Words & Numbers


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Insightful weekly commentary on news & current events from economist Antony Davies and political scientist James R. Harrigan.

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Viewing the World Through Panic-Tinted Glasses

April 22, 2020

In times of crisis, humans develop a dangerous, asymmetric view of events. We readily see the damage the crisis causes, but we don’t readily see the potential damage that proposed solutions can cause. And when information is uncertain, we tend to believe the worst about the crisis while tending to believe the best about proposed solutions. There is mounting evidence that this is playing out right now with the decision to shut down the economy in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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