Skip To Content
No Mercy No Malice

United States Corona Corps

April 24, 2020

7-min read

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 170 kids registered for my fall Brand Strategy class. I don’t believe it’s going to happen. The thought of 170 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. On this week’s Prof G Show, I spoke to Senator Michael Bennet about how we keep borrowing from future generations to protect corporations and fight endless wars. Also this week, catch yours truly in the mini-docu series VICE on Showtime, Sunday at 8, or stream at your leisure.

145 comments

  1. bernard Vogel says:

    So what happened with Brett ? You didnt finish that part of the story?

  2. William Hunnell says:

    First time reader. I certainly do agree with your intentions. This should be pretty easy to implement as the structure is already present through AmeriCorps Vista programs. I could foresee siphoning off the Peace Corps as well given all the travel restrictions. The competition for talent would seemingly be nil until travel opens up completely. After that, all bets are off.

    • Lincoln, not Abe says:

      When I was interested in the Peace Corps, I was told I needed a Bachelor’s Degree. And once I had the required degree, I’d have to ditch my two kids. How many solos without educational debt or related appendages can ‘afford’ the Peace Corps?

  3. Mark Wiggins says:

    I’m a first time reader Scott, and I absolutely agree with what you say and propose, as most “developed” nations are in a similar position in the sense of entitlement and “only I matter”! Communities are not a collection of individuals but groups of individuals looking out for and after each other with no thought of recompense.

  4. Alex says:

    Great article! Only one observation, in your chart, “COVID-19 Death and Infections, By Country”, I don’t believe any stats for China or Iran. China, especially, skews its health and economic statistics in order to appear that its regime is doing well.

  5. Erin says:

    I agree with your criticism of PPP loans – I know multiple people who got them and are working out how to fraudulently claim they have real payroll employees while they fritter away their loan money on bullshit. However, your suggestion of creating a Corona Corps makes little sense. What are these people supposed to actually do? You mentioned “training” in essential services like working in delivery warehouses. Are you actually suggesting that we take the handful of jobs that do still exist right now for low wage workers, remove the people working in them by offering Amazon free labor, and replace them with tax-funded “volunteers”? The only reason I might support this is if we start with the rich kids – maybe it will teach them what it actually means to work at the bottom. I fail to see what skills these kids would gain in such positions. We lack people who can provide skilled carework for the elderly, sick and children – but for most such positions the training would take so long that a one year volunteer role would be economically inefficient and potentially dangerous for those being cared for. It would likely also eliminate paid positions because what nursing home wouldn’t prefer to claim they can’t find people to hire and pay in order to just get “free” volunteers. Germany used to offer exactly this sort of program as an option for young men who preferred it over previously mandatory military service and for young women who wanted the year of semi-paid work experience after high school. The program ended a few years ago precisely because it was found to interfere with hiring for paid positions and because the training was usually insufficient. Take a look at that case study anyone who wants to actually think this suggestion through. My preference would be to have people do jobs that we are not otherwise paying people to do through the market – why the hell should I pay taxes to give Bezos free warehouse workers or for Ubereats to get free drivers when we could, like during the New Deal, be paying people to repair infrastructure or – my imagination is really going wild here – idk, prepare us even a little bit for climate change. This article sounds nice but it lacks substance and seems to be suggesting that we turn our young into Amazon slaves under the auspices of patriotism. I’m sure the baby boomers will vote for it though..

  6. GeorgeH says:

    My wife and I met in the Peace Corps. Our first kid was recently evacuated from the Peace Corps 20 or so years after being made in our “shithole” country of servie. There have been so many disappointments, tragedies and “statistics” (to co-opt Comrade Stalin) as result of this evil, stupid disease. Some are quite obvious: lack of political will to solve a short-term existential crisis. Others are less obvious: when my kid (and thousands of other PCVs) was evacuated from his “shithole” country, the Peace Corps and US Government ignored these idealistic souls once they landed back in the US. They had an opportunity to leverage this mostly young, energetic corps of humans for good. Instead they said “good luck” now go get a crappy job before your readjustment allowance runs out. Our country needs cohesion, vision and some confidence if we are ever going to recover. Thanks Prof. G for your big bright mind.

  7. Christopher Hougland says:

    “Consensual hallucination” is the most apt description I’ve yet seen for the USA in 2020

  8. Kevin Ryan says:

    Yes a good idea and another side-effect – if it was compulsory for all 18-20 year olds – would be to redress some of the social disjunction between rich and poor that has resulted from the growth in inequality.

  9. Juan Carlos Wandemberg says:

    We need Blockchain technology to make it happen!

  10. Christine Niwa says:

    A more appropriate example than the Peace Corps is Americorps which is alive and well (?) and could be made to include Covid related issues.

  11. Jessica Lukas says:

    Really like this. Check out outercoast.org for more on alternative forms of higher ed.

  12. John O’Sullivan says:

    Great idea how do we make it real?

  13. mb says:

    No other country is better poised to manage this pandemic better than ours (no “American exceptionalism” here); unfortunately, party politics got in the way. While I would love to be optimistic about our prospects here, but if we can’t as much as agree on basic facts about the pandemic, I don’t expect us to seriously consider potential solutions (including the ones you propose). On a different -but related- note, let’s not compare corona death statistics between countries! What if we are “better” than China in this regard? Does that make the total dead in the USA (99,738 as of this writing) or other countries somehow acceptable? When has human life become cheaper by the dozen?

  14. Greg Flakus says:

    Really good article

  15. Beth Sauer says:

    I wish a gap year had been a choice when I graduated from high school. I would also point out that the Quaker religion has always embraced community service as part of its practice.

  16. Patrick Bender says:

    If anyone reading this wants to join a corona corps, I set up a website for people to sign up. jointhecoronacorps.org

  17. Tanawat Wansom says:

    Dear Prof. Galloway, I have always been a fan of your channel and, more importantly, you wisdom. I am in support of the Corona Corp concept you have outlined. I believe it has to be done not just in the US, but as a global initiative. Therefore, I am wondering how to get it started. I am living overseas in Southeast Asia and travel withing Asia-Pacific’s key ciites quite constantly. So if there is a way to officially link what you are trying to start in the US with this part of the world, I would be interested to get involved. Please kindly let me know. Thank you, Tanawat W.

  18. Yoel Ben-Avraham says:

    Fascinating thesis. Israel already has something that meets a lot of the criteria you described. It’s called National Service. Intended as a non-military alternative to our mandatory military service.

  19. Simon says:

    “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.” The American warmongering language here is EXTREMELY strong, and kind of offensive. When I hear Trump talking about the virus, he talks about it as though it’s a war. Because (and perhaps he’s right), he thinks that the only thing Americans understand is war. That’s the only kind of effort they understand. And by rebranding the disease as an “enemy”, and the pandemic as a “war”, he makes Americans feel more confident, because Americans sleep through wars and conflicts all the time. Do you remember our war with Al-Queda? With ISIS? I don’t, either. We didn’t care. We fight wars all the time. I don’t understand what he’s talking about, but he’s almost there. He’s really so close to getting it. He mentioned that the bailout package stole millions from future generations. All he’s doing is suggesting a different kind of bailout — one in which the younger generations must sacrifice their lives, so those octogenarian, nepotistic dukes and lords in the Senate and corporate board rooms they dine with can go on making money the way they have. I think a Corona Corps would be a good idea if we were already on top of the situation, but we’re not. My feeling is that our sole focus should be the creation of socialized medicine. Everything else is a waste of time, at this point. Everything else is willful negligence of the public health. How do you feel about that? I’m wary, and tired of rebranding to avoid fixing the real problem, which is a lack of social assistance programs for people.

    • mb says:

      I agree with the healthcare for all proposal (my choice of word) because “socialized medicine” distracts and invites unsolicited noise. Having said that Prof. G’s “household stimulus” is a form of “ social assistance programs for people.” Of course no proposal is fail proof, but I tend to prefer to put the money in the hands of the people who need it (during a crisis situation) to make sure they can feed their families, pay rent and stay afloat. Giving subsidies to business may have some “Trickle down” effect, but most of it won’t make its way to the struggling families. To be cont.

  20. TH says:

    Love the idea, Brits got to it first. And get a real blog platform. Reading comments without formatting is painful.

  21. Patricia Knobel says:

    Do you really believe we have more deaths than China or maybe they lied? Love Corona Corps. Ready to send Spencer anytime.😊

  22. Darrel O'Pry says:

    I don’t disagree with your core point. I love the Covid Corps concept. Your usage of total deaths by country as an illustration of performance is misleading. If you look at deaths as a proportion of population the ranking is the following. Country Population Deaths Death Rate Spain 46940000 24543 0.0523% Italy 60630000 27682 0.0457% UK 66650000 26097 0.0392% France 66990000 24087 0.0360% US 328200000 61570 0.0188% Germany 83020000 6467 0.0078% Iran 81800000 5957 0.0073% Turkey 82000000 3081 0.0038% China 1393000000 4643 0.0003% From a view of total death as proportion or population, the US isn’t underperforming Italy and China combined. If we look at Death rate as a proportion of infection rate the story isn’t as bad either. Country Death Infection D/I France 0.0360% 0.1911% 18.82% UK 0.0392% 0.2476% 15.82% Italy 0.0457% 0.3365% 13.57% Spain 0.0523% 0.4538% 11.52% Iran 0.0073% 0.1145% 6.36% US 0.0188% 0.3260% 5.75% China 0.0003% 0.0061% 5.50% Germany 0.0078% 0.1951% 3.99% Turkey 0.0038% 0.1439% 2.61% The US is only trailing China by a .25 points. France, UK, Italy, Spain though… not looking so good. There is the question of the accuracy of the numbers provided by China and other states that are known to be less than transparent. And the accuracy of current tests and total test coverage. Until there is a vaccine there is only one path to herd immunity… all of us getting COVID-19. Infection rates aren’t as important as death rates. For natural herd immunity, we want to reach a high infection/exposure rate, IIRC it’s like 60-80%. The question is whether the health care system provides people the support required to give them the best chance of survival. The scary number here is that we’re looking at losing 5.75% of 60% of the US population to achieve some semblance of herd immunity naturally… given our current numbers. The outlook for France, UK, Italy, Spain… countries whose infection rates exceed the capacity of there healthcare systems is tragic. Currently, Spain has the highest exposure rate… .45%, meaning it’s really early to understand how this will evolve as it spreads and as we find improved ways of managing it. We have a long road to achieve a natural herd immunity without a vaccine given these early indicators. I think there will be a lot of time to assemble a COVID-19 corps and for foxhole camaraderie to evolve.

  23. Jeff says:

    Scott- love this idea. You like to virtue signal and name drop all of the important people you know like your guest Senator Bennet. You also have a solid disdain for the crew at Facebook. Could your Corona Corps be the one place where the government with someone like Senator Bennet or even someone like Bernie leading the charge and big tech like Facebook- lock hands and get something like this done? Government provides the funding and big tech provides the tech and recruiting of the 18-25 year olds via the platforms that although weaponized by some can also do some good? Also- aside from this well thought out post- how do we really make this happen? What are the steps to fund and launch this brand/startup?

  24. Jennifer M says:

    Hi Scott, huge fan of yours! Thanks for putting these ideas out there. I agree with most of what you are saying although I don’t know how “ageist” the disease really is. As a parent of a 17 year old who has ASD, I am hopeful that opportunities such as a Corona Corps will emerge as an equalizing force for individuals who have a strong work ethic, a desire to be of service and make an impact but who lack the “ability privilege” that neurologically typical young adults take for granted and which grants them access to places that would never consider my child. I could see what you are proposing as a win-win-win for society, the workforce, and individuals with different abilities/neurological differences. All young people nowadays need extra time to develop skills and experience frontal lobe development! Keep the ideas coming!!

  25. Mark Isenberg says:

    I look forward to your new show on Vice cable tv since old Bill Moyers is almost in heaven,Mr.Smerconosh? is a little viewed talking head on CNN Saturday mornings at 9am and Louis Rukeyser is still in Heaven. There are good biz leaders,too like potential very good one Charles Scharf in NYC as head of Wells Fargo Bank. He did not need this fixer upper job but is trying to change the culture and that means Warren Buffet of Omaha’s Berkshire Hathaway!

  26. lazza says:

    Scott, I am an old fart and how many times have I read over the years “experts” say let’s do this and let’s do that, bullet points, data, statistic but they never ever say I WILL DO THIS, so until you put some skin in the game shut the F::::k up.

  27. PLC says:

    Great post, bringing back sense to young generations. What could be missing is a greater purpose for the US ? Prefer Hinssen’s « Never Normal » PS: Data on covid is crap, comparing apples to oranges, not one country is counting in the same way not has the same transparency/integrity.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Just hiked up Mount Mansfield yesterday with my high school senior and was on the CCC road, talked to her about what that was and what the YCC was ….

  29. jen pleasants says:

    genius.. as a mom of a HS senior navigating this next chapter, I love the idea. reposting everywhere ! thank you! xoox

  30. Dav Elk says:

    Fukin’ brilliant.

  31. Adam Greco says:

    Great concept Scott! As the parent of a college student who has no prospects for the summer, I wish someone like you could create a movement to use unemployed college kids to do contact tracing and help out over the summer!

  32. David says:

    As a recent subscriber, I’m unsubscribing after this traveshamockery of a post. You lost me when you used “leaders” and “Bezos” in the same sentence. Combine that with the scientific blinders and an enthusiastic willingness to just hurl young people at a problem created by (and rewarding) capitalist robber-barons, and this blog feels like a waste of time at best, and a dangerous spigot of misinformation at worst. Nature created a virus, our grotesquely unsustainable economic wealth-consolidation engine turned it into a calamity.

    • Eric says:

      You can leave, because by missing this point you’re exactly part of the problem that is being discussed here and needs to be terminated. Mandating service in support of one’s country would offer far more positives than negatives in bridging divides.

  33. Javier says:

    Everybody compares Covid with WWII .After WWII we had some actions the Nuremberg Court and Yalta , to clear Nazi responsibilities and think about the new world . Though we have seen different actions, and in my country, Spain we have suffrered lack of initial determination I do not want to miss the Shot as to me the origin and amplifier of t6he case is clñear ;China and their authorities, have been hiding , lieying I would like to see all countries impacted massively putting togeather an action of responsibility ! I do not like President Trump at all, but he has been very smart ( more than Europenans) in identifying the main thread the world faces today : Be leaded by a non democratic non trasnparent Economical power

  34. Jackson says:

    Love the Corona Corps concept and am a fellow believer that exposure serving strangers provides life-changing experiences. While I share the concerns of many in this thread that the current administration is unlikely to endorse any such ideas, I encourage you to reach out to the Biden campaign to table some bold ideas like this (he could do with some more media coverage right now!). Really appreciate the bold thinking and ideas – and keep the banter going with the Jungle Cat.

  35. Lisa says:

    Harvard didn’t get money through the PPP. It was money allocated to them (and every college/university) based on the percentage of low income students they serve and intended to be directed to those students. They did not request those funds and they have since turned the money down. I’m not here to defend Harvard or the haphazard money pipeline from congress; just setting the record straight.

  36. Jolie Kocmur says:

    It is statistically wrong in relation to population numbers to compare the combined 50 United States to a single EU country. Otherwise interesting idea. There will be a glut of college bound in 2022. Maybe this should be broader than just Corona Corps. More like a before-college Peace Corps model, focused on improving health and well being in the US.

    • c1ue says:

      +1 The US has 7 times to population of Spain and 5.4 times the population of Italy. While the US is behind those countries in terms of its coronavirus epidemiological progression, it still seems unlikely that the US will hit Italy or Spain per capita levels of coronavirus mortality.

    • Steve says:

      Spot on. I’m not defending the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, it has been god awful, but you need to compare Apples to Apples. I did this a few weeks back, looking at infection and mortality rates for the United States population (328M) compared to the population of Europe (720M) (less Russia as their numbers were questionable). They were generally equitable, the infection rates were .00058/.00059 respectfully. I can’t remember the mortality rates off hand. As of today, the US is at .0030 for the infected rate. I would also say that comparing US and Europe as a whole is also misleading. It probably makes more sense to either compare like regions by the pandemic response, population, climate, geography or some other equalizing factor, doing so would provide more useful data. But the notion of the article is sound, we are vastly short on tracers and enlisting young people to volunteer to help in tracing, testing and also providing for the quarantined (shopping, meal prep, social visits (through digital check-ins)) is a great idea.

    • M says:

      @c1ue I am thinking the same thing. My first thought when I saw those numbers is that our per capita mortality looks much lower at the moment.

  37. Paul Brothers says:

    Love Corona Corps, makes my heartache ideas and leadership like that isn’t likely to come from Washington. I do have a request, the issue of disclosure and in that, context. I appreciate how you make no bones about your feelings about Donald Trump, that transparency provides context for whatever comes next — the well-crafted opinions of a guy that really doesn’t like the President. I can weigh my conclusions accordingly. But what about money? Transparent disclosure, I’m a small business owner and we received PPP bailout money. I’m one of those folk. And according to my Google search, you’re worth $30,000,000. It seems that should be a disclosure point to provide context to your opinions, especially when it comes to money. You and I, we don’t have the same problems. This is rampant in America right now. Wealthy celebrities “hanging in there,” while they shelter in home with a list of worries, other than paying the bills. Ever, for the rest of their lives, whether they work or not. Media people igniting the fires of red / blue divide while their personal compensation is tied directly to viewership numbers, and with social up 45% Twitter is custom-made to boost their brand, boost their ratings and boost their personal wealth. Nobody ever talks about that. And of course our elected “public servants.” I’m apolitical here, all flavors of politicians — Tweeting and wagging their fingers at “We the people,” with zero concern about losing their revenue stream. They pontificate about what “we” should do with virtually no skin in the “we” game. “Hi, I’m Sean Hannity, I’m worth approximately $250MM, mostly by stoking the fires of discontent….here’s what I think you should think….” “Hello, I’m Nancy Pelosi, my husband and I are worth $120MM, we really don’t have money problems but I feel your pain….” “Hello, I’m Bill Maher, I’m worth about $120,000,000, what America needs is a good recession to get rid of Donald Trump, apologies in advance is that’s hard on you.” Disclosure for context matters. When wealthy people (can live off the money they have without working for the rest of their days) opine about what regular people (must work to pay their bills and fund their dreams), that seems like a tread lightly event. Given the context. You’re the smartest person I know. Blessings to your and your family. pb

  38. Jerry says:

    I agree with your thinking except I know their are conservatives in foxholes? We all know you are a self admitting liberal, and that’s ok but I would appreciate a little recognition that not all conservatives are narrow minded.

  39. Jerome Hill says:

    I saw lets implement the Corona Corps by making Scott the next President of the United States – he is a MUCH better alternative to our two options we have today! Thank you for your insights and leadership Scott – we greatly appreciate it.

  40. Kevin says:

    Great post. I sent this email to the president of Dartmouth College one week ago. ************* President Hanlon, thanks for your leadership during this difficult period of time. My wife Rosalind and I are Dartmouth alums (‘92s) and our son Devin was thrilled to be admitted ED to Dartmouth as a ’24. While we can hope that the world returns to normal by the fall, I think we all know that, even in the (unlikely?) case that the College can have students back on campus, their experience will be anything but normal. No Homecoming, no sports, limited social gatherings, etc. For the students who are athletes, there will be no games. For performers, no performances, and so on. It’s hard to fathom what life will be like until we get an effective vaccine. I think that Dartmouth and other similarly well-endowed institutions should offer all students the opportunity to take the entire year off. In parallel, the College and others should require those students who take the time off to do something to help the country in this unprecedented time. As young adults appear to be more resilient to the virus than the rest of the population, college students could be an invaluable resource. For instance, the College and other peer institutions could train students to become contact tracers. Using Wuhan as an example, the US might need hundreds of thousands of people to help trace contacts of infected individuals; Dartmouth students could contribute to this effort. In addition, there are millions of younger students who have lost half of their school year, especially in poorer areas where remote learning is impractical; Dartmouth students could work with teachers in their communities to try to bring these students back up to grade level. I am sure that epidemiologists and social scientists at Dartmouth, Harvard, Duke, MIT, etc. can identify lots of other ways for students to serve their local communities to fight the virus and its indirect impact. I would suggest that a small group of colleges collectively brainstorm about how to use these incredibly bright and motivated resources to serve society in these unprecedented times. I would also suggest that the College consider ways to help subsidize the costs of its students’ service on needs-adjusted basis. If no one shows up on campus next year, this would obviously blow a big hole into Dartmouth’s budget and the economy of the Upper Valley, as it would to Harvard and the town of Cambridge, Princeton and the town of Princeton, Yale and the town of New Haven, and so on. That said, these institutions have massive endowments that could absorb this one-time hit. Indeed, there are few institutions in our country which are as well-capitalized as the top colleges and universities. Specifically, I would propose that the College commits to continue to employ its employees, while also pumping grants to local businesses impacted by the lack of students. By my math, the lost tuition revenue and the economic hit to the local community would be less than 5% of the value of Dartmouth’s endowment. I would personally prefer to spend ~5% of the endowment on this one-time initiative than building new buildings, upgrading dorms, hiring administrators, etc. I suspect many of your alums would agree that this is a way for our institution and others like it to give back to society in a truly meaningful way. Perhaps instead of arms races on facilities and sports teams, colleges can compete for coming up with ways to serve their communities. Stanford likes to brag about the number of NCAA champions they have each year. I’d prefer for Dartmouth to brag about the money and resources it directly spends on community service projects. This initiative would obvious create complications for high school students who are currently juniors. I would propose that the schools offer / encourage the same ability to take a gap year to a slightly smaller percent of the upcoming class of ’25, and do the same for a slightly smaller percent of the class of ’26, and so on, so that the proverbial pig can pass through the python over time. Or, you might find that the idea of a year of College-subsidized service becomes the new norm for graduating high school seniors, at least for Dartmouth students. There are so many things that our kids are capable of doing to serve their communities: tutoring underprivileged students, working with the elderly, etc. If this catches on nationally, you could see a domestic Peace Corps. Or an army of 18 and 19 year-olds who work with professional educators to ensure that every K-3 student in their town has a personal tutor to help them academically (maybe each HS grad has 3 younger kids he / she tutors for a year). My son’s high school, Regis HS in NYC, offers its seniors the opportunity to do service projects in lieu of classes their senior spring, and the boys do an amazing range of work in their communities. I have no doubt that Dartmouth students could similarly contribute to their communities in truly meaningful way. It’s a time for bold ideas. Dartmouth should take the lead on this. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Jonathan Jacobs says:

      Amen! We already got a notice from the president of Assumption, that tuition will is rising 4% next semester. Seeing the ‘work’ my daughter is undertaking over the last several weeks has been eye-opening. Shameful.

  41. nathan mann says:

    reference “the drowned and the saved” Primo Levi

  42. nathan mann says:

    The stalin quote, its adolph eichman, not stalin

  43. Ary says:

    Great Idea. But it will never happen. America is so focused on the stock market, that they are not able to see behind the curtain. This system drains every drop of blood out of the normal workers to feed a upper class. The pursuit to happiness is replaced by a daily fight for survial, because one job does not only feed a family but it does barely feed a single person. Looking at the presidential election it does not matter if you choose the clown or the senile one. They all go the same road. Invest into stocks and you will be rich one day. To bad, if you have no money to invest as you only get minimum wage and prices are soaring. Serving the community is great. Getting something back from the comunity for this is right. And I´m not talking just about a medal or a pocket money as you would get e.g. in Germany. So let´s see how many write their congressman to push this forward. Still Hoping Ary

  44. Vijay Rajendran says:

    I know my fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are ordinary people who rose to accomplish extraordinary things under difficult circumstances.

  45. Janika says:

    This is a great idea! I loved the story about your friend Brett and his family taking you under their wing. I served a mission for the LDS Church in South Korea, and my husband in Argentina. My daughter returned last year from an 18-month mission to Spain. These all were life-changing experiences for us. Now that I have three college-aged kids, I would love to see a program like this where they could serve the community, gain practical skills AND have college paid for. Oh, and one of my grandfathers made it through the Depression working with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and my other grandfather (a WWII vet) went to dental school using the GI Bill. These kinds of programs can have an amazing impact. How can we help get this started?

  46. Rebecca Shalam says:

    How soon can a Carona Corp start? Who will organize it? I have a college freshman and two high school seniors, all interested in learning more.

  47. Alon says:

    What’s interesting is that you’ve been promoting for a while now the basic principles Israel is built upon – government funded healthcare and higher education system, and mandatory service (IDF) for all kids who turn 18.

    • Paris says:

      Bring Back Ex Lover Husband Wife, Boyfriend, Girlfriend email Robinson buckler@ gmail (.) com

    • Eric says:

      Exactly this. It would do wonders in terms of unifying a country that refuses to see how much people actually share in common and generating positive outcomes for all of us.

  48. Seth Barnes says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I run a large gap year program – worldrace.org that used to go around the world, but now needs to pivot to focus more on America. You’re right on the trends in higher ed, and if you follow the 4th Turning, I believe you’re right in what the “Hero Generation” needs to step into its destiny.

  49. Christopher says:

    My wife and went and I went from Britain to Nigeria immediately after college in October 1966 and stayed for two years working to document agricultural practices in the dry northeast of the country. There we met Peace Corps volunteers for the first time. They were instructing in a teacher training college under a program through the University of Wisconsin. We were living through the beginning of what became the Biafran War. We very quickly grew to admire these volunteers and what they did. After Nigeria we migrated to Corvallis Oregon to OSU where I went into a PhD program in agricultural economics and my wife earned a PhT – “putting husband through.” There we met our first Mormons. I’m not religious but we came to admire this community too whose beliefs seemed so strange to me but whose conduct was so positive. This was at another difficult time in America; the era of Vietnam. So, I’m an old geek who has had a fortunate life, but this piece resonated with me. While I am grateful I was never called up for national service like my father a WWII bomber pilot, a period of service helped us sort out priorities that have I think been a foundation ever since. Now may well be time to expand opportunities for service – both crisis- and non-crisis driven? Thanks Prof.

  50. Telbisz van Dierendonck says:

    Amazing idea Scott! The key to implementing it post haste is creating not just bi-partisan support, but multi-partisan support within your country. I know al lot of Americans, please advise if I can help with more than social media exposure to it.

  51. John T says:

    Great idea. Our present form of Government would take (to)many years to mobilize the Corona Force, and most likely screw it up! We have an existing armed forces to pull from and mobilize. Your your point is a great one: everyone should take 2-4 years and “serve” our country. The day will come when we have almost 0 members in congress who have been in any form of the US services…….that day will come soon………be ready.

  52. David S Pelleg says:

    You could deliver and pay for your Corona-corps for free: end the lockdowns. The lowest risk (the young members of your corps) will return to the workforce to provide the goods and services the economy demands. The highest risk people can work from home or just shelter at home. People can determine their own risk and make their own bets. We are now learning from the random antibody testing that is just being rolled out now that’s very large chunk of the population has been exposed and not developed symptoms so the death rate is in the 0.5% range – not the 5% of the initial models. I fear that your Corona corps idea relies upon a outdated set of projections.

  53. Mark Foot says:

    Hi Scott – I think the idea is great. Plenty of hotel rooms empty so that the volunteers can go out of state, as dislocation from home is an important part of the growing up puzzle.

  54. carlos says:

    This makes a lot of sense. I can see this under a Biden administration, not the current one. Please reach out to Biden’s people.

  55. john says:

    I like the idea. Sweet justice would be that you got an invitation to the White House and would have to compassionately sell this to the President. I hope you would very much want to do that. I think he would listen.

    • Mark says:

      You are delusional if you think taking this to the current W.H. will change anything.He is still more concerned with using this politically, as soon as he and his posse figure out how.

    • See @ScottPresler #ThePersistence. Vision, optimism go pretty far. says:

      @Mark

  56. Andrew says:

    Hey Scott, maybe send yourself as a volunteer for this ‘corona corpus,’ rather than proposing to utilize young people to do that for you? Educate yourself on COVID-19 Large Vessel Stroke in Young Adults risks before spreading such retarded ideas in your social network.

  57. John Azevedo says:

    Pretty good idea as long as it starts with helping the poor in the US. A better idea is to just give every citizen a basic income; we’re going to do that soon anyway as robots and technology take all the lower to middle jobs. Might as well start now. I always need to balance your inner John Wayne. Comparing the US military to the peace corps is far fetched. Name some wonderful things that the US military has done since WW11 that counterbalances the millions of innocent citizens we’ve killed in Vietnam, Iraq etc.

  58. David Shein says:

    Prof G, I love your posts but this is the best to date.

  59. Under Thirty says:

    I disagree strongly with the proposed “Corona Corp”. This is just another way the older generation is be bailed out by the young (Social Security we’re not going to get that, pensions nope, pollution, resource and soil exhaustion; all courtesy of our forebearers). Volunteers for “essential (delivery, warehouse workers, etc.)”, yeah right. Give us hazard pay. We’re tapped out on student loans. You lied about your GPA to get into Wall Street. Fuck off.

  60. Guilty Spark says:

    Call me cynical, but I have a hard time picturing Millennials gathering together and doing something for the good of all. Unless, of course, it looks REALLY REALLY good on Instagram or the Kardashians told them to. Maybe make the Corona team a “challenge” for social media idiots, it would be much more useful than eating spoonfuls of cinnamon or Tide pods. And no, I’m not a “Boomer”, GenX thank you very much.

  61. Brian B Brady says:

    This week SNHU offered their incoming freshmen class a free ride on tuition and is committing to bring tuition down to $10,000 a year. If there is a path to make this new reality work we are going to do it.

  62. Claire says:

    Scott, fantastic article and an excellent idea. What can I do to help make this happen?

  63. Joe B says:

    Thought provoking as usual but makes too much sense to be implemented in this divided country where charlatans and incompetent fools occupy some of the highest political offices in the land and only shine with their ignorance of the facts rather than leadership, competence and compassion.

  64. Dave says:

    Cringe, dude.

  65. Me says:

    Great! Who’s going to start/lead this? How do we sign up?

  66. Jennifer C. says:

    Unsubscribe. Can’t stomach reading any more of this crap (and I couldn’t even get through this one fully). 🤮

  67. Tim says:

    One of the most flawed and misleading posts I have come across.

  68. David Chen says:

    I wish you would stop parroting China’s propaganda. It really undercuts your credibility as someone capable of critical thinking. We have no idea how bad it really is there.

  69. Robert Panacci says:

    Wonderful idea and it could be the catalyst for longer vision of national service. We need a couple of strong congress people to sponsor and get this ball rolling!!!!

  70. Johanna Baynard says:

    Wish you were in the senate and could support AOC, who supports your thoughts 100 %. Please, please, let’s move forward with these ideas.

  71. Evan Press says:

    I’m retired, so it was a long time ago. I took a year off between graduating UC Berkeley and starting work on my Master’s Degree at San Francisco State College, as it was known then. I sold televisions and stereos and then worked in a restaurant. That experience, I am convinced, made me a better student. And the sales training and experience served me well throughout my career.

  72. ken says:

    disruptive thinking and practical where to from here?

  73. Alex Birch says:

    This is 100% spot on (as usually) BTW it was great to see my other brother and me trying to convince our nephew to go on a mormon mission while the two of us were drinking beer. It really shows you what’s important and teaches you how not to fear “no.”

  74. Lane Kidd says:

    Your column is logical and instructive and a Corona Corps could be a transformational event in our nation. But, as a DC resident, who spends much time on Capitol Hill, logic is rarely persuasive enough. But who knows? I’m certainly sharing your article, as I hope all the others on the string will do as well.

  75. Adam Wright says:

    Fantastic column today. I grew up around alot of Mormons (surprising to many, the Bay Area has a huge LDS population). While i’m politically leftt lefty, I can’t really say enough good things about alot of what they do. Missions are part of that. I also have alot of friends from countries where Gap year is a standard thing, and they benefit tremendously from this. I’m receptive to this idea, as I had absolutely no business being in university class when I was 18, and I don’t really think that others do, either.

  76. John D’Anastasio says:

    I am board treasurer of a 35 year old non-profit who has changed the face of East CAMDEN NJ with our housing rehabilitation program, (over 1,000 units), housing counseling & neighborhood revitalization efforts. We have less than a 4% foreclosure rate & over 75% of our homeowners still reside in our homes. While I agree with your approach on the coronavirus army of young people, the $190,000 we just received enables us to keep our 12 person staff in tact while we wait for the new normal to enable us to continue our mission. I think it is unjust to lump organizations like us as “ bitch poodles”.

    • Tom Kindlick says:

      Well said. Work for the common good is a rare but important element that helps to hold our cities, states and country together. Kudos.

  77. David F says:

    Thanks Prof G for yet another thoughtful analysis and innovative solution. I hope to be one of the 170 overpaying students in your Brand Strategy class this fall. My question is for those in the fold now, with $100K+ invested in an MBA or other degree, do you see a model emerging where those who had no choice but to pay this fee for higher education, career growth, and another ‘credential’ receive complementary (or in reality ‘pre-paid’) access to these more innovative hybrid learning opportunities down the line? When these solutions inevitably disrupt the market, is my cohort, who are victim of the times, deserving of such an opportunity to extract more value from their tuition?

  78. Randy says:

    Regarding ‘Gap Year’. Absolutely. We have a generation of spoiled little brats, SJW with laughable degrees and piercings that some day they will hate. I would propose another option to CORVID Corps. Work. Yep, real work. Pick strawberries, handle drilling pipe, do commercial construction. Or, empty bedpans, clean schools, or peel potatoes for a soup kitchen. Stories abound about the Depression, when degreed engineers and scientists did such work, as the option was starvation. No doubt, they were better at their real profession after a bit of humble work. Do you think all the ‘… Studies’ graduates would pick a similar major in college if they had a year before to see the real world?

  79. Jacqueline says:

    Great care would need to be taken that we are not once again using those who have the greatest need as fodder for easy answers to tough questions.

  80. JohnA says:

    The sum of the cases in the 5 European countries almost exactly equals the US and total populations are similar so right – the US is clearly no worse than Europe. NY is Italy and Ca is Germany.

  81. Peter says:

    No truer line than this… “The reason American firms hire faster than any firms in the world is they can fire faster”.

    • Michael Smith says:

      That’s dogcrap. Hiring and firing cost a company a lot of money.

    • Randy says:

      The ability to hire/fire is why US leads in tech startups and innovation. Ask any EU exec what it is like trying to fire someone incompetent, inept, or crooked. Even worse if there is a Union involved.

    • James R Hammond III says:

      @Michael Smith

  82. DougR says:

    Scott, While I applaud the idea. Please compare apples to apples. Stop portraying the US as failing on this issue by making false comparisons! US Population 328M Cases 869,172 Inf Rate 0.26% Deaths 49,963 Rate 5.7% SP, IT, FR, GM, UK Pop 324M Cases 852,473 Inf Rate 0.26% Deaths 93,920 Rate 11.0% Using YOUR own numbers our death rate is about half of our European friends.

    • Michael Smith says:

      It’s funny how people who write these articles think us readers can’t see through their agenda. What he did was a farce.

    • Jacqueline Davis says:

      @Michael Smith. Prof has never professed not to have an ‘agenda’– or more positively — an strong opinion. If you’re not prepared for it, perhaps you’re reading in the wrong place!

    • Tom Kindlick says:

      Something to consider on metrics – we cannot even yet quantify the absolute number of ‘infections’ since we haven’t nationalized this effort. So the numbers lack clarity and policy made with these uncertainties if not fruitful – a waste of time and resources.

  83. Bo says:

    I’m a huge fan. And there are so many things that I resonate with me in this post, as with many others you’ve written. However, this idea of COVID corps strikes me as fanciful and tone-deaf in a number of ways. One example: saying that young people get sent to war because they are willing, idealistic, (etc.) simply isn’t true–very few who have gone to war ever had any real choice. Young people are also dying from COVID at alarming numbers and I personally wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice one person of my generation for the boomers in exchange for the pittance of free college. The boomers have steamrolled the younger generations for their own gain and for so many decades, to the point that the house and senate look like a retirement community. I want real change, a hard reset, not to sacrifice part of my generation to prop up overly expensive and a rigged higher education system. No thanks.

  84. Steve says:

    I thought it was New York sass and now I am learning it is Santa Monica smartass that one learns at the A&W near UNI.

  85. scott says:

    What’s wrong with making the “corona corps” part of Americorps – which already exists. Make student loan forgiveness or extra ordinary unemployment payments conditional on joining. Pay folks to work and contribute and develop a sense of self worth. Not to sit around and complain.

    • HPB says:

      Or Teach For America. The point is, the structures are in place. It is sad that Congress doesn’t get it.

  86. jim wightman says:

    Jeez, I’m not a zealot left or right but I couldn’t believe you tried to make your case not using per capita data. I look at the Worldometer every day and have been surprised at how well the US has stacked up. Per million!!! I like the Corona Corps idea though. I think you needed an editor on this one.

    • Laz says:

      Almost 50K deaths in less than 2 months is somehow okay, as long as we did well against other nations? Or did I miss something here?

    • Michael Smith says:

      @Laz Well, there’s no cure and it can be transmitted via cough. On top of that, we received bum information for over a month. Explain to me how the numbers are supposed to be lower

  87. Michael Smith says:

    Good lord, you can’t actually think the US has more deaths than China. Please do not tell me you think this.

    • Michael Smith says:

      As for the US deaths, keep in mind we have NYC, NJ, WA, and CA. Those are huge travel hubs for China. To even compare what’s going on here verse Italy is a slap in the face and an insult to everyone’s intelligence. I still can’t believe you think we have more deaths than the US. That’s an absolute farce

    • Laz says:

      Do you have data stating otherwise?

    • Michael Smith says:

      @Laz Let me get this straight, the country of origin for this virus only has 4,642 deaths?!?! A country with a population of over a billion has less deaths from corona virus than the state of NJ. If you believe that number, I have a bridge to sell you. That China death number is equivalent to Cuba’s “great literacy” program. What’s the source? Oh just communist China.

    • Nick says:

      @Michael Smith The majority of cases that arrived in the US were traced to Europe, not Asia. In the most crucial period to be taking action, no action was taken.

    • Michael Smith says:

      @Nick Didn’t we suspend travel from China the first week of Feb and then suspend travel from Europe as well once we saw the number of cases spike.

    • Jacqueline says:

      @Michael Smith So easy to protest, so lacking in information. Tell us your facts–

    • Michael Smith says:

      @Jacqueline What are you questioning? The fact that I don’t believe China’s death count?

  88. Rafael says:

    Great points. However, not all small businesses have been turned into bitch poodles. Some have been resilient and transitioned into companies that are still active (albeit less active than before but still going to bat.) While so called “strategic thinkers and directors” sat on their hands other lesser known businesses stepped up to the plate and started to get shit done. From transitioning to delivery and getting their comms company to facilitate the communications for this, they were working instead of asking requesting go fund me’s. These people, companies, small mom and pop shops, self made owners deserve not only credit but some god damned respect. They should be first inline for funding, not these tax funded, cyber bullying assholes.

  89. Jim Barber says:

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Try to do your homework. Also, Harvard did NOT take coronavirus money. You should, again, do your homework. Having a good idea and surrounding it with drivel is not the way to sell the idea.

  90. Hugh Sinclair says:

    Hi Scott, thank you for your perspective. It is, on the face of it, an appalling statistic, but PS has a point. Also, I would like to know the incidence of the three great co-morbidities: obesity, high blood pressure & diabetes in the US vs. the other countries. I have a feeling that the mortality rate also reflects decades of poor health choices.

  91. PS says:

    Make sure you also teach a class on lying with statistics (or at a minimum, manipulating them to make your case stronger). I can’t paste a picture here but published this morning were two charts normalizing infection and death rates by size of population. The US is in the middle on infection rate per million and bottom third on death rate per million. Putting our absolute rates vs Italy and Spain is straight out manipulation.

    • Laz says:

      Statistics or not, 50K lives have been lost. The question is what should we do to prevent this from happening in the future. To argue that other countries have done worse than us, that is doing a disservice to the fight against this virus.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Normalizing?

    • David Chen says:

      @Laz Unless you really think its possible for a country with our population size and global integration to have zero deaths, then accurately comparing statistics is essential. It doesnt mean our admin wasnt incompetent and arrogant, but Scotts parroting of cable news talking points makes me question his credibility. If hes just going to be another political hack, theres no reason for me to follow him.

  92. Clark Newhall says:

    A terrific idea. Tremendous in the worn phrasing of Cheeto Jesus. And for that reason unlikely to become reality. Our leaders, even skilled ones like Pelosi, have too little imagination and too much seniority.

  93. PATRICIA JOURNEAY says:

    Great idea….I hope you have sent this as an op ed piece to the NYT and the Washington Post and to senior Democrats in Congress….

  94. James says:

    Some great points made there! That Gap year was really interesting. Also, the comment on the death statistics and how if there were a few deaths, it would be deemed manslaughter. That point really hit home

  95. Lou Sylvester says:

    Wow a call to action, a call to war. The Gap year should be the norm with service and reflection as the goal.

  96. Kerry says:

    I agree that there is a whole generation of 18-22-year-olds who are not going to start college (likely) until January so how do we make the most of their time? A traditional gap year involved traveling or volunteering but most of those opportunities don’t exist. Creating those opportunities would be meaningful. Does it need to be government backed?

  97. Neil says:

    Scott I love your ability to display key stats. I would point out that the countries of Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK (as per your chart) have a similar population to that of the US…about 325M. The total infections and deaths could be viewed from that lens so as to equate the effect of this Pandemic on a similar basis. I would note the US has a similar number of infections to those countries combined but around 50% the number of deaths. It is still shameful but slightly more understandable. As for your Gap Year that is an idea that many of us experienced in Ontario Canada until 2003. Your last year of High School was Grade 13. You set your own schedule, bought your own books, attended class as/when you wanted or needed to, were old enough to buy alcohol there and most of us had part time jobs…we went to University at age 19 much more prepared to work more party less.

  98. Grace Dascoli says:

    I’ve got a front seat view to the car crash know as “public school distance learning” here in Boulder, Colorado. As the Mother of a 15 and 16 year old I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment. I know at least 100 other parents that likely do as well. I’m all in on this idea. What are the next steps?

  99. John says:

    I am sceptical about China’s numbers too but that’s a quibble. I like your stuff. I just gave your self helpy book as a gift. With the note that I am tired of sainted gurus, mentors, influencers. Up in Canada the sainted Jean Vanier was just outed post death as a sexual predator. Now I say give me your flawed ones, and I added in my note; this guy admits his flaws. Keep hitting hard

  100. Kameron K Rabenou says:

    I love your weekly emails, but you have some seriously misleading data that in good conscience you need to retract. First, the statistic that 90% of kids who defer or take a gap year return and graduate is absurd and unsupportable. According to the Depart of Ed, 61% of students attending public 4-year colleges, 67% attending private non-profit colleges, 27% attending 2-year public colleges and 61% attending 2-year for-profit colleges graduate in 150% of normal time. Your 90% stat clearly only applies to your Park Avenue set. Regarding PPP, rightfully those companies and universities you mentioned have been denied PPP, not granted it. Talk to small business owners about how difficult it is to compel employees back to work because the government is paying out more unemployment than prior wages. That’s the main issue. Main Street is as different from Silicon Street as it is Wall Street. The rest of your email is brilliant. Thank you, Kameron

  101. James Fee says:

    As Chamath Palihapitiya says, make the money, get a seat at the table. Consensus among the electorate will not affect the change we so desperately need and which you advise. Stakeholders of the present system need to be convinced. I mean, those with the money.

  102. Tobin Trevarthen says:

    What if you converted your 170 signups into the tiger team to create the vision you just espoused? It will have been the most significant learning and solve they could hope to gain from a class. And, you get to reinvest some of your L2 earnings for some CC upside.

  103. bradley dressler says:

    Well Scotty, that is a strange set of stats to make your case. Do you teach one of those “how to lie with statistics courses” as well? Spain and Italy combined have one third the US population, with the same number of deaths and a death rate of 2x the US. So we are doing so much worse because??? Ventilators are the biggest farce with a death rate of 67-90% and the survivors so screwed up they wish they were dead. And Mario needed 30,000 more of them because ??? And lastly the test and trace fantasy. Could you please enlighten us as to what the “x isolation” is to complete the equation? Is it self quarantine, which apparently well educated/ living in a mansion Chris Cuomo could not do without infecting his family? How does a family of 6 in a 2 bedroom pull off quarantine? Or is it the Wuhan quarantine method of rendering all infected and those they came in contact with into internment camps? Want one of your kids to test positive and be sent off somewhere for 3 weeks with the government responsible for their welfare? PLEASE, enlighten us how your “isolation” will work to make your dream come true. And as to Florida, my home State, the non stop trashing of DeSantis for political purposes with false and misleading information is mind boggling. For example, Bloomberg News reported last week that the prestigious Washington University projected Florida with 15,000 deaths by June 1 and California only 2,000. Bloomberg went on to opine this was due to California sensibly shutting early while DeSantis recklessly left Florida open. Only problem with this was Florida cases were clearly falling while California was on the rise. So HUH? Oh and now a week later the projections are Florida 90% lower, falling faster, but Florida should still open up after California. Bloomberg News correction=are you kidding? Jesus, Scotty, this post was your worst ever. But you know, since Boomers are most likely to die from Corona, think of all the problems that will solve. Reads better than Testing x Tracing x Isolation = Flattening. Lastly damn that Sweden. They are ruining the narrative.

  104. Su T says:

    The Canadian government came out yesterday with its Covid-19 student aid package. There is quite a bit of aid, but one of the more interesting ones about being paid for volunteer work. From the CBC: “Trudeau also said students who volunteer over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours they work. “Your energy and your skills can do a lot of good right now,” he said. A government backgrounder document said the funding for volunteer efforts will be available to students “who choose to do national service and serve their communities.”

  105. John Seiffer says:

    Good start. We need a national draft of everyone after highschool. They needn’t all go into the military like they do in Israel but they all need to do a year of service. Could be timed at their choice between 18 and 21.

  106. Mauricio Bori says:

    So biased it’s like reading NYT. WHatever. THere are some intresting parts. I try to keep up with reading this but it’s just so political and biased it’s hard to endure (for me ok).

  107. Cole Inman says:

    I can’t seem to find the Prof G episode on pod.link Overcast or Apple Podcasts

  108. anthony says:

    I can relate to the Lame & Entitled note at the top of the post. I went to Pali high and saw these kids make a mess of their lives. I also took a couple years for gap and felt it was the best choice for me. I landed in SF in 94 and helped kick the Internet/Web revolution off. I am agreeing with your ideas on college. As a father now I am looking at this more and more and thinking my kids may do better trying to start a business venture as a gap year initiative and then maybe seek some college like education after that. I have six years to figure this out. That said I am certainly not interested in funding the current college systems as the stands now. Yes if my kids get into a brand name school that social network and education maybe worth it, but I am not pushing my kids that way. The mindset change has happened and education and training systems are change daily. It will be interesting to see what it will morph into over the next ten years.

  109. Brian says:

    I think it’s important to look at the infections and deaths per capita. I also don’t believe China’s numbers or pretty much anything they say. But that’s just me. You present the numbers as if we’ve handled this worse than Italy. I don’t think that’s the case, but I do think this could’ve been handled much better by all involved. I can’t say I would’ve done better either. I do like the corps idea though, and I do enjoy your posts and love your writing style.

  110. Vic says:

    Has any academic done an analysis of how much we can borrow to fight covid maybe a side by side analysis of WW 2 cost/expense i.e. tax….and how it was shouldered