Article from July 8th examining the results of Sweden’s decision to rely on citizens to police themselves and avoid lockdowns:
The result? Little to show in terms of minimizing economic damage to offset their increase in Swedish deaths:
“They literally gained nothing,” said Jacob F. Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It’s a self-inflicted wound, and they have no economic gains.”
Sweden’s experience suggests that the binary choice of saving lives vs saving the economy is a false one.
Here is the main takeaway:
Sweden is exposed to the vagaries of global trade. Once the pandemic was unleashed, it was certain to suffer the economic consequences, said Kirkegaard, the economist.
“The Swedish manufacturing sector shut down when everyone else shut down because of the supply chain situation,” he said. “This was entirely predictable.”
What remained in the government’s sphere of influence was how many people would die.
With 130,000 American dead and confirmed cases spiking in multiple states, it is likely too late to mitigate the loss of life in states that re-opened prematurely. And, most likely, The United States is just as subject to those same global trade vagaries. In other words - there will be no discernible benefit to our economy, but government officials had a chance to save American lives by stressing the seriousness of the pandemic, promoting personal responsibility in adhering to CDC protocols (and demonstrating them in their personal behavior), and locking down properly the first time.