Daily news from the American Institute for Economic Research: data, stories, research, and articles touching on economics, politics, culture, education, policy, opinion, technology, markets, healthcare, regulation, trends, and much more.

“Superstition in the Pigeon”: Can Lockdowns Really Stop Death?

– October 19, 2020

“We are faced with a virus with a 997 out of 1000 survival rate. We have done harder things before. We can only be free of this plague by remembering something we have always known: neither we, nor our favorite politicians, have control over death.” ~ Stacey Rudin

The Real Pandemic: Mass Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy

– October 19, 2020

“Given the coercive powers of the most important MSbP sufferers, the said governors, mayors, bureaucrats, etc., this pandemic–the MSbP pandemic–is wreaking untold havoc. We need more people to say we aren’t going to take it. We need more people to push back. We should not be in the thrall of the mentally ill.” ~ Craig Pirrong

supreme court, flag, united states

Stop Bringing Politics Into the Supreme Court

– October 19, 2020

“The confirmation hearings of the last three nominees have been the subject of national scrutiny and excitement. This fundamentally misses the mark on what the Court is supposed to be and suggests an ominous politicization of the Court that could wreck the country.” ~ Ethan Yang

question marks, woman

Is Cowen Right about the Great Barrington Declaration? Part 2

– October 19, 2020

“Cowen is right that governments have reacted by scaring people. That’s one reason the Great Barrington Declaration is important. It seeks to tell people not to be so afraid unless they’re particularly vulnerable.” ~ David R. Henderson

dark, dystopia

Will Things Ever Go Back To Normal?

– October 18, 2020

“Fast forward ten or twenty years and everyone forgets that the invasive powers we transferred to the state were ever temporary in the first place. Higgs is the intellectual champion we don’t deserve, but so desperately need. Let’s just hope that I am wrong, and that progress wins out in the end.” ~ Joakim Book

Is Cowen Right about the Great Barrington Declaration? Part 1

– October 17, 2020

“Cowen’s big-picture criticism of freedom is less like Strauss (one of his favorite words) and more like Schrodinger’s Cat. He claims, in the last few paragraphs of his article, that the declaration ‘tries to procure maximum liberty for commerce and daily life’ and that its conception of human nature ‘raises the question of whether it even qualifies as a defense of natural liberty.’ Which is it?” ~ David R. Henderson

John Snow vs. The John Snow Memorandum

– October 17, 2020

“No thinking person today would question John Snow’s methodology or conclusions but every day more and more thinking people are rejecting the self-serving lockdown policies espoused by the signers of the John Snow Memorandum by declaring for Great Barrington instead.” ~ Robert E. Wright

Retail sales

Retail Spending Surges in September

– October 16, 2020

“Retail sales posted a strong gain in September, but persistent uncertainty regarding Covid-19 and government policies remains a significant risk to future growth.” – Robert Hughes

The Year of Disguises

– October 16, 2020

“It boggles my mind when there is some notion that by wearing a face covering you are actually doing a ‘service’ to your neighbor and therefore everyone has to protect everyone by this. Actually, the opposite is true. You are now becoming an additional potential source of environmental contamination. You are now becoming a transmission risk; not only are you increasing your own risk but you are also increasing the risk to others.” ~ Roger W. Koops

The American Tradition of Ordered Liberty

– October 16, 2020

“Regardless of what we think of these traditions and practices, we cannot comprehend the history and development of American institutions without reference to them. To understand money, we must understand the entire institutional chain: from money to banking and finance, to law and politics, to the ultimate sources of social authority. The story of money in America is itself a chapter in the story of ordered liberty in America.” ~ Alexander W. Salter

Initial Claims Rise to a Seven-Week High

– October 15, 2020

“Initial claims for unemployment benefits hit a seven-week high, sustaining doubts about the durability of the recovery.” – Robert Hughes

Average Inflation Targeting Risks Further Politicizing the Fed

– October 15, 2020

“Perhaps the Fed’s move to average inflation targeting won’t make much of a difference. But it nonetheless risks further politicizing the Fed. To the extent that it means the Fed will engage in even more credit allocation and Congress will take a more active role in guiding those credit allocation discussions, there is cause for concern.” ~ Nicolás Cachanosky

Matt Hancock is Wrong about Herd Immunity

– October 15, 2020

“The Great Barrington Declaration proposes a solution for how we may proceed in the face of such uncertainty. It suggests that we exploit the feature of this virus that does not cause much harm to the large majority of the population to allow them to resume their normal lives, while shielding those who are vulnerable to severe disease and death.” ~ Dr. Sunetra Gupta

What Is Herd Immunity? (video)

– October 15, 2020

The following video, recorded Oct 4, 2020, as part of a meeting of epidemiologists and journalists, features, seeks to explain the basics of viruses and their spread.

The Fake Signature Canard

– October 15, 2020

“As the data show, the lockdowners’ troll campaign accounted for almost half of the fake submissions – the very definition of an attempt to manufacture a news story. While they likely thought they scored an internet victory of some sort by cynically deflecting attention away from the disastrous public health effects of their own botched pandemic response, all they achieved was putting their own increasingly desperate tactics on full public display.” ~ Phillip W. Magness

AIER’s Leading Indicators Index Surges in September as Recovery Broadens

– October 14, 2020

“AIER’s Leading Indicators index rose sharply in September, jumping to 67, suggesting the recovery has broadened substantially and may signal the end of the recession.” – Robert Hughes

The Absurdity of Ad Hominem

– October 14, 2020

“The fact that Nafeez Ahmed, Sam Hammond, and some others dismiss anti-lockdown arguments with ad hominem accusations is evidence as powerful as evidence gets that these people have no idea what an intellectually respectable argument is.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux

Reaping What Big Government Sowed

– October 14, 2020

“Future generations, if there are any, will look back at 2020 and wonder why anyone thought themselves a member of a ‘democratic society’ simply because they could cast a ballot every now and again. The people (demos) do not rule, self-interested government officials do. Only by returning to limited government, voluntary association, and self-reliance can Americans reject this dystopian year and return to, not utopia, but happiness, which the nation’s Founders understood as prosperity mixed promiscuously with liberty.” ~ Robert E. Wright