New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new orders  go the furthest into hygiene theater, creating new limits on how many people can gather in private houses (10) and shutting down bars and other establishments that serve alcohol after 10 p.m. with little scientific evidence that such arbitrary limits will really help slow the spread. Even putting aside more philosophical concerns about dictating how many people can gather in private dwellings, the idea makes little practical sense, since there’s a big difference between 10 people crammed into a tiny studio apartment and spread out in a four-story brownstone. Its necessarily selective enforcement threatens to come down hardest on politically or culturally disfavored communities. (See, for instance, New York City’s obsessive focus on pandemic transgressions in large Orthodox Jewish communities.) Similarly, there’s little reason to expect alcohol-serving establishments to be less safe than restaurants that don’t serve alcohol. And giving New Yorkers fewer hours in which to congregate in semi-public spaces like bars and restaurants means more people packed into small indoor spaces at once, potentially exacerbating the virus’s spread.
The authors go even further to point out that oftentimes innovation takes place to outmaneuver the state as regulations bog down progress in various industries. This can partially explain things like the emergence of private equity over public equity  in the world of finance. One of the key benefits of private equity is not having to abide by the cumbersome regulations that govern public financial markets.