Wisconsin Wants Bars Not Safety After Lockdown Struck Down

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The Wisconsin State Supreme Court struck down the lockdown rules – to the intense irritation of the State’s Governor, Tony Evers. At which point the population headed out to the bars to celebrate that lifting of the state’s – and the Governor’s – power over them.

Or, there’s a different way to think about this. Which is to do that old economists’ trick of insisting that revealed preferences are more important than expressed. No one is going to say that a beer – even in pleasant company – is more important than Grandmother’s health. So, expressed preferences are that the lockdown should continue for there is nothing more important to us all than the lives of our Senior Citizens. Then we can watch what people actually do which is that Granny gets trampled in the rush to hoist a foaming:

So much for solid citizenship then.

After the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order, which immediately lifted restrictions on businesses and gatherings, some bars opened their doors (and taps) Wednesday night as patrons began trickling out.

The ruling applied to Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide order to lock down Wisconsin amid the public health emergency of the coronavirus pandemic. Evers intended to keep the order in place until May 26.

Yet while we can all make jokes about this there is the nub of an important point here. Who rules?

Instead, as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) knew, they were just celebrating the apparent end of his power over them — at least for now.

There are various ways of running a country after all. For most of history it was that everyone damn well did whatever the bloke who’d slaughtered his way to the top said. And if you didn’t well, welcome to his method of getting to the top.

However, these days, we’re a democracy. That means we hire a few people to do society’s scut work for us. Plan who takes out the garbage, who gets to sit in a foxhole when the Canadians invade. The rest of us are thus able to enjoy the maximal freedom to get on with our lives as we see fit. This is the point of the system.

Which is where that revealed and expressed preference distinction is so important. What we truly want is revealed by what we do, not what we say. Thus politics isn’t the way to determine what we may not do, despite that obvious difficulty around that democracy thing.

The people in Wisconsin – or to be more accurate, some number of them – desire to be able to go have a beer. The job of the Governor there is to ensure that they can, not to ban them from doing so. You know, this is indeed a democracy, the point of which is that people gain more of what they want. And, as we can see, they want a drink.

And, after winter in Wisconsin, who can blame them?

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Charlesjohn77SpikePatBloke in North Dorset Recent comment authors
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Bongo
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Bongo

And granny can ban them from visiting, getting the benefit of her wisdom and baking, and cut them out of her will. Her inheritance can be given lock down Greeks. If she wants to. Freedom has a way of working these things through.

Lutz
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Lutz

The point is more that Granny needs protection and the rest of us can get on with life.

TD
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TD

It’s a nice little split on the role of government. One side says they’re hired to do the scut work. The other side wants to be ruled by them.

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

This idea that we have to collectively protect granny is another sign of the infantilisation of society.

When we were kids we wen’t allowed to visit elderly relatives if we had coughs and colds. That also included anyone in care homes.

Thirty years ago we used to regularly drive past one of my wife’s favourite aunts and drop in to see her unless any of us had a cough or cold.

Pat
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Pat

They might not care about granny.
More likely their assessment of the risks and the right way to mitigate them differs from the governors.

Spike
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Spike

Enjoy your night out! but the governor will be avenged. The notorious old barber in Michigan got his license pulled. The pub owner from Maine whom Tucker Carlson interviewed on Fox lost his “health” license – for his remarks, as he had not yet reopened. A state supreme court decision may recognize your liberty, but you don’t have it, not while the states remain free to turn Presumption of Innocence and Due Process on their heads by imposing prior restraint on businesses as trivial as cosmetology in the absence of a problem.

john77
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john77

One of my grandmothers died more than a decade before I was born, the other died more than forty years ago. So I am looking at the *risk* to the health of *someone else’s* Granny – and that is what most people in Wisconsin are doing. I try to act responsibly to minimise the risk to vulnerable individuals, but when a young lady ran past me on the pavement on my way home from my walk this morning I didn’t jump into the road to maintain a 2 metre distance as there were cars that could have killed me –… Read more »

Charles
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Charles

You have oversimplified the situation and got something wrong. Firstly, “You know, this is indeed a democracy, the point of which is that people gain more of what they want.”. No that’s not democracy. Deomocracy is people getting what they ask for, with it being their own fault if that’s not what they want. Next, you must surely be aware of effects such as the tragedy of the commons. A Wisconcin citizen may be very much in favour of lockdown, yet still go out for a beer if it is overturned. Why should they pay the (sometimes very heavy) price… Read more »