Lockdown supporters dismissed concerns from their neighbors with dismissive and privileged statements. “Just work out at home.” “Make your own coffee and avocado toast.” “You can go a few months without your hairstylist.” On and on they went, dismissing people crying out for help as their depression grew.
It’s true we can make toast and do jumping jacks at home. This is obvious and misses the point. We depend on third places for our mental health. A widow sits at the coffee shop counter each morning because it could be her only social interaction of the day. A father goes to the gym to burn off stress. A mother goes to the salon to talk to other parents. A teenager attends a concert instead of sitting alone in a dark basement with dark thoughts.
My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy very much likes the forthcoming book by Charles Koch and Brian Hooks; it’s titled Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World .
Pierre Lemieux reminds us again that imports are not a drag on the economy . (Public discourse about trade is in a sorry state when so many people must continually be reminded by scholars such as Pierre that receiving more goods and services in exchange for those that you give up makes you richer, not poorer.)
The two-party system has served America well for two centuries, but the government it oversees has evolved into a vast rent-seeking and redistribution apparatus the founders never envisioned. Reforms Americans might want seem permanently blocked by Beltway influencers: A cost-effective health-care system. A tax code that isn’t a piñata for special interests. A primary education system that doesn’t treat its neediest customers as chattels even as it provides good service to those who can use a competitive real-estate market to force local officials to respond to parental desire for better schools.