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Tag Archives: COVID-19

Jay Bhattacharya on Uncommon Knowledge

Hoover’s Peter Robinson does an excellent job of interviewing Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya on various aspects of the COVID pandemic and lockdown. I recommend the whole thing: it’s all informative, especially for those who might have forgotten what facts about the pandemic “we” were pretty sure of when. I want to highlight two things. First, something Jay said that I don’t quite understand. At about the 3o:00 point, Jay states that the fact that child abuse figures...

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Further thoughts on Washington State

In a recent post, I pointed out that Washington State had much lower Covid fatality rates than California, which were in turn much lower than Arizona. I argued that the difference was probably cultural. An alternative hypothesis is that the difference is due to tighter regulations in Washington State. To get at this issue, consider the death rate from Covid in Washington and Idaho: Washington 1060/million Covid deathsIdaho 1744/million Covid deaths Now consider the...

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Government Wrecks Everything It Touches! SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap Sept. 10

The government is always promising to fix things. It has policies to fix the economy, fix foreign countries, and even fix the pandemic. But as Friday Gold Wrap podcast host Mike Maharrey explains in this episode, instead of fixing things, the government wrecks pretty much everything it touches. The SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast combines a succinct summary of the week’s precious metals news coupled with thoughtful analysis. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.Tune...

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If you want liberty, aim for success (and vice versa)

I don’t think I have to convince libertarians like myself that liberty often leads to more successful societies, but I’m not sure how many understand that the reverse is also true. It’s not possible to just wave a magic wand and call forth more liberty. Disasters such as war, depression and pandemics often lead to repressive government policies. Thus one way to promote a free society is to do the hard work promoting policies such as peace, prosperity and good public...

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Beware of conspiracy theories

Let’s get two points out of the way.  First, I believe that a few conspiracy theories are true.  Second, Covid-19 might have escaped from a Chinese lab. Nonetheless, you should be very skeptical of most conspiracy theories, including one discussed recently by The Economist: A recent study of blood samples from 9,144 adults in 12 different regions of France found seven which contained antibodies against sars-cov-2, all of them taken in November 2019. An Italian...

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What emergency?

The Biden administration just extended the moratorium on evictions until October (first implemented by the Trump administration). And yet when I look at the economic data, it’s hard for me to understand the motivation for this policy.  What emergency requires such an extreme infringement on property right? Personal incomes have been pretty high throughout the pandemic, so that doesn’t seem to be the issue. There really was a severe unemployment problem last year, but...

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Covid-19 and the Inefficiency of State Coercion

An article by legal scholar Richard Epstein published in the Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas defends George Mason University professor Todd Zywicki who is challenging his university’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate (“The Uneasy Case for Universal Vaccinations,” July 27, 2021). Epstein presents economic and constitutional arguments against this sort of mandate, at least those imposed by a public institution. Epstein explains the gist of the economic case, based on...

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Many Indians Depend on Gold to Stay Afloat During Pandemic

Gold has served as a lifeline for Indians pummeled by the economic storm caused by the government response to the coronavirus pandemic.The Indian government’s response to the first wave of COVID-19 ravaged the economy. As a result, many banks were reluctant to extend credit due to fear of defaults. In this tight lending environment, many Indians used their stashes of gold to secure loans. As Indians battle the second wave of COVID-19, many Indians have now turned to selling their gold...

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What can we infer from the Swedish Covid policy?

There’s been a great deal of discussion of what we can learn from the Covid policy adopted by Sweden.  One side suggests that the Swedish outcome shows that lockdowns don’t have much impact on Covid infection rates, while the other side reaches the opposite conclusion.  I’m rather skeptical about the effectiveness of lockdown policies, but I don’t entirely agree with either side of the debate over Swedish policy.  (This article in The Economist is also mildly...

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Did a lab leak cause a global pandemic?

An article by former NYT science reporter Donald McNeil suggests that the answer is likely yes: Despite constantly rising biosafety levels, viruses we already know to be lethal, from smallpox to SARS, have repeatedly broken loose by accident. Most leaks infect or kill just a few people before they are stopped by isolation and/or vaccination. But not all: scientists now believe that the H1N1 seasonal flu that killed thousands every year from 1977 to 2009 was influenza...

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