Leviathan and Crises

– March 30, 2020

And as power expands in a ratcheting-upward way, power becomes ever-more valuable and intoxicating to possess – meaning that competition to grab power becomes ever-more intense. This increasingly intense competition for power, in turn, selects those persons who are both most hungry for power and least bound by ethical restraints in pursuing and using it.

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What Is the Macroeconomic Analog to Coronavirus Panic?

– March 29, 2020

All leaders, not just generals, tend to fight the last “war.” All readers of Hayek know why: they feel compelled to promulgate a response but lack sufficient information to make optimal decisions.

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Coronavirus as Ideology

– March 29, 2020

Even now, many people aren’t reading news or looking at data. They are confirming their biases. Our political culture has fully bled – a tsunami of blood – into one of the most essential tasks of civilization: caring for and curing the sick, and hence drowning rationality, science, and medical professionalism, and doing so at the expense of a billion lives.

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Drugs, Suicide, and Crime: Empirical Estimates of the Human Toll of the Shutdown

– March 28, 2020

With a current US population of 331 million, there are 3,310 groups of 100,000, meaning there is potential for an additional 28,797 deaths from opioids annually. Plus alcohol abuse, suicide, and crime.

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What Does the Growing Number of Coronavirus Cases Really Mean?

– March 28, 2020

The infected are likely in the millions, but the rationing of tests prevents us from knowing the true number. In any case, that means the death rate is vastly overstated, and likely even lower than what has been typically reported for the seasonal flu.

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We Were Wrong: So Sorry that We Ruined Your Life

– March 28, 2020

Andrew Cuomo has admitted some of the error. In a much-welcome change, he has even deregulated medical services. There’s just a hint of humility and humanity embedded in these statements and actions. We need more of that, vastly more.

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Free the Entrepreneurs to Deal with the COVID-19 Crisis

– March 28, 2020

If states and – we can only hope – the federal government remove regulatory barriers that are preventing entrepreneurs from solving problems related to the COVID-19 crisis, perhaps that coming peak will not be a catastrophe and the shock to the economy will quickly become a distant memory.

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What Herbert Hoover Can Teach Us about the Reaction to the Coronavirus

– March 27, 2020

Just as Hoover’s policies during the Great Depression made things worse especially for the poorest in America, the policy responses we see now will hurt.

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More Sensational Reporting on COVID-19 Estimates

– March 27, 2020

We should certainly take steps to reduce those risks. But we should not sacrifice everything out of fear of losing something. Alas, such sober analysis does not lend itself to the sort of attention-grabbing click pieces that pay the bills for journalists. So we should continue to expect sensational reporting on the global pandemic. Discount what you read, accordingly.

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Why this Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment?

– March 26, 2020

Yes, healthcare is much more important than fast food, which is exactly why we need to deregulate it and do so now before COVID-20, or some other contagious calamity, strikes.

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Florida Cracks Down on “Price Gouging” at the Worst-Possible Time

– March 26, 2020

Products unavailable for sale at ‘normal’ prices are not actually for sale; they are utterly unobtainable – which means that their prices then are infinite.

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We All Depend on the Kindness of Strangers

– March 26, 2020

Again, these are strange and frightening times. I want things to get back to “normal,” or at least as close to normal as they can get, as soon as possible. Until they do, though, I will remain grateful for the strangers who are helping me weather this particular storm.

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