minimize the economic damage, controlling the epidemic is basic — whatever is sound policy for the public’s health is also sound economic policy. The supposed either-or choice (trade-off) that exists between those two objectives does not exist.”

I responded: “Not sure what you mean. The incalculable economic devastation in the US right now is obviously due to the lockdown, not the virus. The Denmark-Sweden comparison does not explain the details of what’s behind the economic problems in both countries, nor how a locked down country, capitalist or socialist, could possibly have anything less than a 30% real unemployment rate. Medical experts I trust say 60% of the world’s population is going to get COVID come what may – there is no hope of a safe effective vaccine for this kind of virus in less than two years. (Unless biowarriors built the vaccine along with the virus…) So the smart policy would be to help the youngest healthiest 60% contract the virus as fast as possible to reach herd immunity, while taking extreme measures to protect the sick and elderly.”

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