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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 59 of Ronald Bailey’s and Marian Tupy’s beautiful, important, and new (2020) volume, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know:

The Four Horsemen of Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death usher in the Apocalypse in Christian tradition…. [D]eaths from infectious diseases are way down; wars are rarer and kill fewer people; and malnutrition has steeply declined. Finally, the crude annual death rate is a common way to benchmark the toll of mortality. And by that measure, it turns out that death itself is also in retreat.

DBx: One of the (many) problems that I have with the still-raging hysterical overreaction to covid-19 begins with the absence of historical perspective: Even with covid’s ravages, we remain today healthier and more long-lived than were our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents – going back to Adam enjoying Eve’s apple.

This reality, of course, doesn’t mean that no precautions should be taken against covid. But I’d have more confidence in politicians and public-health officials if they were to show some sense of perspective. Instead, even the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals his ignorance of the relevant history.

This history is relevant largely because those who know it are naturally led to ask: What caused this enormous and historically unprecedented decrease in mortality and morbidity rates over the past few centuries? People who ask this question seriously, in turn, cannot help but notice that these happy trends were accompanied by increased market-directed innovation, increased specialization and trade, and increased globalization. And to understand the connection between market activity and improved health is to understand that economic activity cannot be arbitrarily obstructed without putting people’s health in greater peril over the long run.


The traditional Four Horsemen have been increasingly corralled until 2020. But this year, a fifth and far more ominous horseman suddenly rode in, shouting that we are all in danger unless we obey, without question or hesitation, his every command. This horseman is Tyranny, and he continues to gallop destructively across the land. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death can only stare with envy at Tyranny’s ravages.


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