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Tag Archives: COVID

American Opinion from a Hayekian Viewpoint

A recent opinion poll by the Wall Street Journal reveals that 50% of Americans support President Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine requirements for private-sector employers, while 47% oppose them. Other opinion polls over the past few decades and perhaps especially over the past few years have suggested, although perhaps not unambiguously, that American opinion has been shifting away from individual liberty and towards more power to political authority (see also my Econlog...

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Henry Olsen on Isabelle Ayuso

Henry Olsen interviewed Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the President of the Madrid region, for the Washington Post. She made quite an impression:Free-market conservatives have been looking for a hero in this populist, Trumpian age. They might just have one in the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. I’ve written before about Ayuso and how she tried, in Madrid, to counter the pandemic and keep contagion under control while avoiding lockdowns and preserving the...

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Contra Caplan on Covid caution

Bryan Caplan has a new post that contests some of the claims I made in my recent post about the regulation of safety.  I do agree with Bryan on several points.  First, most of the Covid regulations were misguided.  Second, today many people are foolishly being far too cautious about Covid.  (I’d add that many people are not cautious enough, i.e. unvaccinated adults.)  But I also disagree on a number of points: 1.  It’s not obvious to me that the widespread Covid...

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It didn’t begin with Covid

Pundits often criticize the US government for overreacting to Covid, especially the excessive mandates for masks, vaccines, etc. I share their concern. But I also wonder where some of these people have been. On a list of regulatory overreaction, these mandates don’t even make my “top 100”. For decades, overreaction to tiny safety risks has been getting worse, with no end in sight.Have you ever wondered why we must wear those annoying seat belts on full size...

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Does compulsory vaccination work?

A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of compulsory vaccination. In the face of the Omicron variant, European governments are escalating in their anti-Covid measures. Compulsory vaccination is on the table, but so is the idea of going back to at least partial lockdowns. It is interesting that by now shutting down at least part of social life is sort of a default option, happily embraced by governments and experts as a first resort application of the precautionary...

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Peter Schiff: It Was a Black and Blue Friday

Last Friday was Black Friday and it was a black and blue Friday for investors. Just about everything was down and markets panicked over a new COVID variant. Peter Schiff talked about the market reaction in his podcast. Did the markets overreact? And what would happen if we did go into another global lockdown?The Dow suffered its worse day since April 2020, the height of COVID lockdowns.European stocks got hit hardest. “Stay at home” stocks including Netflix and Peloton the US helped...

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Is the future of conservatism “national”?

Arnold Kling has an excellent Substack post on the National Conservative Conference. I also recommend this piece by Nate Hochmann. My takeaway from both is that national conservatives may have a point in claiming that “all of the energy, all of the excitement, all of the intellectual innovation is on our side”. Other conservative groups, think tanks or “environments” broadly speaking have been quite silent lately – including, if you consider them members of the same...

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When it’s time to panic

As Matt Yglesias recently pointed out, the term ‘panic’ has a negative connotation: I’m not going to quibble with Yglesias’s claim, as he correctly describes how people think of this term.  Nonetheless, I do insist that panic is often appropriate, if we define ‘panic’ in the way that the state uses the term.  Indeed throughout history, states often justify evil policies by claiming that they are lying to the public in order to prevent “panic”, as if the state is...

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Moving Toward Normal

As regular readers of my posts know, I oppose lockdowns, favor vaccines, oppose government hyping the threat of Covid to children, and oppose government mask mandates. So when life starts to look kind of normal, especially for children, I cheer. I had much to cheer about last night, Halloween. Normally, we have 50 to 100 children come by and collect candy. Last year, we had 3. This year we had just over 60. Many of them wore masks, of course, because those were part...

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What should have happened in 2008-09

This post discusses what should have happened in 2008-09 and what did happen in 2006-08. Reallocation of resources. Instead, we got a deep recession in 2008-09. Fortunately, Fed officials learned from their mistake and when services tanked due to the Covid crisis they pumped up nominal spending enough so that the decline in services was mostly offset with a booming goods sector.  This is from a very informative post by Jason Furman and Wilson Powell: Between January...

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