Thursday , January 21 2021
Home / Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

“Stimulus” Ain’t Miracle Dust

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Incoming Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and other left-of-center economists reason that government should borrow and spend even more than the unfathomable sums that have been borrowed and spent in 2020 (“The Debt Question Facing Janet Yellen: How Much Is Too Much?” Jan. 19). Spending enormous amounts of borrowed funds is thought to be necessary to stimulate the economy out of its sluggishness. Yet the only condition under which this...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 45 of the published version of James Coolidge Carter’s pioneering speech delivered on July 25th, 1889, to the annual meeting of the Virginia State Bar Association – a speech titled The Provinces of the Written and the Unwritten Law (obvious typo corrected): And who will be found wise enough to draw the line up to which we may go with safety, but beyond which there is peril? DBx: This bit of wisdom is broad. Who, for example, is to be trusted to extend the application of...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 4 of the late, great UCLA economists Armen A. Alchian’s and William R. Allen’s Universal Economics (2018; Jerry L. Jordan, ed.); this volume is an updated version of Alchian’s and Allen’s magnificent and pioneering earlier textbook, University Economics: Two apparent devils restrict what you can have – the limited amounts of goods and services available, and the rest of us who also want them. It is important to understand that scarcity does not exist because society...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 130 of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Alberto Mingardi’s superb 2020 book, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State (original emphasis; footnotes deleted): After 1848, liberalism (or, as we call it not, classical liberalism) began to come under attack from enthusiasts for State action – by the nationalists from the right and the socialists from the left. The anti-liberals, inspired on both sides by Hegel, have this in common: they substitute for human action by individuals in...

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Some Covid Links

Phil Magness argues sensibly that young adults are being killed by Covid-19 lockdowns. (Where’s the sympathy for these victims?) A slice: The concession itself is stunning. If opioid overdose deaths are up compared to their 2018 baseline, they could explain the surge in excess deaths among young people rather than the speculated undercounting of Covid fatalities. Opioid and other substance abuse problems have a well-documented connection to mental despair and economic downturns alike....

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Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins – one of the few prominent American journalists to avoid Covid Derangement Syndrome – writes again wisely on Covid-19, officials’ and media’s misleading statements about it, and the resulting calamitous response. A slice: Inexplicably, authorities, including the World Health Organization, insisted on promoting a fatality rate they knew was exaggerated because of the failure to account for mild infections. To this day, U.S. officialdom and the...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 168 of Tom Palmer’s 2007 paper titled “Twenty Myths about Markets” (which was written for a Mont Pelerin meeting in Nairobi), as this paper is reprinted in Tom’s important 2009 book, Realizing Freedom: Moreover, there is no “well balanced” middle of the road. State interventions into the market typically lead to distortions and even crises, which then are used as excuses for yet more interventions, thus driving policy one direction or another. DBx: Tom here identifies yet...

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Some Links

The latest post by Swedish physician Sebastian Rushworth on Covid-19 and humanity’s deranged reaction to it is a must-read. A slice: Now, I don’t want to give the impression that the Emergency Room was being overwhelmed, because that would be false. I went from seeing eight or more patients per shift to seeing two or three. While a very large proportion of the patients were covid positive, there were in total many fewer patients than usual. All the usual suspects in the Emergency Room...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 106 of John Mueller’s superb 1999 book, Capitalism, Democracy, & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery: Moreover, there is very often a political dilemma in the fact that the people who will benefit in the long run from the economists’ advice don’t know who they are while those who will be disadvantaged in the short run know this only too well and are quick to scream. DBx: Yes The notion that government officials specifically, and political processes generally, take a longer-run...

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To Repeat: Covid-19 Poses No Serious Risk to Young Adults

Here’s another letter to Nick Horn: Mr. Horn: Thanks for your follow-up letter in which you write that I, in this post, “totally miss the point of the New York Times article which DOES show positive correlation between covid and excess death of people between 25 and 44.  These are real.” You conclude that I “callously discount them.” Of course these deaths are real. But this reality doesn’t prove the op-ed authors’ contention that Covid poses serious risks to persons in that age group....

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