Crisis, Economic Theory

We Don’t Need One Big Plan to End the Lockdown

– May 15, 2020

The transition back to normal life involves the coordination of the disparate and often-incompatible plans of billions of minds–and if we wish for that coordination to make the best use of knowledge in society, we are making a mistake if we are looking for a plan.

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Crisis, Economic Theory

The Struggle for Science in Demented Times

– May 13, 2020

During a crisis, fate appears to hang in the balance, and mental and material resources must be coordinated and that requires a commander who is in control of the process. But that will not work if curiosity is squashed in the effort to courageously command.

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Crisis, Economic Theory

The Magnitude of the Economic Challenge Even in Normal Times

– May 11, 2020

To rely only on select and officially approved researchers, or to ignore ideas from all or even some foreigners, is to unnecessarily reduce the number of human beings working to discover from among an incalculably vast number of possible chemical arrangements the one or a few that might render the coronavirus harmless.

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Economic Theory

Governments Don’t Have Magic Wands To Ward off Asymmetric Information

– May 10, 2020

With the “asymmetric information” argument, the left got a seemingly bulletproof theory with which to whack markets and subject them to government regulation: capitalists prey on the uninformed consumer and extract unfair rents from them in the informational version of haves that take advantage of have-nots. If not remedied, beneficial exchange disappears.

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Crisis, Economic Theory

Public Choice and the Lockdowns

– May 7, 2020

Public Choice seeks to apply our assumptions about human beings and their behavior to the state in the same way we apply those assumptions to other human institutions. It asks us not to be romantic about political power and the way it operates.

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Crisis, Economic Theory

Science and the Pandemic

– May 5, 2020

I can think of no greater offense against a genuinely scientific attitude than to support policies – especially ones adopted in haste and in a panic, and which diminish the amount of information that is uncovered and put to good use throughout society – simply because these policies are recommended by some epidemiologists.

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