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Richard McKenzie details many of the ways that Biden & Co. fail Econ 101 [2]. A slice:

Even more importantly, President Biden appears oblivious to the unseen but inevitable effects of his well-intended “green” policies, which is to say that he doesn’t seem to realize that he cannot aggressively pursue a green-energy policy—a central goal of which is drastic reductions in fossil fuel emissions over the coming years and decades—without a spike in the prices of various sources of energy, and not only oil prices, which rose by nearly three-fifths during his first year in office. This is because he has or plans to adopt long-term policies that restrict fossil fuel production and distribution such as, for example, terminating the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the middle of the country and prohibiting drilling on federal lands. The result of these long-term supply restrictions can be expected, as intended, to push up fossil fuel prices and at the same time shift demand to higher-cost and less reliable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Cato’s Colin Grabow continues to write insightfully about the cronyist and harmful Jones Act (and New Englanders had better hope for a mild winter) [3].

Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley explains that “student-loan forgiveness is really a bailout for woke higher ed.” [4] Two slices:

Some argue that even if jobs don’t require a college education, a bachelor’s degree can help employers screen for attributes such as a strong work ethic and sense of personal responsibility. That might have once been true. But professors report that many students nowadays don’t show up for class or turn in assignments on time, make ridiculous excuses, and try to intimidate instructors into being treated leniently.

…..

Government subsidies have been driving too many young people to pursue degrees whether or not they are worthwhile investments. The president’s loan forgiveness and 5% income cap on monthly loan payments will compound all these misaligned incentives that have produced a growing class of underemployed and over-credentialed young progressives.

The Babylon Bee‘s reaction to Biden’s ‘forgiveness’ of student-loan debt is excellent [5].

According to Ian Miller [6], “Fauci has caused such tremendous damage [7] throughout the past few years that it’s almost impossible to comprehend.” Two other slices:

The incomprehensible amount of lying that Fauci has done over the past few years extends past masks to lockdowns and business closures and capacity restrictions.

Fauci now claims that he never said to lock down the country.

Except, of course, that’s exactly what he said on the record in 2020….

…..

The headline of a story out of Jacksonville in April 2021 read: “Fauci: Opening Florida for business as COVID-19 variants surge a ‘risky proposition.’”

Just a few months prior to this remark, he had pointedly criticized Florida for reopening, only to see other states that followed his advice have significantly worse results.

You’d think that being proven wrong would create some humility, uncertainty, and willingness to admit mistakes.

But that’s not what Dr. Fauci does.

Instead, he doubled down, and said that Florida reopening in April 2021, months after vaccines had been available, was “risky.”

Except that California reported significantly higher rates of age-adjusted COVID mortality than Florida for all of the first and second quarters of 2021, with mask mandates and capacity limits for part of that time frame….

Podcaster Alan Miller talks with Sunetra Gupta, one of the three co-authors of the great Great Barrington Declaration [8].

Evidence continues to accumulate that Australia’s tyrannical response to covid – a response diametrically opposite that which is recommended in the great Great Barrington Declaration – has failed even on the narrow grounds of protecting Australians’ health [9].

Toby Young offers here a long extract from Jonathan Sumption’s excellent recent piece in The Times [10].

Martin Kulldorff tweets [11]:

It will take decades, but the only way to gradually restore trust in the scientific community is to first come clean about the misguided, disastrous and unscientific covid policies that too many scientists supported.

Telegraph columnist Janet Daley wonders “why on earth did we give up our freedom without an argument” [12]. Three slices:

We need to go on talking about lockdown. You might think now that both candidates for Tory leader have begun what is likely to be a stampede of government ministers denying they ever supported it, that the story of this unprecedented historical event was finished.

So discredited will the policy and its sinister propaganda programme have become that sooner than you might have thought possible, records will be amended and memories erased in the great totalitarian tradition, to make it appear that this terrible thing was somehow inflicted on the nation without anybody’s official approval.

So why not let it go? It’s over, thank God. It will never happen again. Let’s just forget it and get on with life as we used to know it rather than wasting time on post hoc analysis.

But we cannot – must not – give in to this seemingly reasonable temptation. Because what happened over the past two years, in this country and most of the developed world was not just a mistake: not merely a failure of judgement, or a misreading of the facts (or, more specifically, a confusion about what constitutes fact).

It was something far bigger and more alarming: a surrender of the fundamental principles of liberty and individual responsibility which we had assumed were unassailable in the West and were envied (with much consternation) in the East.

…..

So what really happened here? Not only was there the introduction by fiat of the most extraordinarily invasive legal prohibitions, exceeding anything that had been imposed in the modern era even during wartime (children were not banned from embracing their grandparents during the war, nor was it a crime to have a sexual relationhsip with someone outside your household) but any public criticism of these measures was effectively prohibited or stigmatised to an extent that was almost unendurable.

But let’s get past the outrage and condemnation and ask the real question: why? How did it come to this? The explanation has to go beyond politics – at least in the ordinary sense of the word. It has to be pathological. The world went crazy. There is no other way to account for what was an almost nihilistic dismantling not just of particular liberties and rights, but of the very idea of liberty.

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Making a conscious decision to embrace policies that damage the economy should be morally unacceptable except under the most horrific circumstances. Some people in power clearly thought the pandemic was such a circumstance. Other people simply used it as a pretext for shutting down an economic system that they had always disliked. If we had got the argument out in the open, that second group might have been exposed.

But there was a more insidious difference between the pro and anti-lockdown camps which is older than the divide between the supporters of free markets and the champions of command economies. Perhaps it is the most basic disagreement of all because it goes right to the heart of the human condition.

There is an eternal struggle in every organised society between the longing for freedom and the need for security. (Indeed, that struggle exists within every individual.) In political systems, those two polar impulses have taken the form of liberal democracies which prioritised freedom, and authoritarian governments which promised (often falsely) security.

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