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Oh, I Should “Listen to the Experts”?

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Well, we’d finally managed to go 20 minutes without hearing from Greta Thunberg, but she’s back with a special message.

“Listen to the science,” she says. “Listen to the experts. That not only goes for the Corona crisis, but also all crises, for example, the climate crisis.”

Creep factor: 11.

Science is not a neat set of infallible statements but an ongoing search for the truth. “The Science(TM)” has been all over the place in this crisis: how the virus spreads and doesn’t spread, the role of children (do they transmit the virus to others or not?), whether Sweden’s approach is a good idea (the World Health Organization just praised Sweden’s avoidance of a lockdown as a “model”!), why some countries do so much better than others (the hysterics have ghoulishly rubbed their hands together in anticipation of a Japanese outbreak that never occurred), whether lockdowns even work (the numbers show pretty much no correlation between timing and severity of lockdowns and the health results), and on and on and on.

So I’m supposed to “listen” to that?

And how about those “experts”?

Much of the time we do defer to experts. I have no idea how my car operates, for example. When it needs to be repaired I take it to an expert and pretend to understand what he tells me.

But when the “experts” are obviously blowing smoke, it’s all right to say so.

The foreign policy “experts” gave us the Iraq war and the War on Terror, whose results have been much worse than doing nothing.

The “experts” gave us the monetary policy — supported by Democrats and Republicans alike — that produced the housing bust and the financial crisis of 2008.

Our “experts” in the present crisis are not going to come out of this looking any better.

What’s more, the “experts” aren’t experts in anything other than their own fields, if even there.

When they act as if their concerns should be society’s only or primary concern, they are going beyond their area of expertise. The “experts” are not qualified to judge for us what we should value.

For example, there’s no “class” an epidemiologist takes in college that teaches him how to balance mitigation of a virus against the secondary consequences that will surely follow.

As I’ve written before, we’re now hearing in the UK that there will be more avoidable cancer deaths than COVID-19 deaths because of the irrational diversion of health resources into a surge that never occurred and never will occur.

And a United Nations report warns that hundreds of thousands of children could die from economic hardships caused by all this, and another 42 million to 66 million children could fall into extreme poverty.

“Listen to Dr. Fauci” is so far from being an answer to these concerns that I can’t even have a conversation with people who seem to think it is.

Having conversations in general is tricky these days, isn’t it?

You’re called a murderer for leaving your house, for heaven’s sake.

Ready to meet some normal people with sensible ideas — and who won’t accuse you of murder because you ate in a restaurant?

Come join the normal people in the Tom Woods Show Elite, where I look forward to welcoming you:

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About The Author

Tom Woods

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the 2019 winner of the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award from the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna. He is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and host of The Tom Woods Show, which releases a new episode every weekday. Visit

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