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Tag Archives: Regulation

Some Links

Stacey Rudin eloquently exposes the inexplicable superstition that fueled – and that continues to fuel – most of the world’s hysterical reaction to the coronavirus. A slice: Perhaps [Neil] Ferguson never believed the world’s most powerful governments would take his predictions seriously. The world had not acted on his past predictions, so maybe he expected more of the same. This time, however, the media — breathlessly reporting on hospital overflow in Northern Italy; bolstered by...

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Reply to Paul Romer

Economist Paul Romer tweeted today: Doesn’t sound like China is going to sign up for the “Great Barrington” plan for surrendering to the virus. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to live in a country where everybody understands that it is the government’s job to do whatever it takes to protect public health? He was referencing the following Associated Press item: ASIA TODAY: Chinese health authorities will test all 9 million people in the eastern city of Qingdao for the...

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Some Links

In today’s New York Times, my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy writes sensibly about taxes and the U.S. tax code. A slice: There are many aspirational visions for the tax code. If yours is a wildly complex, 2,600-page code of rules and frustration, you win, because that’s what we have now. If you desire a federal tax code that’s an archaeological record of special-interest politics, chiseled out over time with giveaways under the cover of achieving social goals like...

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Casey Mulligan’s Excellent Adventure

A sharply dressed bearded man stood up near the door of the White House meeting room and bellowed, “HHS, you need to hear the OMB loud and clear: your AKS RIA is DOA!” and exited the meeting. As several others filed out of the room behind him, I leaned toward CEA’s General Counsel Joel Zinberg and whispered, “That must be a world record for number of acronyms in one sentence. What the hell does it mean?” Joel chuckled and said, “I have no idea, except that we’re...

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Three Economists Walk Into a Discussion, Part 2

Last week I posted Part 1 of my observations on the discussion between Kevin Hassett and Austan Goolsbee. This is Part 2. I left with the issue of the federal deficit and debt. 35:30: Goolsbee doesn’t think we’ll be Greece. We have low income tax rates, no VAT, and better demographics. He argues that tax rates on grandkids will need to he higher. He thinks we need immigration to offset the aging of the population. DRH comment: I’m disappointed that neither Hassett...

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Some Links

The editors of the Wall Street Journal rightly praise the Great Barrington Declaration. A slice: The virus isn’t going away even if Joe Biden wins the election and perhaps not even with a vaccine. Better treatments and protocols have improved outcomes enormously for high-risk individuals—of which Mr. Trump may turn out to be a textbook case. The shame is that Covid has become so politicized that the calm reasoning of the Great Barrington scientists is drowned out by the fear and loathing...

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The FDA’s Differing Approval Standards For Sleeping Pills and Covid Vaccines

Sam Peltzman, a University of Chicago emeritus professor, could easily win this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics for his pioneering work on the economics of regulations. Peltzman’s odds of winning have probably improved because of his work nearly a half century ago on the impact of the FDA’s efficacy requirement for drug approval, which was imposed in 1962. Before that year, drugs only had to pass the FDA’s safety standards. Peltzman found that the added approval...

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COVID Reality: From POTUS to NOTUS

There is such a thing as external reality, of which any moral ideal, political goal, or action must take due notice. The revelation today that POTUS has been infected by the coronavirus provides an example. One should want to preserve individual liberty during a pandemic or another natural or man-made catastrophe, but reality must still be acknowledged in a logically consistent way. Restraints to trade are like pandemics: it is important to understand how they work...

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The Real Cost of Expensive Cancer Drugs

In the news this week was the release of a congressional probe into high drug prices, particularly for cancer medications. One of the prime exhibits in the hearings was the drug Revlimid, produced by Celgene. In one sequence, Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) held up a whiteboard showing the increase in the cost of one Revlimid pill from $215 in 2005 to $763 today. Accusations of price gouging and profiting from illness quickly followed. However, the story behind...

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A Key Characteristic of a Banana Republic

Over at The Money Illusion, fellow EconLog blogger Scott Sumner lays out 21 characteristics of a banana republic. He points out that it’s not a complete list. I agree. In particular, there’s one characteristic missing, a characteristic that has been quite relevant in the United States and in major parts of the world since early April. It is this: Does the government prevent people from practicing their occupation and shut down huge parts of the economy based on the...

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