Initially, it looked like corona would be a knock against China’s authoritarian system. Now, in comparison, it ain’t looking that bad. As of this writing (3/31/2019), America’s corona deaths per capita are significantly higher than China’s. Even if you assume(and I’ve seen no evidence this is true) that China’s covering up deaths, it’s on par with America’s numbers per capita even if its real numbers are 3-4x its reported numbers. Despite the fact that America had more warning than China did and should have been preparing for it.
Many Americans seem to have taken civics class far too literally and now believe it’s their God-given right to have an opinion on any subject whatsoever. I’ve seen this not just with morons on the internet but IRL as well. People who I remember have confessed, as normies often do, that they aren’t good at math. And that’s fine, they’re full citizens, just as morally worthy, blah-blah-blah. But then they will start bleating these word salads full of faulty analogies. It’s akin to ebola. It’s akin to AIDS. You tell them it’s nothing like that, point to R0 and they’re like “what are you talking about?” What’s next? Are we going to let anyone have an opinion on civil engineering? Next time your town wants to design a bridge, allow any random person to submit a design and then vote democratically on which to build.
We need to start telling people “no, you don’t get an opinion on this.” You can have an opinion on whether the bridge design is aesthetically pleasing, but not on how many tons of concrete are required to support it. This is not a matter of credentials. You can have knowledge without credentials. But most people have neither. They don’t know how to model the growth of an epidemic. They don’t even know where to look to find the information. And they know that they don’t know this. Yet they don’t seem to think it matters.
The golden mean is probably somewhere in East Asia where the people can vote but recognize that on some issues they should shut up and listen to those who know more than them.