Vinay Prasad explains that “covid vaccines shouldn’t be ‘routine’ for kids.” A slice:

Mandates are concerning for two reasons. First, it is not clear they are ethical. The standard rule in medicine is simple: We do not intrude upon individual autonomy unless that intervention provides sufficient benefit to third parties. This means there must be a large benefit to others— enough so the loss of autonomy is acceptable. Given that the Covid-19 vaccine does not halt virus transmission, the prerequisite is not met.

Reason‘s Robby Soave reports that “adding the covid-19 vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule is a mistake.”

Anya Kamenetz tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

The counterfactual that “learning loss apologists” fail to engage is that we could’ve had shorter school closures AND lower death rates. How do I know? Every other OECD country managed it.

Jeffrey Tucker spoke recently at Hillsdale College on “the economic disaster of the pandemic response.” A slice:

Even if the lockdowns had saved lives over the long term—and the literature on this overwhelmingly suggests they did not—it would be proper to ask the question: at what cost? What are the tradeoffs?

Because economic considerations were shelved for the emergency, policymakers failed to consider tradeoffs. Thus did the White House on March 16, 2020, send out the most dreaded imaginable directive from an economic point of view: “bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.” And the results were legion.

For one thing, the lockdowns kicked off an epic bout of government spending. COVID-response spending amounted to at least $6 trillion above normal operations, running the national debt up to 121 percent of GDP. For comparison, our national debt in 1981 amounted to 35 percent of GDP—and Ronald Reagan correctly declared that a crisis.

Aaron Kheriaty reports on a lawsuit over government collusion, in Kheriaty’s words, “with social media to censor content on social media platforms — including Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram — that questions, challenges, or contradicts the government’s covid policies.”

“Every year, government bureaucrats and doomsayers in the media issue deathly serious advice for avoiding Halloween dangers that are trivial, or even nonexistent. And 2022 is no exception.” – so reports Lenore Skenazy.

Here’s the abstract of a new paper by my newest GMU Econ colleague Michael Clemens and his co-author Ethan Lewis: (HT David Henderson)

The U.S. limits work visas for low-skill jobs outside of agriculture, with a binding quota that firms access via a randomized lottery. We evaluate the marginal impact of the quota on firms entering the 2021 H-2B visa lottery using a novel survey and pre-analysis plan. Firms exogenously authorized to employ more immigrants significantly increase production (elasticity +0.16) with no decrease or an increase in U.S. employment (elasticity +0.10, statistically imprecise) across several pre-registered subsamples. The results imply very low substitutability of native for foreign labor in the policy-relevant occupations. Forensic analysis suggests similarly low substitutability of black-market labor.

Chris Edwards isn’t impressed with the Federal Reserve.

Dave Barker decries the fake science – including some from the Fed – that fuels climate hysteria. A slice:

Mainstream economics shows that warming will have minor economic effects compared to the economic growth we expect over the next century. That is a problem for the climate lobby, which unfortunately includes the Fed. Since economic growth will swamp the economic effects of global warming, the Fed set out, it seems, to prove that warming will reduce growth. The fact that Florida, on average 26 degrees warmer than Michigan, has grown faster didn’t faze them.

The Fed isn’t the only institution to fall into chicanery. The study was published in a peer-reviewed academic economics journal, given wide media coverage, and cited in a congressional report to justify the Green New Deal. Bogus research makes big splashes. But when it is debunked, there isn’t a ripple.

The best economic model, validated by a Nobel Prize for William Nordhaus, shows that if nothing is done to reduce emissions, warming will reduce world GDP by about three percent by the year 2100. If global GDP continues to grow at the rate it has been growing, then the world in 2100 will be five times richer than it is today. A three-percent reduction in GDP would make us 4.8 times richer instead of 5.0 times. Not exactly catastrophic! Mainstream economics doesn’t deny climate change and accepts that some policies to mitigate it might pass a cost-benefit test. But it does not predict a climate apocalypse, even if we do nothing.

Ryan Bourne warns fans of free markets: Don’t expect much satisfaction from new British PM Rishi Sunak.

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