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Ed Stringham rightly applauds John Ioannidis.

Art Carden – citing, among others, Jim Buchanan, Gene Epstein, and Jim Otteson – warns against the all-too-common habit of thinking of the state as a great mind. A slice:

States are very good at identifying a well-defined problem and rendering a system legible to its functionaries. This is not the same thing as identifying the right problem (or set of problems) and providing anything approximating the “right” solutions. It is just finding something for powerful people to measure and control. In the process of making things legible, states give short shrift to other problems that are extremely important but that are outside the scope of their interest. If the goal is “stop the spread of COVID-19 at all costs,” then an authoritarian lockdown seems like a pretty obvious solution. Once you relax the “at all costs” part of the goal, things become much less clear. At a fundamental level, it looks like the theorists and practitioners who have slammed on the brakes of the free society are committing what the philosopher James Otteson called “the Great Mind Fallacy” in a 2010 paper in the journal Social Philosophy and Policy.

My Mercatus Center colleague Christine McDaniel notes the irony of how today’s imploding economy is shrinking the U.S. trade deficit.

Arnold Kling warns that what he calls “lockdown socialism” isn’t sustainable.

Ron Bailey is a very careful science writer. Let’s hope that this study on which he reports is true.

And here’s a recent report from Sweden. (HT Eric Mack)

My GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein explores the meaning of gratitude, and of expressions of it.