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The Real Villains

Summary:
In response to many posts here at Cafe Hayek over the past several months about Covid-19 and the deranged over-reaction to this disease, frequent Cafe commenter Patrick Barron sent to me by e-mail the following pertinent observation. I share it here with Pat’s kind permission. There is much criticism, most well deserved, of the medical community’s fear-mongering over Covid-19, the possibility of new strains, and the often-bizarre public health remedies many recommend. But the real villains are the politicians who listen to these fear-mongers and then act on their hysteria. Politicians get lots and lots of advice–some official, some solicited, and much unsolicited. How they act or do not act is up to them. We expect them to exercise wisdom. So few really do. This reveals more about the

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In response to many posts here at Cafe Hayek over the past several months about Covid-19 and the deranged over-reaction to this disease, frequent Cafe commenter Patrick Barron sent to me by e-mail the following pertinent observation. I share it here with Pat’s kind permission.

There is much criticism, most well deserved, of the medical community’s fear-mongering over Covid-19, the possibility of new strains, and the often-bizarre public health remedies many recommend. But the real villains are the politicians who listen to these fear-mongers and then act on their hysteria. Politicians get lots and lots of advice–some official, some solicited, and much unsolicited. How they act or do not act is up to them. We expect them to exercise wisdom. So few really do. This reveals more about the deficiencies of today’s political class than it does about the medical community, in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, politics has become a blood sport, attracting the worst megalomaniacs among us and repelling those who are wise, honest, and most of all humble. For this reason alone, we need to return to extremely limited government.

Warmest regards,
Pat Barron

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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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