Lockdowns did more harm than good

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Many people are suspicious about CBAs, which they think are created by ‘money-minded’ economists who put a ‘value’ on life – something people believe is an impossibility. And indeed, the life of our family members and our friends, cannot be valued on any known metric. We don’t have an infinite bucket of money to spend on a single thing, such as Covid. We need a way to equalise across all sectors the wellbeing we purchase from our tax dollars, lest we spend it disproportionately on a single thing to the detriment of everything else.

Bentham’s utilitarianism seemed best placed to do so, by ranking everyone’s happiness and wellbeing the same. Today, large-scale ‘Life Satisfaction’ surveys assess how happy people are. In 1968, the idea arose of splitting life into the number of years of happiness available. A quality-adjusted life year combines the length of life and quality of life into a single number.

The University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell observed in relation to Covid that, ‘Decision-makers must consider the role of QALY. In simple terms, it assumes that a life near its end, whether because of disease or advanced age, is empirically different to a healthy life closer to its beginning. Proposed by Paul Frijters, a WELLBY captures the kinds of harms to human wellbeing that are difficult to capture in traditional ways. Reduction in educational inputs has a long-term impact on the future earning capacity of students to purchase wellbeing.

We can convert this loss of earning capacity into reduced ability to purchase wellbeing. Prior to March 2020, there was bipartisan support from both major parties for such policy analysis. I have no doubt that such information would have confirmed that lockdowns – which are taken straight from communist China’s playbook – are a harmful policy that must never be adopted in Australia. Australia’s Covid policy response has been driven entirely by primal fear and hysteria, with reason playing no role.

Its highlights are

Once we consider the fact that Covid kills mainly the elderly, its effective lethality is even less. Lockdowns have prevented a maximum of around 10,000 Covid deaths during 2020-21 in Australia, not the 40,000 lives Mr Morrison claims to have saved. There were at least 7,940 additional non-Covid deaths from lockdowns in the first two years of the pandemic . Every policy-driven harm that reduces our lifespan or earning power, every harm to our children, and every harm through reduced capacity of the government to buy wellbeing is added up in the CBA.

Gigi Foster estimates that the harms from lockdowns exceed any benefits by at least thirty-six times.

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Source:SANJEEV SABHLOK | SPECTATOR.COM

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