Masking Is Our Only Answer

South Korea, Taiwan, Beijing and Hong Kong have weathered the coronavirus far better than other countries. On a per capita basis, these countries and cities had more than 100 times as many Wuhan visitors as New York City or Milan. But they’ve each done an outstanding job of controlling the virus. So, what has really worked in these five places as well as in China, which has put a tight lid on COVID-19? The answer is in plain sight from pictures of daily life in the five success stories: People wear masks. And they do so with complete discipline. More

Goodman: Has Liberalism Lost Its Mind?

Although liberals often talk about helping the poor and reducing inequality, their most cherished reforms these days would tax the poor and subsidize the rich – making inequality worse than it otherwise would have been. Consider three ideas that are at the top of the mainstream liberal policy agenda: Medicare buy-in for young seniors, free college education and making it easier for workers (especially public employees ) to unionize. It’s hard to think of an agenda that is less progressive in the original meaning of the word. More

Five Financial Secrets to Surviving the Greatest Depression

Forbes

Here is the most important: Cut Your Spending and Tap Your Retirement Account Assets. Suppose you expect to be furloughed or laid off for the next two years. Using Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff’s one-of-its-kind life time financial planning software ( https://maxifiplanner.com/), you can adjust your annual spending downward by an appropriate amount and make two withdrawals from your IRA to tide you over. The CARES act lets you do this without penalty. More

Study: Government Will Take Almost Half of Your Lifetime Income

In addition to the federal income tax and all its special provisions, there are 42 separate state income tax systems. Then there are more than 30 different federal entitlement programs (most of which are state specific), including Medicaid, Obamacare, TAFDC, SNAP, Housing Assistance, Child Care Assistance, and Energy Assistance, etc. Here’s the bottom line from Prof. Kotlikoff: the average household in this country can expect to keep about 57 cents out of every dollar of earnings. When you earn a dollar, you are only earning a little more than half of that dollar for yourself. The rest of the dollar will go to the government. More

Goodman on COVID: Deregulation is Saving Lives

Forbes

Regulations that lock down the economy are killing people. Deregulation is saving them. That’s the theme of several research projects at the GIPPR. It’s also the theme of John Goodman’s latest post at Forbes. Governmental bodies are repealing laws, suspending regulations, and ignoring previous restrictions that impeded the ability of the private sector to act. They are liberating doctors, nurses, drug manufacturers, test makers, makers of personal protective equipment, etc., to do things that were illegal to do only a few months ago. More

Kotlikoff: How to Reopen the Economy in One Month

Forbes

The solution is PCR group-household testing of all American households every week. Doing so will require running only 6 million tests per week, which is eminently and imminently feasible. Group testing is used routinely to test blood donations. It’s also been used in PCR testing of animals. Its sensitivity to Covid-19 has been clearly established by Israeli scientists. Testing all American households every week won’t just save the economy, which is literally at death’s door. It will save tens of thousands of lives. More

Kotlikoff: Beating COVID-19 with Math

A strategy for extinguishing the novel coronavirus has been outlined by Cornell University’s Operations Research Professor Peter Frazier and colleagues. They developed a group testing protocol that could release 96 percent of the U.S. population back to society within four weeks, with this percentage rising even higher thereafter. Frazier envisions initially testing 62 households at a time, and assumes, to be conservative, a very high (30 percent false negative) test rate that would require some degree of redundancy to work efficiently. All told, though, the job could be done for the entire United States with only 6 million tests per week. That’s a large number, but just three to four times the test rate we’ve already reached. More

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

A frequent criticism of US hospitals is the charge of excessive adverse medical events,  sometimes leading to avoidable deaths. How do our hospitals compare to hospitals in national health care systems? Quite well. The percent of patients who experience an adverse event is twice as high in Canada, three times as high in Britain and four times as high in New Zealand. More

Herrick: Future Pandemics Require Better Access to Primary Care

When Americans become ill or have a health complaint, they often schedule an appointment with a primary care provider (PCP). PCPs are often the first line of defense in the battle against the onset of seasonal outbreaks of colds, flu or more serious problems like COVID-19.

America will Become a Nation of Savers

Vox

The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on our sense of economic confidence will have everything to do with how long we are stuck inside, how long we are out of work, and what safety nets fail us in the interim. Even if stay-at-home orders are mostly “over” by this summer, how many of us would risk our lives to frequent restaurants or go shopping? More.