Skip To Content
No Mercy No Malice

Corona Corps + Biden

November 13, 2020

7-min read

Despite a president throwing toys out of his pram and threats to take allegations of voter fraud all the way to The Supreme Courtyard by Marriott, a degree of normalcy is starting to seep in. Biden speaks in a presidential, unifying manner. The third corona wave is underway, registering new records daily. But Biden is already taking Covid more seriously than Trump. The Biden-Harris transition plan includes a Public Health Jobs Corps. It’s similar to an idea for a Corona Corps I proposed in April. 

Oh and … I wrote another book. It hits the shelves 11/24. My dad, who hasn’t read it, says it’s my best yet. You can preorder here. If you’d like a copy but don’t have the cabbage right now … reply to this email and we’ll get you sorted.  

Corona Corps (Published April 2020)

My mom raised me on her own, on a secretary’s salary. Each day she’d wake up at 6:30 so she could be in her car by 7:30 to make the drive downtown to the Southwestern School of Law, where she oversaw the secretarial pool. She had little to no idea what I was up to during the day. I was a mediocre kid (being generous) at a mediocre high school (University High School) in Santa Monica, surrounded by kids who used to steal cocaine from their parents and race their parents’ cars on Sunset Boulevard. Not so much Fast & Furious as Lame & Entitled. Key to my escaping my tumble toward an unremarkable life was my best friend, Brett.

Brett’s defining feature was his faith — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brett, his family, and his church took me in. I played on their sports teams, went to dinners on Monday family nights at the Jarvises, attended dances, and even dated (if you could call it that) some Mormon girls. There was no proselytizing, nobody ever asked me or my mom for anything, or made me feel anything but welcome.

Brett also gave me the sense that I could go to a good college, as he had decided he was going to Stanford. Brett was smarter and harder working than me, but not that much smarter or harder working. After his freshman year at Stanford, similar to his older brother and his dad before that, Brett went on a mission. In his case, to Brussels.

The LDS church has 67,000 full-time missionaries around the world. Most are young people under 25, serving for 18-24 months. They fund their own missions. Most missionaries proselytize, but service hours are required daily. In some parts of the world, they serve purely humanitarian/service missions.

The Peace Corps

In 1951, Representative John F. Kennedy said, “young college graduates would find a full life in bringing technical advice and assistance to the underprivileged” around the world. In that calling, they would “follow the constructive work done by the religious missionaries in these countries over the past 100 years.”

Almost a quarter of a million people, including pro wrestler Chyna and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, have served in 142 countries for the Peace Corps. With the outbreak of corona, all volunteers were evacuated from their posts.

I believe missionaries, Peace Corps volunteers, members of our armed services, and other public service people share an experience that’s key to the repair of our country: service to others that results in empathy and cooperation.

Some of the most important legislation of the 25 years post WWII was shaped by leaders who shared a common bond, larger than their politics or party — they had served their country in uniform. The saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Maybe, but I’m certain there are no progressives or conservatives in foxholes, just survival via the guy/gal next to you. The US is desperate for more leaders who’ve served in foxholes.

Specifically, we need a United States Corona Corps: volunteers 18-22 who will serve in a variety of roles to cauterize the spread of Covid-19.

Our nation’s response to corona has been a deadly mix of arrogance and incompetence. Distinct of the touching moments Americans reflexively manufacture, the hard truth is we have more deaths than China and Italy combined and more infections than much of Western Europe combined. This misery and economic destruction has been levied on our nation despite having more time to prepare for the virus, spending more on healthcare than any nation in the world, and supposedly having the most innovative private sector on the planet.

Stalin said one death is a tragedy, millions of deaths is a statistic. If several hundred Americans had perished due to incompetence and hoarding ventilators for, it would be involuntary manslaughter. But 49,000 deaths and counting is a statistic. Shameful.

The 2020 pandemic will be a stain on our nation’s history. The firewall between the pandemic and a profound change in the American experience is (now) a simple metric: the apex of the relapse. We know, without a vaccine or therapy that can be administered to tens of millions within months (unlikely), the virus will have another wave in late fall. If it comes back bigger and badder, FDR’s fear will be realized: fear itself will gain purchase, and we’ll lose our superpower as a nation … optimism.

The equation for flattening the curve is simple: Testing x Tracing x Isolation = Flattening. On the whole, unless you are a Floridian, Americans have answered the call to take up arms (distancing) against the enemy. Testing is still a sh*tshow, but private-sector leaders (Bezos, Bloomberg) are trying to fill the void of federal incompetence. The missing link may be tracing. We currently have approximately 2,500 tracers who focus mostly on STDs and food-borne illnesses. The amount of time, hours really, between someone coming into contact with the virus and being isolated is paramount. We need 100,000 to 300,000 tracers.

An Army Stands Ready

This fall, 4 million kids are supposed to show up on campuses around the nation. I have 280 kids registered for my fall Brand Strategy class. I don’t believe it’s going to happen. The thought of 280 kids sitting elbow to elbow in a classroom presents our trustees with a challenging scenario.

Covid-19 is pulling back the curtain (via Zoom) revealing a mediocre, yet expensive, jagged pill of learning that had been washed down by a four-year campus experience and certification. Tuition has progressed from extraordinary to risible. Prices need to come down, and a hybrid model of online and offline learning must improve dramatically. A recent survey reports 74% of college students are dissatisfied with online courses, and 1 in 6 incoming freshmen are considering deferment.

Families already halfway toward a degree or farther may tolerate the disruption. But there will be an explosion in the number of parents/kids who consider a gap year between high school and college. Google searches for “gap year” are up 69% since March, and traffic to the Gap Year Association is up 25% year to date.

Gap years should be the norm, not the exception. An increasingly ugly secret of campus life is that a mix of helicopter parenting and social media has rendered many 18-year-olds unfit for college. Parents drop them off at school, where university administrators have become mental health counselors. The structure of the Corona Corps would give kids (and let’s be honest, they are still kids) a chance to marinate and mature. The data supports this. 90% of kids who defer and take a gap year return to college and are more likely to graduate, with better grades. The Corps should be an option for non-college-bound youth as well.

The Corps would be trained in modern handheld technologies that provide facile, crisp communication and organization skills that arrest geometric spread. In addition, Corps members could become apprentices for jobs in key parts of the supply chain we now deem essential (delivery, warehouse workers, etc.). We send young people to the front lines of wars not because they are immune from bullets, but because they are willing, see enlisting as an opportunity, and want to serve something bigger than themselves.

With an ageist Covid-19, the Corps would be a fighting force with powers of defense no other cohort has. The mortality rate among people under 25 infected with corona is low. If they contract the virus, they would then qualify for an immunity badge that would likely, should virus recurrences become a static part of life for the next several years, enhance their utility and earnings power.

After 12-24 months in the Corona Corps, volunteers would receive a financial remission equivalent to 25-100% of tuition, based on household income, at their chosen university, putting higher education within the grasp of more households and reducing what has become an immoral burden on our youth — student debt. The cost, including $30,000/year salary while in the Corps, would be approximately $50 billion. That amounts to 2% of the funds allocated toward Covid-19 stimulus thus far. Put another way, for an additional 2% we can purchase a warranty that significantly reduces the need for another multi-trillion stimulus.

Our current efforts to combat the virus have been a cocktail of incompetence and borrowing trillions from future generations to flatten the curve of wealth erosion among Americans who are already rich. The PPP will go down as one of the most wasteful, even damaging bailouts in American history. We should be protecting people, not jobs. American small businesses were the wolves of the global economy. We’ve turned many of them into bitch poodles waiting at the door for government to come home and feed them.

Capitalism on the way up, and socialism on the way down is cronyism.

Small business owners and their investors are some of the wealthiest people in the country who have grown lethargic on a historic event — an unprecedented 11-year bull market. These firms need to get into fighting shape for what will be a new normal, not the consensual hallucination of a “V” recovery the administration and CNBC have entered into. The bailouts of Lockheed/Chrysler, LTCM, and banks all point to one learning (or lack thereof): the only financial CPR that saves the economy long-term is protecting people, not jobs or companies.

The reason American firms hire faster than any firms in the world is they can fire faster. By tying giveaways to unnatural retention of jobs, we just push unemployment back several months and waste funds that could provide what small business really needs: demand. For the cost of PPP we could provide 55 million US households with $12,000 of stimulus. Instead, we are putting millions in the hands of Shake Shack management, Axios investors, and … Harvard, the richest university in the world.

Greatness is in the agency of others.

Let’s fund a Corona Corps of young people who achieve true greatness for our country, while developing skills, empathy, and grit. 2.7 million people served in Vietnam. 21% of those killed were 21 or younger. Let’s assemble a fighting force of 500,000 18-25-year-olds, best suited to fight this foe, to defeat an enemy that’s taken more lives in 30 days than fell in a decade in Vietnam. We have an army of super-soldiers standing ready. Let’s arm them.

Life is so rich, 

P.S. Develop a language for user-centered product strategy. Check out the Product Strategy Sprint, from Professor Adam Alter. And I’m back on YouTube with a new video every Monday.

73 comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Let’s normalize the data shall we? How about a chart showing % of population infected and dead instead of just numbers. Guess what? The U.S.A is bigger than France, Italy, Spain, etc.

  2. Stephen Burks says:

    Yes. Do it. How can I help.

  3. Bill says:

    I must be missing something, but why are you (Scott) using Covid data in your chart that’s 6 months old? And talking about what will happen on campuses “this Fall”?

  4. joine says:

    Trump could pardon Snowden and release the classified information related to the domestic surveillance program and military drone strike program (forget the name but it had a cool sounding “kill matrix”) but Trump is too stupid to properly smear Biden and Obama before he leaves office……..www.jobztip.com

  5. Richard Goldman says:

    Your vision here is compelling and entirely practical. The only thing it lacks is downside. By that, I mean there is absolutely no apparent risk to putting it into action. Thanks

  6. David Shein says:

    I have 3 sons and while I would hate any of them to serve in combat, National Service changed my life positively for all the reasons you describe above. You learn team work, resilience and importantly you grow up during that time and are far better prepared for college than coming straight from school – I would never have got my degree if not for that Gap Year I the army. Let’s do it!

  7. Joe Daly says:

    Good stuff Scott. The comments section validate the “divide” in our country due to fake news, partisan pandering and spineless politicians whose only objective is to retain power via re-election. I hope everyone will realize that this current situation in the US and global community must be met head on with innovative and forward thinking resolution to overcome the political paralysis we in the US find ourselves. Go Big, Big Dog. I love your commentary and insightful observations. Gangster!

  8. Bruce Terry says:

    Why not bring back the draft with menu options for what type of service? Spent four years in the Air Force. No regrets whatever, and national service would only be two years.

  9. sillycibin says:

    Trumps propaganda corp is in full force here. They try to discredit what is being argued here by criticizing some information for being “misleading” due to some statistical nitpicking while regurgitating absolutely false garbage shoved down their throats by the Trump administration. Seriously, don’t follow up your weak critiques with the absolute lies you made no effort to vet before swallowing.

    • Noel says:

      Yeah, someone must’ve linked to this post on Parler – they’re flocking to troll this one like there’s no tomorrow! Funny how Scott tries to be so un-PC as part of his shtick; yet its his facts and reason that trigger folks the most…

  10. Joe Lambrecht says:

    Enough panic already. Vaccines are near and COVID will be over soon. Kids nearly immune should be in school not wasting a year in yet another spurious government program. Academia is responsible for high student debt. You assail business bailouts but recommend one for academia via student debt reduction. IMO not your best work when you stray from what built your reputation ( business education and entrepreneurship) to become just another hack political commentator.

    • Noel Wade says:

      Joe, your comment reveals that you’ve never dealt with logistics & supply chains. You don’t go from a prototype product to millions of units in far-flung geographic areas overnight (and that’s even *before* dealing with the additional challenges of a product that has to be stored and transported at -100 degrees). Its also obvious that you also haven’t read Scott’s work all that carefully. If you did you’d know about his criticisms of academia. So if you want to accuse someone of being a hack, start by practicing in the mirror.

  11. Clive Wright says:

    This is a genius insight, and a well-developed idea. Many countries have military national service – mainly for the reasons you argue – and, with few exceptions, nothing to do with defence.

  12. Misbah says:

    Good luck taking on the educational complex. There’s too much money tied up in these establishments to give up their prized position at the top of the food chain. Where is the army of lobbyists to bring about this change? Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple could start their own schools, but currently are happy picking the fruit off the trees. The president elect could close down the on shore tax haven in Delaware, but he won’t bite the hand that feeds him.

    • MilesT says:

      There is another proven approach to higher education: structured, well governed and quality controlled part time distance learning (with short bursts of in person experience especially labs where needed). The Open University of the UK has an excellent track record since it was chartered and fostered by a Labour (socialist) government in 1960’s to improve access to higher education, especially in later life. The commitment to achieving a degree on a part time basis is also well respected by employers as it is not an easy option. An additional benefit is lower post degree student debt. The only challenges with OU at the moment are 1/ it is asset light, renting out of season space from other universities for the in-person elements. This could be better solved by sharing and improving senior school/high school facilities. 2/ limited range of courses.

  13. Jay says:

    Scott – you are really smart and you used to be a great analyst before you went so “woke” and anti-Trump with Kara Fisher. your top chart is COMPLETELY MISLEADING and essentially #fakenews because you did not adjust for population size. WTF…seriously you of all people as a PROFESSOR at NYU should know this obvious thing that would get an undergrad a poor grad if this were a paper. The US is about 5.5x the size of Italy for example (rought 325 vs. 60 million). So your chart is completely misleading Italy has a higher Covid-19 outbreak right now than we do (Note: this isn’t a political pro-trump statement at all), this is simply an objective analysis of the data. You are completely putting out MISLEADING DATA AND ANALYSIS….shameful for someon of your knowledge and stature. Can you get back to being a smart analyst and not a “woke” hack.

    • Rolf says:

      I completely agree. I was shocked to see Scott not showing a chart with per capita numbers. I am also under the impression that he has become a woke baby boomer. In his latest podcast with Kara Swisher on Friday, he brought up the “Defund the police” crowd, immediately Kara reprehended him, and he changed topics. I enjoy listening to his podcasts but as soon as he or Kara get into politics, I fast-forward. They have a very black and white view of “Biden is great, Trump is the worst if you don’t support Biden you are misinformed at best or a Nazi at worst.” They come off as condescending and entitled white, wealthy suburbanites. Sad, because he does have interesting takes on business and tech.

    • Noel says:

      @Rolf – Per capita numbers? Hey buddy, a human life is a human life. Losing more or less people as a % of the population doesn’t change the fact that they’re [insert Galloway shout here] F*CKING DEAD! Go tell tell a widow or an orphan that its OK their relative is dead, because our “per-capita” numbers aren’t as bad as it seems. Lemme know how that works out for you.

  14. Randy says:

    I don’t disagree with your idea, but you trash the government for their response to COVID, then say they can save us with another massive bureaucracy, the Covid Corp. Maybe just require a year off before starting any university that take Federal funding. No commission, department, or Corps needed. Young people will self direct.

  15. Nancy says:

    I love this concept. It would be good for everyone in this country to have a model of positive collaboration in dealing with the huge challenges we are facing. What a wonderful opportunity for youth to discover how to be useful to others. I listen to your podcast and would love to read your book.

  16. John Azevedo says:

    Hi Scott, You’re definitely fresh and entertaining but when it comes to politics, please stick to business analysis. When you talk about the military I imagine seeing you as John Wayne overtaking a hill. Maybe check out in person what our military has done in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and indirectly in Gaza, Yemen etc.. Check out some deformed agent orange bodies in Vietnam or physically shattered bodies in Gaza. A voluntary Corona Corps might be nice after we have medicare for all, UBI, a Green New Deal, publicly funded elections and tracing. We already have socialism but it’s socialism for the rich.

    • Randy says:

      What has our military done? Well, compare to our social services. We spent more on the ‘great society’ type programs since 1964 than ALL the spending on wars and defense. For that, the US has not be invaded (save Poncho Villa) since 1814. On the other side, we have Baltimore.

  17. Joe Sr says:

    76 years old and have believed that the key to making this country great is shared experience-at an impressionable age. 2 year service is the way to do it. Your readers agree. I served in the Army a long time ago in not the good war. It was still a melting pot war where you were exposed to a good mix of the base components of the demographics of the country. Not everybody- deferments and influence made for exceptions. They probably still do. But they do not represent the vast majority of the citizenry- who want to preserve this country and make it better-I think. If you will expand your vision to include old volunteers to help with admin and whatever, you will not find the cupboard empty. And our experiences just might rub off a bit. Keep this dialogue going- Scott-err-Professor.

  18. Bob says:

    “The Corps would be trained in modern handheld technologies that provide facile, crisp communication and organization skills that arrest geometric spread.” How? What are the skills that stops the geometric spread? The whole world is listening to you. Can we get a better source of gap year statistics than from a non-profit selling trips for a gap year? (https://yearoutgroup.org/organisation/the-leap/)

  19. Will says:

    I like the Corona Corps idea. Just one question – where do the participants live to prevent spreading it themselves?

  20. Charles Wyman says:

    We need to reinstitute a draft–2 years of national service that can be met in the military, a covid tracking service, a CCC. It will give children a salary, an understanding of personal agency, and experience working with people different from themselves. The success of the US in WW2 and growth of the economy in the 1950’s were a direct result of the national service programs initiated under Roosevelt in the depression.

  21. fledge says:

    There’s nothing the government cannot do. Perhaps service in this Corona Corps can be made mandatory, and then given police powers to enforce the coming lockdown.

  22. Randy says:

    Another good column. But, I am surprised that the cynical one who spent time in the real world actually believes that Joe Biden can lead/do/plan/accomplish anything. He has lived on the fat of the land, both ours and others where he and his family can shake down businesses. So, maybe in the future, any plans, great or small coming out of this administration should be credited to Harris/lobbyists/Pelosi/Hedgefunds and not ol’ Joe. Good riddance to Trump, but please put the same level of scrutiny on Joe. Or, maybe more because the left likes him.

  23. Catherine J says:

    I hope you get a chance to be heard and followed on that…

  24. wally weitz says:

    I like the idea of universal national service (broadly defined–not just covid or military). Every kid should complete by, say, age 25. But as we start the program, why not include the whole population. All those now over 25 could be required to do “something” of service to others, shorter and more flexible duration to avoid hardship, but at least a token effort to join the “kids” so that within a few years, everybody over 25 will have participated.

  25. Will Rankin says:

    This is the first of your emails I’ve received after signing up, and it’s given me a great deal of food for thought. Thanks, really enjoyed reading it!

  26. A. G. Rud says:

    This is an excellent idea, and made the more engaging with your personal story. I took a gap year in the middle of college. I wish I had taken 1-2 years off after HS, but it was the time of Vietnam and gap years were not taken. I went back to the same college, graduated, and went to grad school after another year off. After a few career bumps I landed as a professor at two R1s, and enjoy my work here now at Washington State University, writing up a storm, teaching, and enjoying mentoring younger colleagues. I loved your talk at the ASU REMOTE conference this past summer.

  27. Andrew says:

    Love this idea…let’s do something impactful with the stimulus money, that improves our situation. When we went to war in the past, we diverted resources to the ware effort…we need to flex that muscle again and divert resources to fighting critical issues!!!

  28. Mike says:

    Can we all agree with it coming up to festive period that we focus on the most important things, Prof G has a new book out just in time for my festive 2 weeks off, sweet!

  29. Stephen McGee says:

    Can you get this directly to Biden somehow?

  30. Georgia says:

    BRILLIANT, as usual Prof. G. Where were you when I was 20 something. Now I’m 60 something and I want in on the CC. Where do I sign up?

  31. Joel Gardner says:

    Brilliant. When and why did we abandon “what you can do for your country”? Into the 1960s there was even a medical equivalent of the Peace Corps that sent doctors to places with inadequate coverage. I had two gap years, although they were called freshman and sophomore. It wasn’t until my Junior Year Abroad experience in Paris that I learned how to learn, and I wish that had been my first year and not my third. I have to chide you, though. Uni High is in West L.A., not Santa Monica, and you know it. Had my parents settled on the West Side instead of in the Valley when they moved in the 1950s, I would have gone there, and at the time it was arguably the best public school in the city. My schoolmates would have included Randy Newman and Jan and Dean, for what that’s worth.

  32. Frederic Dominioni says:

    Scott nailed it once more! Couldn’t agree more on recruiting our youth and affording them the biggest gift life can bring! Giving and saving lives while opening their eyes and shaking their beliefs! Sign me up …well my 17 year old son actually! In term of college tuition, there is no doubt that the domino effect is in motion…tuition will have to drop dramatically…Health care and Education have been celebrated scams for way too long in these United States! But even these institutions won’t make it post covid! Keep it up Scotty!!

  33. Ed says:

    Be careful what you wish for Scott… a spot in the Biden Administration may not be the vindication you need!

  34. Mitchell Smith says:

    You had me…right up until your “immunity badge” suggestion. There is no proof of permanent immunity; if there is any acquired immunity, it lasts only a few months. The kidney, heart, lung, and brain damage that this disease can cause are so severe that we should not be marching our young into a wood chipper just to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The only way out of this is for everyone to stay home for two to three months. No vaccine will save us, no acquired immunity will save us. We have to make the tough decision to sacrifice in the short-term to save ourselves.

  35. Mark Alan Effinger says:

    (It’s not SaMo High, where jackson Browne spends a few nights a year… but it’ll do). Definite agreement on the Gap year issue. I’ve spent more time with Fresh/Soph university students who are still fumbling with their future… while paying for it at retail. Plus, imagine the graduating classes of the Corona Corps, and the advanced mindset it could bring. Doing Well by Doing Good. I don’t agree with everything you share, Scott. But I do love the Dawg’s mindset. And dude, you definitely ignite your guests. Merv Griffin and Charlie Rose would approve. (My team at WebNutrients.com is with you, Dawg).

  36. Alex says:

    Good job spreading lies and ruining your business mate. Try to keep your political opinions to yourself next time around. Unsubscribed.

    • Tim McCormack says:

      The Nutty Professor has completely lost the plot

    • Marc says:

      @Tim McCormack DITTO

    • Jay says:

      @Marc Can all 3 of you unsubscribe? You are all 3 idiots

    • Marc says:

      Jay, seems to me you are the personification of the post-Obama Left: no debate. No opposing views tolerated. Doubt the mantra and get censored, de-monetized, shadow banned/fully banned or maybe doxed. Refuse to raise your fist with the mob and have your dinner thrown on your lap(or worse). Hell, the truly faithfu(AOC, CNN, others) openly call for retribution lists for non-believers. And your side has the nerve to call US nazis!

  37. Doug says:

    Keep spreading that disinformation Scott. Soon the dems will not be able to blame their miserable lives on Trump. They will own each death that happens after Jan 21st right? Or will the anti vaccine party be to blame when no one gets the damn thing.

    • Mark says:

      Until 1/21/2021, here are the facts… * The US is 4% of the world’s population * Our virus deaths are 20% of the world’s deaths * This means the world’s death rate 1/5 of ours * 4/5 of 240K deaths are due to mismanagement * Trump is responsible for 192K American deaths Hopefully this simple grammar school math will overcome the alternate facts we have been fed for almost one year.

    • Marc says:

      @Mark Oh please. Seems you’re using grammar school logic to extrapolate your point.You failed to compensate for: -Hospitals being handsomely compensated for naming COVID as cause of death. -The amount Americans travel. -Dense population centers have higher rates. -Higher comorbidity rates in our various races, aged and overweight population. -Those governors who declared elder care facilities must admit COVID positive patients account for an inordinate percentage of the deaths. -China and other countries greatly downplay their death rates while Trump hating profs and NYT inflate ours.

    • Marc says:

      I forgot to mention a few other points: -Pelosi receives the same intelligence briefings as the VP & president. They were ALL mislead by the WHO(who covered for China even though we paid the lion’s share of its budget and why I wholeheartedly agree we should’ve pulled out. They’re another UN grifter group) but it was Pelosi,AOC and deblasio who, in typical Resistance fashion, said “come to Chinatown”, “Trump is racist”, etc for his China travel ban yet he’s now criticized for not doing it sooner. -It was Fauci and Birx who said 2.4MM would die. -Lastly, nobody knew crap about this virus because China didn’t share/hid/ hides info. BUT they knew it was nasty enough to keep Wuhan isolated from the rest of their country but didn’t have the same regard for the remainder of the world. Accident or did they use it to weaken their competition? Hint: Kumbaya is not something heard in Communist China.

  38. Tom says:

    Watch it on Florida. People in Florida, for the most part, are voluntarily social distancing and wearing masks. So unless you have been here recently, your sanctimony should be reserved.

  39. Frank Russell says:

    This is a pretty sophomoric analysis. First, “infections” are high in the US because we test at a significantly higher rate than do other countries. Second, we know from the CDC that deaths purely from Covid (and, notably, flu) are less than 6% of the total reported deaths. Third, the median age of deaths with Covid is 78. Life expectancy is 78.8. So spare us the hyperbole. This is not a “stain on our history”. The stain on our history is the asinine and ineffectual lockdowns that have caused more collateral damage than Covid has.

  40. david littauer says:

    Send to Bidens team Future of togetherness and kindness can heal our Nation

  41. Greg says:

    I feel you are confusing what American small businesses actually are. Steve’s Pizza is not the same as Dominos. Protecting jobs( income/PPP) protects normalcy no? . Agreed on Cronyism. I detest hypocrisy.

  42. Mark Lemon says:

    Something every thinking person knows is that once you achieve a certain level of comfort, helping others is more emotionally rewarding than helping yourself.

  43. Kathy Barkulis says:

    Your thesis falls apart when you look at the hardest hit states and see that they had the strictest lockdowns. Sending young people on a gap year to do contact tracing would be nice except they’re the ones violating guidelines the most. I don’t see 65 year olds protesting, rioting, looting, and celebrating election wins like it’s 1999. The 65 year olds aren’t packing shoulder to shoulder in bars, restaurants and house parties. It’s the gap year kids doing that. And they’re going home to their parents and grandparents. I get that you want to pay them for doing it, but I don’t see much altruism or responsibility from that group.

  44. Joanna Bujes says:

    And not one word here about socialized medicine. Not one.

  45. Mitali says:

    I agree, believe and feel excited by the idea. There is so much richness in building a feat of thought leaders whose foundation is in giving v/s receiving. If I had a kid that age, thats what I’d be doing right now.

  46. So Predictable says:

    While I have been calling for a mandatory year of public service for decades, I do wonder what exactly you want these front line workers to be doing? Join Lori Lightfoot’s Turkey Trot to make sure there are no social gatherings without prior approval? To assist Serial Killer Cuomo to monitor Staten Island social clubs and Brooklyn Jewish enclaves to prevent spontaneous mingling of more than six people? What kid from Santa Monica uses the word “pram” anyways? And how does a 78-year-old career grifter in clear cognitive decline speak in a “presidential, unifying manner” while his underlings create lists of people to cancel, rush to adopt the failed policies of his former boss who just won’t go away, and jockey for the most influential position of his sure-to-fail administration. Life, indeed, is rich, but your schtick is getting so predictable. Be better!

    • Dave says:

      Get a life man..go take your right wing conspiracy theories and start your own blog. Scott I love what you write and most educated, thoughtful, caring people do too. Please do your best to not pay attention to morons like this. Never forget..This dude reads your blog. Nobody reads his.

    • Frank Russell says:

      @Dave Wow, what a coherent and cogent rebuttal. Sigh.

    • So Predictable says:

      @Dave I’m sorry, Dave, what conspiracy theories do you claim I am supporting? Scott’s blog is occasionally entertaining, but more so revealing of the elitist coastal mindsets that deign to decide the proper course of action for us uneducated, thoughtless, cold people that don’t think like Scott. I’ll match my intellect and degrees any day with state-school Scott or you, Dave.

    • Doug says:

      @Dave did you sign up for Scott’s seminars? You too can solve the worlds problems for $1,500 a lesson. Or you can go around trolling the comment boards…

    • Neil says:

      @Dave For Haters: Why are you here? This might be a bit too pro-people for you.Try the blog coming on Jan21 with Kaleigh/KellyAnne.

    • Mark J Lewis says:

      Be better! Ha, that’s hilarious. Shall we Infrastructure Week next? And pretty damn hypocritical given your whole QAnon diatribe of lies in your note. Take your own advice before you start handing it out…