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Tag Archives: lockdowns

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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A very important Spanish election

Today the Madrid region in Spain is going to the ballot to elect a new regional government. The incumbent president is Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who represents the Partido Popular. The PP is the Spanish “traditional” right of center party, whose roots are in the tradition of so-called Christian democracy and that elected many a Spanish prime minister since the country transitioned to democracy: Adolfo Suarez, José Maria Aznar, Mariano Rajoy. The party has been tainted...

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Comparing Apples to Oranges: America versus Europe in the Response to COVID

I have listened to pundits and medical experts on networks from PBS to DW speak at length on the failures of America to adequately deal with the pandemic in comparison with European countries. Most recently, one of these sources cited Americas high fatality numbers as compared to other western European countries and specifically criticized the American system of states and federalism as presenting an unworkable patchwork of policies. One cited the per capita death...

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Inflation watch: Beware the ides of March

Goldmoney Staff . By Alasdair Macleod President Biden has now had his $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed into law, and it will not be the last in the current fiscal year. Covid is not over and is sure to resurge with new variants next winter. But even assuming that is not the case, we still have to contend with the aftermath of the pre-covid conditions, whereby banks had run out of balance sheet capacity combined with trade tariffs predominantly aimed at China. These conditions were a...

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The Ethical and Economic Case Against Lockdowns

Last Friday, February 19, I gave about a 1.6 hour Zoom talk to Ryan Sullivan’s class at the Naval Postgraduate School. It was titled “Don’t Forget What We Know: The Ethical and Economic Case Against Lockdowns.” Here it is. By the way, the most surprising thing I heard from Jeremy Horpedahl in his debate/discussion with Phil Magness is that when there’s an externality, there’s a presumption in favor of government intervention. I disagree and I say why at about the...

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The Magness Horpedahl Convergence on Lockdowns

Yesterday I watched a debate between Phil Magness and Jeremy Horpedahl on lockdowns and liberty. Phil is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and Jeremy is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas. The debate was sponsored by the University of San Diego’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy and the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics. The moderator was Dov Fox, Professor of Law...

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The Big Lesson of 2020: Government Failure

The year 2020 gave us a huge amount of evidence about the relative merits of government intervention and free markets. The bottom line is that government failed massively and free markets triumphed spectacularly (with one major exception) within the constraints that government placed on them. The one apparent exception to government failure is Operation Warp Speed but, as we shall see, that apparent exception may not be an exception at all. This is the opening...

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Does Letting People Work Constitute Assault on Workers?

Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, two of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, write: The Canadian COVID-19 lockdown strategy is the worst assault on the working class in many decades. Low-risk college students and young professionals are protected; such as lawyers, government employees, journalists, and scientists who can work from home; while older high-risk working-class people must work, risking their lives generating the population...

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The difficult politics of Covid

President Trump is such an unusual politician that people (myself included) have trouble seeing him clearly. For instance, Trump is often seen as an opponent of lockdowns. But while he did often speak out against lockdowns during the waning days of the campaign, he actually supported them during the period they were most restrictive.  Here’s a NYT headline from April 22: “I think it’s too soon,” said the president, who joined several mayors in questioning Gov. Brian...

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Tyler Cowen Doubles Down

I criticized (here and here) a recent article that Tyler Cowen wrote in Bloomberg about COVID-19 and lockdowns. Last week he doubled down by raising the issue of the elderly. The title fits his theme, is “Yes, Covid-19 Is More Serious for the Elderly. So What?” Cowen starts with an analogy to 9/11. (Everything in the shaded areas is a quote from his article.) Consider 9/11, when some 3,000 Americans died. The U.S. mounted a very activist response that included new...

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