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One of Tyler Cowen’s Points is Right

Summary:
As noted earlier today, Tyler Cowen posted about my critiques of his views on lockdowns. I don’t have time to answer thoroughly but I do think I did him an injustice on one issue. Cowen writes: And my remark about “It just doesn’t seem worth it”, cited by David as me dismissing school reopenings?  Here is what I actually wrote: Indoor restaurant dining and drinking, for example, is probably not a good idea in most parts of the U.S. right now. Yes, many of the Covid cases spread by such activity would be among the lower-risk young, rather than the higher-risk elderly. Still, practically speaking, given America’s current response capabilities, those cases will further paralyze schools and workplaces and entertainment venues. It just doesn’t seem worth it. I am

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As noted earlier today, Tyler Cowen posted about my critiques of his views on lockdowns.

I don’t have time to answer thoroughly but I do think I did him an injustice on one issue.

Cowen writes:

And my remark about “It just doesn’t seem worth it”, cited by David as me dismissing school reopenings?  Here is what I actually wrote:

Indoor restaurant dining and drinking, for example, is probably not a good idea in most parts of the U.S. right now.

Yes, many of the Covid cases spread by such activity would be among the lower-risk young, rather than the higher-risk elderly. Still, practically speaking, given America’s current response capabilities, those cases will further paralyze schools and workplaces and entertainment venues. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

I am worried about reopening indoor bars and restaurants because I want to keep schools (and other venues) open.  At my own school, GMU, I very much argued for keeping it open, which indeed we have done with success but also with great effort.  My whole point is one about trade-offs.

The above three paragraphs are from Tyler.

Now the following is David R. Henderson:

I did misinterpret him. I thought he was throwing in schools with bars and restaurants and I see now that he wasn’t.

My apologies to Tyler Cowen and to my readers.

This post is titled “One of Tyler Cowen’s Points is Right.” That doesn’t mean there aren’t others. If I find them, I will post on them. But it won’t be today. I have deadlines.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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