Select Page

Masks In America: “Buffalo’d Into A Very Binary Way Of Thinking”

Masks In America: “Buffalo’d Into A Very Binary Way Of Thinking”

Authored by Daniel Klein via The American Institute for Economic Research,

In response to my piece on Masks in Sweden, I received the following fascinating note, by James Cooper, reproduced with his permission, which compares the attitude in Sweden with that in the United States. I think readers will find this very interesting.

[emphasis ours]

Dr. Klein,

Thank you for your recent article on Sweden’s response to COVID-19. I would just like to add my thoughts to the ongoing public discussion. I am an American living in Stockholm. I have been living here for 17 years and am fluent in Swedish. I am from Northern Virginia. 

Regarding this article, I will just point out that the American people have been buffalo’d into a very binary way of thinking – there are only two possibilities when dealing with COVID-19 – complete lockdown or nothing at all. This is also referred to as TINA (There Is No Alternative).

For many of my American family and friends, they find it difficult to understand that there are many possibilities in between the two extremes. In fact, a more nuanced approach not only makes more sense, but is more sustainable. That is precisely what the Swedish approach is all about.

If you look at the numbers, you will see that there is negligible risk to those aged 4-50 years old. This group also happens to represent the most economically productive group in society as well as the group that spends the most money. So why shut them down?

The response I get from my family and friends is that they must be shut down because otherwise people will die. This is an emotion based argument. 

The reality is that in Sweden all at-risk people have been asked to self quarantine. If they do that, how will their lives be threatened by allowing the under-50 crowd to go out, with some social distancing guidelines? 

Keep in mind that if you live with an at risk person, or you are a primary caregiver for an at risk person, then (in Sweden), you are expected to self quarantine; or at least go to extreme social distancing. 

I myself had some concerns about whether I was in the risk group, and I took the precaution of keeping my kids home from school until such time as I could get a more definitive answer from my doctor. My kids’ school fully supported me in this approach. 

So, I go back to my American family and friends and ask, how can allowing the under-50 crowd out with social distancing put the at risk population in danger? Yes, it requires people to take personal responsibility and to actively work to protect those at risk. And, assuming this is followed, then those at risk can be expected to be reasonably protected.

Why did they have a complete lockdown in the U.S. in the first place? We were told that it was meant to flatten the curve so that the hospitals have a chance to deal with the patient loads. Mass lockdown simply pushes the problem out in time, to be dealt with later. Yes, over the next 18 months, at risk people will get the virus and there will be many that die. This is in large part unavoidable. I suspect that in the end we will see similar numbers within a range across all Western countries. This will play out over 12+ months. 

If we can accept that statement, then we would need to admire Sweden for taking an approach that does not further burden its economy, does not destroy people’s God given right to freedom, while also working to protect those at risk, and augmenting immunity.

Americans have been Buffalo’d into TINA (“There Is No Alternative”). The reality is that there are a wide range of responses and one size does not fit all. There are sophisticated approaches that can be deployed which do not necessitate the destruction of our economy and the financial decimation of people and their families.  

What NYC does should not necessarily be followed in Iowa. Iowa might look more like Sweden and NYC more like Helsinki. 

All of the criticism and “hate” directed at Sweden is emotional and not following evidence based science. One wonders why people are reacting the way they are. 

And now we see the partisan politics exposed between #LockdownDeniers and the #HealthBeforeWealth fantasists.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 05/07/2020 – 23:05

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Zero Hedge. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge's mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information's unending quest for freedom. Visit

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub


Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!