… is from page 587 of the 5th edition (2015) of the great Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:
Few things have saved as many lives as simply the growth of wealth.
DBx: Yes – and, hence, few things are as responsible for taking as many lives as simply those interventions that stymie the growth of wealth.
The world has no shortage of such interventions. High taxes, protectionism, industrial policy, minimum-wage legislation, immigration restrictions – the list is long.
But in 2020 there was added to this list a monster and monstrous item: the Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions.
Going forward, humanity’s wealth will be lower than it would have been absent this derangement, perhaps much lower. This lower wealth will result in reduced innovation, workplace conditions and consumer products less safe than otherwise, and health-care less effective than it would have been had humanity not been infected with Covid Derangement Syndrome.
Even the quantitative loss of life will be impossible to measure because one cannot really quantify that which only might have been in an open-ended world with potentially creative people. But in the future – in 2025, 2035, 2050, 2100, 2120, and beyond – I am quite certain that life expectancy and the quality of those lives will be lower and less than they would have been had humanity not gone insane in 2020 and tolerated the abominable, arbitrary oppressions that now press down, suffocatingly, upon us.