Although the COVID-19 crisis has been widely compared to the 2008 market collapse, a better analogy is the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. After that tragedy, the US government identified the root cause of the economic fallout and devised an effective strategy to address it.
“Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded,” declared the New York Times headline. The story concerned an October 2019 report by the Department of Health and Human Services that laid out an influenza pandemic scenario much like the one that is now upon us. The report made clear that our current situation was foreseeable and indeed was foreseen.
As we California shut-ins figure how to avoid coming down with cabin fever while hunkering down against COVID-19, fear not for Gov. Gavin Newsom. He’s on the job—and very much in the public spotlight with constant media briefings on the Golden State’s efforts to combat and contain a spreading pandemic.
To understand the complicated relationship between President Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, try watching “The Defiant Ones,” a 1958 film starring Tony Curtis and Sydney Poitier. The plot line: Two inmates, one black and one white, are on the loose. But there’s a catch. They’re shackled together and, in order to elude the authorities, must learn to set aside their mutual animosity and work in tandem.
Let’s assume that nobody is going to end up taking state assessments or end-of-course exams this spring. One way or another, everyone will be waived from those federal obligations and their state-imposed counterparts, mainly at the high-school level. The College Board and ACT are striving to improvise, reschedule, and reformat their volitional tests, such as AP and SAT, and some—maybe a lot—of that will continue for purposes of college admissions and credit.
As a Never-Trumper who suggested to Secretary DeVos that she resign after the 2018 election, I haven’t exactly been this Administration’s biggest fan. But let me say without equivocation: She has risen to the occasion during the current coronavirus crisis, and for that she deserves praise.
Over at Marginal Revolution this morning, Tyler Cowen writes: For instance, some scientists have told me that at some point, if the virus is widespread enough, there is no choice but to let it burn its way through the population (not saying we are there yet, probably not according to the consensus of experts I am seeing).
“We’d all be better off globally if interest rates went back into positive territory, ” John B. Taylor said in an interview with The Politic. Taylor, the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, served as Undersecretary of International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury from 2001 to 2005. But he is best known as the mastermind behind the eponymous “Taylor rule,” a simple but powerful rule of thumb for monetary policymakers.