When the history of the COVID-19 pandemic is written, what will it say about the vast army of professional economists — in banks, academia, consultancies, think-tanks — along with science experts and members of the media who have mostly failed to publicly challenge the riskiest global policy initiatives ever contemplated, let alone implemented?
When politicians and public health officials appeared daily seven months ago to declare that they have our backs and we’re all in this together, their lockdown decisions went unchallenged. As officials claimed the need for a lockdown to “flatten the curve” of the spread of COVID-19 through the population, most of the professional and intellectual communities just kept their heads down as the global economic meltdown spread.
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Last March, one week after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, I wrote “Flattening the economy,” a column that argued Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in Ottawa, along with other nations fired up by bureaucrats at the WHO, had launched “a giant social and economic experiment: the temporary shutdown of the $100-trillion world economy to fix a real looming crisis they long ignored. And it is an experiment. Governments around the world are using the global economy as a test tube for science and behaviour theories that the COVID-19 pandemic can perhaps be managed and controlled by imposing draconian limits on most economic activity.”