America has very high standards
By Scott Sumner
In recent weeks, community transmission of Covid-19 in a number of East Asian countries has fallen to very low levels, virtually zero in some cases. Meanwhile, the US records 20,000 to 30,000 new cases every single day. That suggests a travel ban might be appropriate, preventing Americans from visiting East Asia. But what about a travel ban on visitors to America from East Asia? That would be more than pointless, almost a gratuitous insult. But then the desire to show good manners has never stopped the US government from acting like a jerk:
Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said that it was “too hard to tell” if the US will loosen international travel restrictions affecting Asia and Europe this year, even as measures limiting domestic economic activity are lifted.
Perhaps the following analogy would help to drive home the point. Consider the guy who lives in this filthy place:
Now suppose the owner of that house remarked to you that he didn’t want Marie Kondo visiting his place because she was too messy; she might track in dirt:
Yes, I’m exaggerating, but not all that much. Sometime you need to use an extreme example to drive home the actual insanity of government policies. These policy directives are issued by very serious, sober people like Steve Mnuchin, dressed in business suits. They represent the awesome power of the federal government. It’s natural to want to show some deference to top US policymakers. And we always need to keep in mind “Chesterton’s fence“.
Nonetheless, there are policies that are so crazy, so offensive, that it’s difficult for me to hold back. This is one of them.
America needs to look in the mirror.
PS. Mnuchin added:
But this is a great time for people to explore America.
Actually, it’s a dangerous time to explore America; it’s a great time to explore East Asia (if you can get in.)