George Gilder: Enemy of Society?
George Gilder: Enemy of Society? BY BRIAN MAHER for Daily Reckoning
Friday’s reckoning drew an especially heavy mail.
We vented Mr. George Gilder’s unorthodox opinions about the virus. He claimed its actual threat has been fantastically exaggerated, that the terror has little excuse in the facts.
But George’s arguings failed to fetch the game. In fact readers seized their own shotguns… and peppered George’s backside with buckshot.
Reader Vince W. — for example — instructs us to:
Please tell Mr. Gilder that his stance against the wearing of face masks makes him an enemy of society, and he can go (fornicate) himself. If he brings his sorry a** anywhere near me without a mask, I will consider it assault and respond accordingly.
Alice S. insists George vastly soft pedals the threat. Far more Americans are vulnerable, she says:
We’re not Sweden. More than 40% of our population is obese (No. 1 comorbidity factor associated with death from COVID other than age). More than 40% are hypertensive (No. 2 comorbidity factor). I won’t even go into the millions of diabetics, asthmatics, immunocompromised, etc., who have additional comorbidity factors.
The point is that as a country, our entire country is either elderly and/or ill. Easily more than half our population falls into the “vulnerable” category.
Calls to let the lucky minority who aren’t vulnerable won’t help the economy. It will be liberating for them, and we need to do it, but it is too small a fraction of the population to make a difference to the economic devastation that has already occurred.
And it’s worth noting that the elderly (people over 60 — seriously? Elderly?) and the “vulnerable” also comprise a high percentage of highly productive working people, business owners and entrepreneurs. Shunting them into second-class citizenhood status certainly won’t help the economy.
Sam L. raps us smartly across the knuckles for airing George’s packet of lies:
I am very disappointed that you gave Mr. Gilder the opportunity to spread such awful, misleading information.
Meantime, Jane F. is so steamed up she is attempting to cancel her subscription — again:
I canceled my subscription to this newsletter in part because of reasoning like the above. Will cancel it again and hope it works this time.
Alas, we can extend Jane no guarantee. We structure our operations on the model of Dionaea muscipula — the Venus flytrap.
It is far easier to come in than to get out, that is.
But we wish her a successful escape. We will nonetheless miss her if she slips our snare.
But is this criticism of George entirely just?
How Do We Know What to Believe?
George flouts the received wisdom, it is true. But is the received wisdom true?
Authorities initially informed us that masks were fraudulent defenders, that the virus can break the blockade.
They then executed a rightabout-face… and claimed masks in fact formed effective barriers to entry.