Changing Views [due to coronavirus]

I’m curious to know if Covid-19 and all the fallout from it has caused anybody to change their views.

Are you a civil libertarian who is now more comfortable with the government controlling the publics’ daily lives?

Are you a fiscal conservative who is now okay with deficit spending?

Are you a gun control advocate who now sees the value in private firearm ownership given the impact the virus is taking on police departments?

If this thread could NOT descend into partisan bickering that would be awesome. I’m interested in how this crisis has affected people’s views, not anybody’s opinion of those views.

Since this is political in nature, let’s move this to Politics and Elections. Title edited to indicate subject.

Quarantine Zone Moderator

I’d say it has pushed me more in favor of universal basic income, and economic stimulus. IMHO, the $1,200 relief checks are way too little. I favor Maxine Waters’ suggestion of $2,000 per month until the crisis is over, which is perhaps the first and only time I’ve ever agreed with Waters on anything.

The crisis has moved me from thinking M4A might be a good idea in the abstract but way too heavy a lift, to thinking it’s damn near a necessity.

Also that we should nationalize the hospitals, an idea that’s never crossed my mind before. For-profit hospitals are clearly a big part of the reason we don’t have a lot of slack in our medical system.

I’m not sure how I’d feel about UBI in general, but we should at least have one that kicks in when unemployment shoots up suddenly. (I didn’t see the need for it at all before now; I figured a decent minimum wage would enable people to save against a rainy day. But when something like this hits, it’ll blow through most people’s savings in a hurry.)

I’m probably as centrist as anybody can possibly be regarding guns. I spent enough time in the Army carrying an M-16 that I see it as a chore, and I’ve always felt the police were reliable enough for me to feel secure in my daily life.

But I feel like things aren’t as secure and predictable as they used to be, that maybe I ought to keep a shotgun in the attic. Not something I’d do as a hobby or go looking for trouble. Just some peace of mind in case half the police force calls in sick for a few weeks, or if the meat aisle at Publix is empty and I need to make some of grandma’s famous squirrel dumpling soup.

I’m a free trader, but I think it might be a good idea to have a reserve capacity for making critical items. As long as there is a way to insulate the critical item list from politics and keep it updated, it could be a good idea.

No significant changes.

This is one of the more heartening threads I’ve come across in a while. Kudos to Velocity, and to all of you.

I can’t think of any significant changes for me, except maybe this: I have always lamented the existence of borders between states (“countries”) — really, I’m lamenting the human construct that is states themselves. I have come to accept that they at least provide a practical scale at which to enforce restrictions of movements of certain bad actors. I suppose the current crisis reinforces my grudging appreciation for international borders.

Bumping, because it’s not quite so “heartening” if mine was the last post!

The current situation is not changing my views. It is causing more than a little concern for the erosion in civil liberties/expansion of government power.

I never before wished that we had presidential recall elections. I’m not sure it isn’t completely reactionary, and once this is over, I’ll go back to thinking they aren’t a good idea-- a president should not be making every decision with an eye to the public reaction in the short-term. Presidents should be able to pursue long term plans, the results of which might not be obvious for some time, without fear that expensive ones might cause some people to want recall elections.

But some presidents are such screw-ups, right in this moment, I’d really like to see recalls based on performance, as opposed to a president needing to do something impeachable before there were a chance of removing him from office.


Historically I’ve not been pleased with Ohio’s republican governor, Mike DeWine, because he is taking us back hundreds of years with regards to abortion. Sick, sick, sick. He also is anti-gay and anti-marijuana.

However, I’ve put all of those views aside and have been watching his press conferences every day. Granted, I was first hooked in due to Dr. Amy Acton (director of the Dept. of Health for Ohio), but I am pleased with his work. I’m pleased he appointed Acton. I’m pleased he’s listening to her and other people who know stuff. I’m pleased he’s taking pro-active measures and being forceful where needed. I have no complaints about how he’s handled this and am VERY proud to be an Ohioan right now. Well I’ve always been proud to be an Ohioan…except when DeWine passes shitty abortion-related measures. But I’m extra proud right now.

I dunno if I’d vote for the guy in the future. But I’d remember his work here fondly.

The primary change for me is my view on about half of our nation’s population. While i have generally tried to find good in people, I am now more certain than ever that something hovering between 30 and 50% of our population are some combination of selfish, greedy, gullibe, unintelligent liars.

From the hording of sanitzers for personal financial gain and calling 911 for toilet paper (by the thousands) to the disgusting Fox New spin and spinners with their lies and mistruths, I think my outlook on that half of humanity is forever tainted.

Yes there are some amazing special people, doing amazing and brave things (front line doctors, nurses, EMT, police) but the other half, I hope - as an agnostic - that their is a special place in hell awaiting their arrival.

Man you hit the nail on the head there… even with my democratic leanings and bewilderment how the Orange Judas with a IQ of 80 got into the White House, I have always disliked and rolled my eyes at Maxine Waters as a stain and example of why I (personally) hesistate to call myself a true democrat.

That said, I acknowledge that many much more unfortunate than I, are barely helped with $1,200. A monthly amount until this is over would be the single greatest spend in government at this time (even over military spending, not something i often say).

My view on trade has been modified in that I wonder if it is a good idea that so many of our drugs are based on ingredients are based on chemicals sourced from China. In general I am a free-trader but maybe for health supplies it is not a good idea.

Case in point: Trump has now banned MMM from sending face masks to Canada. So I guess we will have to respond by starting up a face mask industry and then putting a heavy tariff on face masks from the US.

Fiscally, I describe myself as Josephian: have surpluses in boom times and deficits in poor times. That’s also Keynesian, BTW.

How come nobody seems to know this? In the bill with the $1200 relief checks was also money to add $600/week on top of your state’s unemployment. Everyone talks about the $1200, but $600/week through July is much most significant.

Changed attitudes? Nope. Expectations of systemic change? Nope. I maintain my long-term rad-lib orientation and expect the world to go to hell on its own, despite my preferences. The world is fucked. Expect no mercy.

I have long been an unabashed capitalist, but… I’m starting to notice how often capitalism needs rescued by socialism.

I’m questioning myself and wondering if I’m doing the same thing hard core communists did in the past: “It’ll work, we just haven’t really tried it yet.” My ideal view of capitalism would have those CEOs and managers who aren’t competent to run their companies impoverished and allowed to starve on the streets. The reality always ends differently.

I’m having to admit my ideal cannot work in an environment where our legislature are basically 2-bit gutter whores servicing their corporate johns. Our methods for selecting leaders are simply too flawed to allow “real” capitalism to sort out the incompetent. The incompetent are too protected by the elected officials they’ve purchased at the K-street whore auctions.

Also, I might be getting a little bit cynical.

Here’s a point of view more from the right:

  • The blue model of densely packed cities with lots of mass transit is looking pretty iffy in the age of pandemics. Suburbs, rural living, and private cars will all gain in status. Living in an apartment with 500 other people and relying on mass transit to get around? Not so much.

  • Remote work is here to stay. By the time this is over, millions of people will understand how to work from home, and many will prefer it. This could accelerate the migration from big cities, and have knock-on effects like a collapse in commercial office prices. And I imagine corporate disaster preparedness plans will have a significant ‘work from home’ component,

  • The market has actually been working, and working well. Supply chains for food and critical products are up and running. Bill Gates is building a factory for every vaccine being tested, knowing that most of them with be scrapped when the vaccines don’t pan out. But when we get the right one, we’ll be ready to start production immediately, No governments are doing that.

  • Governments have not shrouded themselves in glory at most levels.
    Neither Obama or Trump replenished the PPE stockpiles as required after the last time they were depleted under Obama.
    Governments have been giving conflicting, dangerous advice.
    The Chinese government prevented the virus from being contained in China.
    The UK government thought ‘business as usual’ was a good idea.
    Bill De Blasio told people in New York to go out and enjoy themselves - at the beginning of March.
    The governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans refused to cancel Mardi-gras despite ample warning, and now Luisiana is the worst hit part of the country.
    The CDC and FDA have mostly been in the way, delaying testing by forbidding the use of third party tests in favor of their own, which were late and defective.
    A number of regulations had to be rescinded to keep the market working and for PPE to be imported. All of this has caused critical delays.
    This isn’t just Trump screwing up, it’s government leaders flailing around the world.

  • Open borders and globalization are in trouble. Free markets are a good thing, so long as national security exceptions are made. Unlimited movement of people around the globe? Not so much.

  • The EU is in trouble. The myth of one European super-state fell apart when Coronavirus hit and all those countries started acting nationalistically again - for example, by some refusing to send ventilators, PPE and other aid to the hardest hit countries.

  • New York, which already has net outward migration to the rest of the U.S., may see an even faster exodus.

  • Public vs private health care: That hasn’t played out yet. After this is all over, we will find out which systems worked and which didn’t. My guess is that both sides of the debate will focus on the failings of the other.

But we are still on the tip of the iceberg. Even after the pandemic is under control, the decisions made and the costs and who pays those costs are going to consume a lot of oxygen. May e we’ll move to the left, maybe to the right. Expect a lot of squawking from people in relatively unscathed areas as thry claim they were sequestered and lost jobs and businesses for nothing, Expect those in the hardest hit areas to demand compensation.

Once the fear and threat are gone, the fighting will start. It will be ugly, I have no idea how it will shake out politically.