Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on March 23, 2020

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, FDA, Health, History, Intervention, Seen and Unseen

My Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold, writing in The Hill, argues that

[c]ertain members of the Trump administration and Congress have ramped up their criticism in recent days, claiming that the virus confirms their warnings that the United States is too dependent on China for imports, especially critical pharmaceutical and medical supplies. But a closer look at our trade with China shows that their warnings are misguided and threaten to compound the mounting cost of the virus.

Good, if too-rare, sense about governments’ reaction to COVID-19 is offered by Gerry Dwyer, Richard Ebeling, John Cochrane, and Nick Gillespie.

John Miltimore reminds us that governments often make panics worse. A slice:

It’s no secret or coincidence that crises—foreign wars, terrorist attacks, and economic depressions—have often resulted in vast encroachments of freedom and even given rise to tyrants (from Napoleon to Lenin and beyond). In his book Crisis and Leviathan, the historian and economist Robert Higgs explains how throughout history, crises have been used to expand the administrative state, often by allowing “temporary” measures to be left in place after a crisis has abated (think federal tax withholding during World War II).

“When [crises occur] … governments almost certainly will gain new powers over economic and social affairs,” wrote Higgs. “For those who cherish individual liberty and a free society, the prospect is deeply disheartening.”

Let’s take the novel coronavirus deadly seriously, but let’s not throw reason, prudence, or the Constitution out the window while doing so.

FDA Should Get Out of the Way of At-Home COVID-19 Testing” – so wisely argues Ron Bailey.

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