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Politics of COVID

 
Old 10-15-20, 12:59 AM
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50PlusCycling
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Politics of COVID

The one thing which is most disconcerting about the COVID pandemic is how it has become a political weapon which people use to bash one another. There is an old saying in business and politics which goes “never let a crisis go to waste.”

The powers-that-be have used the pandemic to reap huge profits, and politicians have used it to increase their political power. News outlets, who earn money by clicks, have sensationalized the pandemic as much as possible to increase those clicks and their profits. Ordinary people are so diverted by the claims, accusations, and sensational stories that they wouldn’t know the truth in the extremely unlikely event it was ever uttered.

Sweden has been a hot topic of late, and has become a lightning rod for both sides of the COVID issue. Sweden may or may not have defeated COVID via their policies (though with each passing day it appears that they have), but their policy of not locking down their economy or enacting serious restrictions has one resounding success, and that is preventing the pandemic from becoming political fodder.

The politicization of the pandemic in the west is the result of the usual wrestling for power and wealth which such a crisis can precipitate. Ordinary people follow the the false ideologies propagated by their leaders, and go so far as to fight each other in the streets if someone is not wearing a mask, or not properly social distancing, or vice versa.

I live in Japan, which is another country which never mandated any restrictions. There is not, and never has been a rule mandating masks, there was not, and has never been any rule that businesses close, or limit their hours. There was never any rule that schools close (indeed, most businesses and many schools never closed). Though Japan has had few cases and few deaths from the virus (“excess” deaths this year will be lower than last years), the greatest benefit of the lack of restrictions seems to be lack of any political divides among the Japanese people.

Political divides have nothing to due with ideology, they are the result of the business of politics. To enact policies which create profits you need support and votes. The easiest way to get support and vote ls is to use fear and hatred. People, as a rule, are absurdly easy to fool and manipulate, they can be made to believe in the most absurd things. They can be made to believe that it is possible for a mystical spirit to create the world in 7 days, or that it is possible to have financial equality or “cancel” student loans.

When it comes to the politicization of issues, the only rule one can use is the rule of opposites. That is, whenever a politician promises to enact a policy, you must expect the results to be opposite to what is promised. Los Angeles deficit spent some $8 million to reduce homelessness, then homelessness increased to a new record. Several billion dollars were spent to fight a war on drugs, but drug use increased, a war was fought in Iraq to bring democracy and peace to the middle east, and we end up with more violence and less democracy, need I go on?

When Trump promises to save American jobs by raising tariffs, that will actually cost Americans jobs. When Biden promises to made college more affordable, he will make college more expensive. When Trump restricts legal immigration to Make America Great Again, we instead lose a large number of professional and entrepreneurial people. When Biden promises to spend trillions to help US workers and America’s economy, he will actual increase unemployment and harm the economy.

When thinking about things like pandemics, education, business, and everything else, all would be better if we removed the poison of politics.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:16 AM
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The USA is not the West, even though they'd like to believe that. Mind you, the country that provided safe harbour for Rupert Murdoch is enabling him to spread the mantra of individual rights and no responsibility, showing leadership in spreading the politics of division far and wide.
It really isn't a case of "both sides are at fault". On the one side is a rabble driven by ideology and fantasy, from trickle down economics to it's just a flu and you ain't making me wear a mask. On the other side are the rationalists, listening to actual economists and scientists. Quite rationally, they are pretty annoyed with a bunch of loonies bent on destroying the proper functioning of society all for a belief system. Political divides have everything to do with ideology, it's the ideology that drives the my way or the highway style of governing.
The thing that has me struggling the most is your interpretation of the situation in Japan, where the government had declared states of emergency and asked for school and business closures. They didn't need to mandate it, because they know that the Japanese aren't a bunch of idiots, and appreciate a functioning society, so follow what their government says. You've literally flipped the situation, it's not the lack of restrictions not causing political divides, it's the lack of political divides removing the need for mandated restrictions. That and seeing a bunch of people get sick on the Diamond Princess at the start of the Pandemic and so getting an idea of what could happen in things got out of hand. Sweden probably had a similar thing, the massive death toll at the start of their outbreak scared the public into doing the right thing on their own account, over and about the lockdown measures the government introduced. Probably the common factor is that they don't have News Corp involved in their media landscape, deliberately stirring things up..
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Old 10-15-20, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
When thinking about things like pandemics, education, business, and everything else, all would be better if we removed the poison of politics.
Politics.

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