Tuesday , October 26 2021
Home / David Henderson /Reply to Bob Murphy’s Query

Reply to Bob Murphy’s Query

Summary:
Economist Bob Murphy writes: Dear David, I hope you’re doing well. I was puzzled by your “Angry Bears” post. (If you find your answer might interest EconLog readers, feel free to reprint my email.) I totally understand why certain libertarians would be upset at a busybody telling them to wear a mask on the plane, but it seemed odd to me when–if I recall correctly–you insisted that people attending your lockdown protest put on a mask. Were you the angry bear that day? (I hope you are not reading hostility or smugness in my tone; I am genuinely asking.) Bob I did not read hostility into his question; I know Bob well enough to know his good will. The protest he was referring to is the one that I helped organize in May 2020 in Monterey. And here’s my answer:

Topics:
David Henderson considers the following as important: , , , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

David Henderson writes Jay Bhattacharya on Uncommon Knowledge

David Henderson writes The Biden Full Court Press Against Economic Freedom

David Henderson writes Chris Jehn on Colin Powell on AVF versus Draft

Scott Sumner writes Businesses cooperate, politicians compete

Reply to Bob Murphy’s Query

Economist Bob Murphy writes:

Dear David,

I hope you’re doing well. I was puzzled by your “Angry Bears” post. (If you find your answer might interest EconLog readers, feel free to reprint my email.)

I totally understand why certain libertarians would be upset at a busybody telling them to wear a mask on the plane, but it seemed odd to me when–if I recall correctly–you insisted that people attending your lockdown protest put on a mask. Were you the angry bear that day?

(I hope you are not reading hostility or smugness in my tone; I am genuinely asking.)

Bob

I did not read hostility into his question; I know Bob well enough to know his good will. The protest he was referring to is the one that I helped organize in May 2020 in Monterey.

And here’s my answer:

We didn’t insist. We asked.

But you missed the bigger point. We didn’t threaten any one with prison. By contrast, there was no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t complied, she [the fellow passenger on the airplane] would have called the flight attendant. And twice in the previous 40 minutes the flight attendant had threatened passengers with prison.

There’s a huge difference between asking someone to do something when there’s no implicit threat of force behind it [our request that people wear masks to the anti-lockdown demonstration] and asking someone to do something when underling the request is a threat to call in someone [the flight attendant] who has already threatened the use of force.

So no, I was not an angry bear that day.

David Henderson
David R. Henderson (born November 21, 1950) is a Canadian-born American economist and author who moved to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1986, serving on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.[1] A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution[2] since 1990, he took a teaching position with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984, and is now a full professor of economics.[3]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *