≡ Menu

Some Links

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Zoellick explains that Trump’s tariffs unnecessarily increase Americans’ difficulty in fighting COVID-19. A slice:

Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics calculates that the Trump administration has imposed new taxes on almost $5 billion of medical exports from China, totaling about 26% of U.S. health-care imports. With tariffs, the U.S. government is making it harder for first responders to procure masks, sterile gloves, goggles, hospital gowns, surgical drapes, thermometers and breathing masks. America also imports about $22 billion of medical technology from countries all over the world, including CT systems, patient monitors and X-ray devices.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy – inspired by Russ Roberts – celebrates the many different and productive private-sector responses to the coronavirus. A slice:

This column is too short to list everything that companies and citizens are now doing to help during this crisis. From private companies searching for cures and developing a vaccine to private citizens tutoring kids for free online to neighbors using the Nextdoor app to set up mutual-aid resources for vulnerable community members needing food, medicines and services, examples abound of the generosity and sense of community of the American people.

Nick Gillespie interviews Richard Epstein on the coronavirus pandemic.

George Will writes wisely and thought-provokingly on the interconnectedness of the modern world. A slice:

In last year’s “The Body: A Guide for Occupants,” Bill Bryson notes a milestone in human history: 2011 was the first year in which more people died from noncommunicable diseases (e.g., heart failure, stroke, diabetes) than from all infectious diseases combined. “We live,” Bryson writes, “in an age in which we are killed, more often than not, by lifestyle.” The bacterium that caused the 14th century’s Black Death was in the air, food and water, so breathing, eating and drinking were risky behaviors. Today, deaths from the coronavirus are not apt to match what Bryson calls “suicide by lifestyle,” an epidemic that will continue long after the coronavirus has.

In one of his Venn diagrams, Mark Perry makes plain the inconsistency of those who, on one hand, rightly condemn the Chinese government for suppressing relevant information about COVID-19 and its consequences, but who, on the other hand, call on governments in the U.S. to suppress relevant information about COVID-19 and its consequences.

Washington shouldn’t force the airline industry to run an experiment in ‘accountable capitalism’.”

George Selgin makes the case for keeping the Fed bound by rules even in – indeed, especially in – the midst of a crisis.

Let’s hope that Nobel laureate Michael Levitt is correct about the spread of coronavirus.