By: Devan Robinson
"Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant." - Charlie Munger
Italy does appear to be heading in the right direction. Fingers crossed!
On more unemployment
Another week, another unemployment day...it didn't get better. Unemployment claims have now passed six-million and obliterated the chart. You can barely distinguish the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
Stocks rose again though after the unemployment number - how about that?
On the research motherload
One silver lining to the COVID-19 tragedy is the coming surge of economic research. The next few years will be the Super Bowl of economic research and our country will be the beneficiary.
How often in history do nations face an identical problem at the same time? Every nation facing COVID-19 is in the same boat and we are facing it in the information age. All types of government and economic systems are taking a midterm exam and the results will be fascinating.
Western capitalist democracies. Communist totalitarian states. Social democracies. Countries with limited government. Countries with no government.
The professor dropped a surprise exam with little warning. The U.S. and South Korea even had their first infections on the same day.
Public policy nerds will also have a field-day. On a per-capita basis which healthcare systems performed the best?
For-profit private insurance like the United States? Universal single-payer like Canada & Britain? Public-option systems like Israel & Australia?
It will be fascinating to see how they all perform in the end. How do we define success with COVID-19 and how should we define success? Effectiveness of treatment? Death rates? Swiftness of reaction? Extent of preparation? Financial cost to victims? However we choose to define success there will be data to measure it. We're facing this crisis with the best data and research capability in human history.
This research motherload will be a tremendous asset because America is a self-regulating system. The Founders designed our country to be adaptable over time - it is a significant aspect of America's success. We are really good at course-correcting over time. We don't always get it right the first time but we always end up heading the right direction. A shining city on a hill as a President once said.
Maybe I have been social distancing for too long but I am excited to see the data. America always learns and adapts from challenge.
On hunting for truths
My Dad once reminded me several things can be true at once. This is easy to forget today.
It can be true that you worked hard. It can also be true you didn't work hard enough at the same time.
It is perfectly fine to be worried about the short-run and optimistic about the long-run.
It is true that COVID-19 will get worse. It is also true that COVID-19 will get better. Those ideas aren't mutually-exclusive. Both are true.
I think media pundits could benefit from some midwest wisdom.
Enjoy the weekend,
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