Why You Should Pay Attention to the Nice, Natural Experiments People Are Doing W/ the Coronavirus

When I interviewed the late, great Milton Friedman, that legendary economist used a phrase that still sticks with me more than 15 years later. We were talking about the then relatively new Euro and whether it was a good idea or not and he said:

So we’ll have a really nice, natural experiment just as before the Soviet Union dissolved, we had a natural experiment comparing socialism and capitalism.

In other words, we can talk theoretically about this all day long, but we’re really going to learn more from what happens in the real world.

We’re seeing this unfold in real-time with the Coronavirus. Infectious disease experts that have forgotten more about viruses than people like us will ever know have frequently gotten things wrong. Every last model built by experts that predicts what will happen with the Coronavirus has either been so broad as to be meaningless or so far off that it’s obviously worthless.