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Tag Archives: Regulation

Covid Minimizing on One Variable

Back in July or August, I was walking along Alvarado Street minding my own business. Suddenly, someone with a Monterey city government worker logo on his shirt came up to me and told me I had to wear a mask. I asked him to show me in the regulations where it said that. The sign above admits of no exceptions but the regulatory document is pages long. A local lawyer friend only a few days earlier had explained to me that one wasn’t legally required to wear a mask if...

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Should AstraZeneca Vaccine Be Paused?

Millions of people in dozens of countries have received the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine with few reports of ill effects, and its prior testing in tens of thousands of people found it to be safe. But recently, blood clots and abnormal bleeding in a small number of vaccine recipients in European countries have cast doubt on its safety, although no causative link has been found between the patients’ conditions and the vaccine. The reports have prompted more than a dozen...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 15-16 of Richard Epstein’s superb 1995 book, Simple Rules for a Complex World: Even the failure and disintegration of socialism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has not led to a clear response to the next question: if government ownership of the means of production is so bad, why is government regulation of the private means of production so good? DBx: An excellent question. Ownership, after all, is a bundle of decision-making rights over property along with...

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Some Covid Links

“The crew at the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) have done an analysis of excess mortality for 2020 across 32 countries to get a clearer picture of the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns. They used excess mortality instead of “Covid deaths”, they explain, to avoid problems with recording and classification of deaths and include any impact of anti-Covid measures. They used age-adjusted mortality to take into account differences in the average age of populations. They...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 35 of Thomas Sowell’s 1979 Hillsdale College lecture, “Knowledge and Decisions,” as it appears in Champions of Freedom, Volume 7 (1980): Decisions over the past half century or so have been gravitating away from those people who directly experience the consequences, and toward third parties who simply observe. That is, decisions are moving, for example, out of the market, where those who directly buy and sell something can decide whether they want it or they want it a...

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will rightly decries the increased militarization of Capitol Hill. A slice: In normal life, when there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate. In government, failure, far from being penalized, is often rewarded. Those whose bad judgments botched the Capitol’s security on Jan. 6 now are granted seemingly unlimited deference regarding their judgments about needed security measures. Hence their infuriating project currently scarring the epicenter of American democracy: more...

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The case against COVID lockdowns, well argued.

On the website of the Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology, a newly formed (2020) organization which I’ll make a point of following closely, there is a very good article by Philippe Lemoine (a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Cornell University). Lemoine is making the case against lockdowns. I am biased in favor of such a position, so I may be easily persuaded, but I think Lemoine argues it very well, in a tone which is sensible and takes into account the-...

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Some Non-Covid Links

My emeritus Nobel-laureate colleague, Vernon Smith, writes with Lynne Kiesling about how – as their headline puts it – “Texas electricity regulators can use markets to make the grid more reliable.” Inu Manak and Scott Lincicome argue – quite correctly – that national security is no good defense of protectionism. A slice: One recent investigation, on imported transformers and certain grain-oriented electrical steel parts, is indicative of the problems that Section 232 creates. The...

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Some Non-Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins decries the intellectual state of humanity these days. A slice: Especially but not exclusively on the left, it seems bad form nowadays, and even evidence of some kind of guilt, to subject any passionately-made claim to cool examination. Consider a well-covered racial incident at Smith College where slandering any number of white people became the preferred alternative to a black person having to hear that she was wrong. Distrust of the media,...

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will rightly decries the U.S. government’s unprecedented peacetime fiscal diarrhea. A slice: [Brian] Riedl, a student of ancient (or so it suddenly seems) U.S. fiscal history, remembers that the 2009 stimulus included a $25 addition to weekly unemployment checks. In 2020, Democrats wanted $600 bonuses, and Republicans were considered skinflints because they favored only $300 — 12 times the 2009 sum. During the Great Recession, the typical family of four (a family with income below...

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