Joseph Cox - Comments
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Joseph Cox holds a degree in Intellectual History from Univ. of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Financial Analysis.

He is the author of a number of books on related to policy. The City on the ... more

Latest Comments
US Coronavirus Outlook
9 days ago

200,000 Americans did not die because of anything Trump said. That's like saying Peru's Vizcarra is responsible for the worst death rate in the world, or Sophie Wilmes is responsible for the second-worst-in-the-world death rate in Belgium. Or Mario Cuomo being responsible for the second-highest death rate in the US (behind NJ).

Different words might have had very little impact. Even different actions, given the existing social and cultural aspects of the United States might have caused more harm than good.

As far as public is concerned, here's an excerpt from my podcast on January 28th:

"You see, the disease was first noticed in early December. Locking down Wuhan was very impressive, but the chances are the horse has already left the barn. Over four million people left the city between the time of initial detection and when they shut the doors. If the disease can be transmitted during its dormant period of up to 2 weeks then millions of people could have left, undetected, as carriers. If the disease is contagious when there are no symptoms, then there’s no way to get a leash on it now."

I had no special briefings, no unique insights.

Here's an early attempt at humor from February 2nd:

"For years, China pushed the One Child Policy. They forced abortions. There were masses of abandoned babies. All of it was a particularly nasty deal. But, then, they realized they were going to suffer a terrible problem. There are going to be, if current demographic trends continue, an enormous amount of old Chinese who are beyond their working prime. A country with the per capita income of Romania was going to have a massive elderly population. There were going to be too many parents. Cue the Corona Virus. The Chinese have just shifted their old policies. Instead of the One Child Policy, they’ve adopted something new. The No Parent policy."

This is not suggestive of a disease that isn't dangerous.

US Coronavirus Outlook
9 days ago

He didn't have any information we didn't have. It was obvious to everybody from January that a disease that could spread asymptomaticly could not be stopped beyond the very very early stages. That window closed with the Chinese New Year in Wuhan.

So he *knew* it, but so did everybody else. It was coming, no matter what. Then the question is, what do you do about it?

Even now, the answer isn't so obvious. Sustained mass panic might not be the way to go.

US Coronavirus Outlook
9 days ago

Don't ascribe too much intelligence to Trump's statements at any time. He could now just be trying to make himself look smarter than he was (or is).

US Coronavirus Outlook
9 days ago

I don't get it. The charts above show for states that had major peaks those peaks are *done*. Sweden has the same thing. Closed society or not, they had a major epidemic. It is now *not* a major epidemic there. They haven't locked down society. The bug spread fine before, but now they have population immunity.

Interestingly, while their economy contracted, it did far less contraction than the US economy.

Hitler, Coronavirus And Getting Back On Our Feet
12 days ago

A specialty audience :)

US Coronavirus Outlook
17 days ago

sorry, 5 days

US Coronavirus Outlook
17 days ago

Sweden has now had 0 deaths for 14 days straight.

Death, Economics And Coronavirus
19 days ago

Here is a better article on the same subject. Rather than lots of scary suppositions it actually logically breaks down what we do and do not know.

In my opinion, given what we know about infection doses, children might be *ideal* spreaders. They might spread, but because they aren't coughing up powerful doses of the virus their spread might result in more mild cases around them. This might explain studies that indicate low rates of child-to-adult transmission where hospitalized patients are used as the starting point.

Either way, my article doesn't take a position on children. Although if children can spread mild cases that would be a boon.

Death, Economics And Coronavirus
19 days ago

I'm uncertain about this. We haven't see any of the places with little humps seriously drop off yet. Could be that there hasn't been enough continual exposure or not that there hasn't been enough exposure total but we just haven't seen it.

US Coronavirus Outlook
22 days ago

I'm not going to argue about his cluelessness. He has a political clue, but that's about it.

BUT... his administration did lots of things (aside from crappy messaging).

Maybe not when people wanted but they include:

* Fast-tracking the FDA on test and treatment approval

* Using the Defense Authorization Act to manufacture ventilators

* Apportioning said ventilators so nobody has had a shortage (despite many dire predictions)

* Working with Congress to provide massive subsidies to the economy

* Restricting international travel

* Supported the infrastructure to provide 65 million tests

Is it him? Of course not. It is his administration. But defining all things Trump as either good or bad is a mistake. Trump (or Biden or Obama or...) can't be your benchmark.

Your benchmark has to be: "I want to achieve X and Y, does Z do it?"

Did the Federal government react well? As I said months ago, the Federal Government *never* reacts well. It is a slow, calcified, *broken* bureaucratic monster. It doesn't do near anything well - increasingly not even war. Byzantium would be proud.

It's all okay though. I'm sure the next guy is so capable he'll fix the it all.

That's one reason I don't live in the US anymore.

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