One could make a libertarian case for government mask mandates during a pandemic, on the grounds that no one has an inherent right to cough deadly pathogens on another person. But that theoretical case has to be weighed against the reality of policing in America, where cops frequently resort to petty and overaggressive enforcement.
To judge from these reports in Miami, the pandemic has done little to change how such officers go about enforcing the law.
Yet something is profoundly amiss in the frenzied movement that has America in its grip. This movement elevates passion over reason and dogma over data. It contemptuously rejects, and attempts to silence, calls for objective analysis as self-evidently racist.
In his new book, “Charter Schools and Their Enemies,” Sowell compared the performance of the overwhelmingly poor Black and Hispanic students in charter schools “in Harlem and other low-income minority communities in New York City” with that of students in the same grades in traditional public schools housed in the same buildings.
He found that these charter school students “pass the statewide mathematics tests at a rate more than 6 times the rate at which traditional public school students, housed in the same buildings, pass the same test.”
Thierer goes on to make an even more important point: evasive entrepreneurialism is actually a form of dissent, and new technologies offer exit strategies from heavily regulated markets and the ossified status quo. In this sense, innovation is a political as well as an economic force that provides avenues for economic growth as well as opportunities to challenge abusive and inefficient government practices.
Evasive entrepreneurs and the technological disobedience they can generate are an important check on government power that facilitates economic growth and innovation. And as technologies provide more mobility, evasive entrepreneurs gain even more leverage. By voting with their feet, they elude the heavy hand of government regulators.