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Mar 20 2020

Sometimes, you’re just plain wrong.

You know, if Megan McArdle weren’t so butt hole ignorant about mostly everything except ass kissing for success and working your network as opposed to, you know, actually knowing something and contributing value instead of extracting rent because you were to the manor born, and had just shut up about how wrong she was or admitted it without claiming that somehow, by the magic of meritocracy, our current Pandemic and the resulting Economic chaos validated the FORTY YEARS OF FAILURE she and the people she’s defending have delivered because Doctors?

I know Doctors. Some have been better than others, no more than a handful or two have actively tried to kill me that I’m aware of, and I’m not dead yet. All of them had at least 8 years of training at our finest institutions, one was a highly respected Department Head. He tried to poison me with Potassium despite the fact I was specifically being treated for an over sufficiency (if you have not done the research you can tolerate low Potassium for a time but the other side not so much).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on Doctors. I’m a Medical Miracle that only exists because of Doctors, but that is not who runs Hospitals. No, it is not highly trained Physicians bound by the Hippocratic Oath, it’s squads of cubicle dwelling MBAs from Prager U or some similarly esteemed establishment who work for the Mega-Hospital Corporations or even worse, Health Insurance.

Their job is not to help you get better. It’s to make sure you die cheaply.

But she didn’t do that. I normally don’t do “call outs” but Megan, you deserve one for this piece of self-satisfied privileged crap.

When it comes to the coronavirus, we elites got it wrong. So did you populists.
By Megan McArdle, Washington Post
March 20, 2020

Disaster plans that assumed, quite reasonably, that everything would be normal somewhere have now fallen to pieces. So have many of the just-in-time supply chains that assumed goods would always flow from country to country with ease. Including those that provide us with critical goods such as pharmaceuticals and surgical masks.

So let me open by saying this to the populists who opposed me and my fellow liberalizers: You had a point.

Yup. Stop right there. Thank you for coming to see the error of your ways and apologizing.

And for those of you taking notes, that’s how you do it if you ever have to. I was mistaken (details superfluous unless you are looking to continue the dispute after admitting defeat). You were right. I was wrong. I have changed my mind.

Or you can just shut up which is what I usually do, but no, we will explain in detail how we were wrong (I told you, superfluous) and why it doesn’t matter because you were wrong too and Doctors.

During a crisis, geography and nationality still matter far more than we acknowledged, and that means we need to think strategically about maintaining essential production capacity.

Travel bans can at least slow epidemics, if not stop them. That time they buy can be very valuable. We were silly to keep insisting that bans wouldn’t work, or to reflexively call them racist.

Exposure to markets hasn’t made China noticeably more free or democratic, our grateful junior partner in a post-conflict world. Witness the fact that the Chinese government now seems to be trying to blame this disease on us, rather than admitting that the plague originated in Wuhan and is now rocketing around the world due to China’s own failure to effectively contain it early on, and the Chinese Communist Party’s unfortunate success at concealing the danger from other countries until covid-19 had spread well beyond their borders.

I say this because I know there is nothing more maddening than being right about something, and then, when reality vindicates you, seeing your opponents carry on without admitting that, well, you were right, and we were wrong.

Still a mistake, but here is where we go off the rails. Enter the Entitlement Elite Whine about how they are disrespected because of their constant failures.

But I also say this because I want to point out something else: About other things, we were right, and you were wrong.

The populist insistence that experts are inherently suspicious, part of a class conspiracy against the people, contains a grain of truth: Cosmopolitan professionals do have a class interest, as all groups do, and their “disinterested” technocratic rules and assessments have a suspicious tendency to preserve their own privileges. Too, since the election of Donald Trump, they have been too willing to violate their own prior standards when criticizing him, even as they complain about his norm violations.

But there is another truth, which is that modern crises, whether they be wars or pandemics, require highly trained experts and competent bureaucracies. And so they require more than a president who can ignore cosmopolitan pieties; they require a president who knows which technocrats to trust, who builds an organization where their talents can be rapidly and effectively deployed, and who listens when these experts tell him something he doesn’t want to hear. If he is too paranoid and angry at imagined elite conspiracies to do those things, then when the crisis arrives, he will be deaf to the truth, blind to the disaster that is unfolding under his aegis and helpless to address it effectively.

So, Doctors. And the Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio is a “Populist” therefore “Popular” Policies (supported by vast super majorities) bad and, frankly, Small D “democratic” Government bad. Aristocracy Forever!

I recommend burnt hair and dog vomit with that.