Despite the fact that lockdowns do enormous amounts of economic damage, they’ve proven to be almost completely ineffective at stopping the coronavirus. One of the governors that understood this early on was South Dakota’s Kristi Noem. Noem was savagely criticized by liberals that pointed to the tiny state’s high rate of infection as evidence that she needed to shut everything down. However the state has only had a grand total of 1488 coronavirus-related deaths and yesterday, they had a mere 444 new cases. Meanwhile, unlike many liberal states that aggressively shut down their businesses, South Dakota’s economy hasn’t been decimated this year.

The national unemployment rate is 6.7% and states like New York and California that have heavily relied on lockdowns to control the coronavirus have unemployment rates over 8%. As you may have heard, people and businesses are fleeing both of those states. So, how is South Dakota doing on that front? It looks like they’re doing pretty well.

Those weren’t the only good things happening in South Dakota either.

 

How much of the economic misery we’ve seen this year was caused by the coronavirus and how much of it was actually caused by the overreaction of state governments to the coronavirus? South Dakota’s experience suggests most of the economic damage we saw this year was self-inflicted. That doesn’t mean the coronavirus isn’t serious and it doesn’t mean that we all shouldn’t take steps to avoid getting it. However, is it worth economically crushing a lot of small businesses and impoverishing so many people for lockdowns that don’t even seem to work? Some of us were asking that question months ago and South Dakota’s experience seems to suggest that we were on the right track.

 

 

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