Reason’s Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie discuss lockdowns and leviathan. I fear, alas, that Nick Gillespie is correct about the downside he identifies of the prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine.
No regular reader of this blog would mistake me as a Trumpian. I’m emphatically no such thing. But I share Wall Street Journal columnist Gerard Baker’s disgust at the media’s abandonment, over the past four years, of even the pretense of objectivity when reporting on Trump and on his political opponents. A slice:
There was the giggling excitement from reporters last week when the president-elect announced the latest recruit into his expanding animal kingdom. As I read the coverage from supposedly serious news sources, I tried to imagine for a moment what it would have been like if President Trump had announced at any point in the last year that he was acquiring a cat.
“President Trump to Forcibly Incarcerate Helpless Animal on Federal Property,” The New York Times would doubtless have thundered, in a multiple-byline, six-column front-page blockbuster. CNN would have featured interviews all day with scientists about how cats are Covid superspreaders and how this was the latest act of irresponsibility on the part of a president who had already murdered a quarter-million Americans.
But when California fails to get the rules right, the future of American entrepreneurialism does not fall apart. Instead, we see an exodus from California to more welcoming pastures in Texas, Nevada, Utah, Arizona or Colorado. This exodus was set into motion before the pandemic, too. From 2018 to 2019, 660 companies left San Francisco, and one of those was Charles Schwab, a Fortune 500 company, that set its sights on Dallas instead.
That’s the beauty and inherent hope of American federalism. When states and localities are allowed to set their own rules, they can experiment with various ideas, innovations and entrepreneurial ventures.