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Some Links

Summary:
Stacey Rudin eloquently exposes the inexplicable superstition that fueled – and that continues to fuel – most of the world’s hysterical reaction to the coronavirus. A slice: Perhaps [Neil] Ferguson never believed the world’s most powerful governments would take his predictions seriously. The world had not acted on his past predictions, so maybe he expected more of the same. This time, however, the media — breathlessly reporting on hospital overflow in Northern Italy; bolstered by fear-driven groupthink on social media —had created the perfect environment for his paper to flourish. Whether by some powerful design or unintentionally, all humanity grasped at Ferguson’s recommendations like a lifeline. COVID would kill 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons, we were told, unless we

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Don Boudreaux writes Some Links

Stacey Rudin eloquently exposes the inexplicable superstition that fueled – and that continues to fuel – most of the world’s hysterical reaction to the coronavirus. A slice:

Perhaps [Neil] Ferguson never believed the world’s most powerful governments would take his predictions seriously. The world had not acted on his past predictions, so maybe he expected more of the same. This time, however, the media — breathlessly reporting on hospital overflow in Northern Italy; bolstered by fear-driven groupthink on social media —had created the perfect environment for his paper to flourish. Whether by some powerful design or unintentionally, all humanity grasped at Ferguson’s recommendations like a lifeline. COVID would kill 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons, we were told, unless we adopted Ferguson’s new type of NPI called “suppression.” If we did that, we could cut the death toll in half.

This piece by Ron Bailey offers more evidence – not that more is needed – that to trust government to protect us from contagious diseases is foolish.

Inspired by de Tocqueville, Mary Anastasia O’Grady laments Chile’s turn away from liberalism. A slice:

For sure heavy doses of Marxist indoctrination at Chilean universities and income “equality” claptrap from intellectuals and the media have tilted the country to the left.

But Alexis de Tocqueville put his finger on something in “Democracy in America,” when he wrote that “the hatred that men bear to privilege increases in proportion as privileges become fewer and less considerable, so that democratic passions would seem to burn most fiercely just when they have least fuel. . . . When all conditions are unequal, no inequality is so great as to offend the eye, whereas the slightest dissimilarity is odious in the midst of general uniformity.”

My Mercatus Center colleague Christine McDaniel has three wishes for trade policy.

Portentous?

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan is more worried, personally, about the political left than the political right – but perhaps for reasons different than you might guess.

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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