≡ Menu

Some Links

Inspired in part by Casey Mulligan’s and Robert Arnott’s new paper on covid lockdowns, Richard Rahn explains that lockdowns “were a deadly and costly mistake.” Three slices:

Different countries had different lockdown policies, and within federal republics like the U.S. and Australia, different states and regions also had different lockdown policies. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh revealed that a recent U.K. Office of National Statistics report says that “Sweden and Norway were essentially tied for the lowest all-cause excess-mortality scores.”

Using more recent OECD data (March 2020 to October 2022), Mr. Volokh then calculated that Sweden had the lowest aggregate excess mortality percentages (2.79) — even below Norway (4.28) — and the U.S., the highest (20.90), or approximately seven times higher than Sweden. Other OECD countries were far worse than Sweden but much better than the U.S. (e.g., Australia — 8.0; Germany — 8.86; France — 9.99; U.K. – 10.6; Canada 12.12; Israel — 13.14; and Poland — 20.13).


The big mistake the CDC people (Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins, etc.) made was to single-mindedly focus on potential deaths directly from COVID-19 while largely ignoring the potential deaths indirectly induced by the lockdowns. Presidents Trump and Biden were also mistaken to basically listen to single-source “experts” from the government health care establishment rather than also listening to others from places like Johns Hopkins and Stanford universities, who had the expertise but did not have the vested interests of the CDC/Big Pharma cabal.


If the above-described mistakes had not been made, it is no overstatement to say that hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars could have been saved, and basic constitutional rights would not have been trampled. Those who pretended they had knowledge that they didn’t have and then, based on their misrepresentations, made recommendations or, worse yet, imposed destructive mandates on the American people have much to atone for.

Lou Saverio-Eastman explains his admirable role in fighting lockdowns, a role that includes the creation and maintenance of the website that houses the great Great Barrington Declaration.

Let’s hope that Eli Klein is correct: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

It’s hard to exaggerate how big of an L Duke University took on mask mandates. They announced that they’ll likely mandate masks in classrooms on January 9, then were forced to walk that back a week later. People are fed up with Covid mandates and won’t take it anymore. A big win!

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

A new twitter files drop by @lhfang confirms that Pfizer and Moderna pressured twitter to suppress tweets advocating for low cost generic vaccines. It seems certain the pharma propaganda campaign did not limit itself to twitter and only to this issue.

2023 is the tricentennial of the birth of Adam Smith. Each month throughout this year National Review will run a new essay in honor of the great Scot. Here’s the series’ first essay, which is written by my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein and GMU Econ alum Erik Matson. A slice:

That charge of inconsistency has been overturned by several generations of scholars. Smith understood man as naturally benevolent towards kith and kin, and to operate from reciprocal considerations of self-regard with strangers. His two books might be understood as treating different spheres — the personal (TMS) and the impersonal (WN). There is no inconsistency. But “the Adam Smith problem” is like the heads of the Hydra: Cut one down and two take its place.

Rich Vedder asks: Who should own the University of North Carolina? (HT George Leef)

Antony Davies points to evidence that outcomes are improved by economic freedom.

Michael Shellenberger debunks Paul Ehrlich’s latest hysterical prediction. A slice:

In fact, in rich nations around the world, wild areas are coming back, thanks to the more efficient use of land for producing food in general and meat in particular. Humans use about half of the ice-free land surface of the Earth. Of that half, we use about half for meat production, which is one the greatest threats to endangered species. But the amount of land humans use for meat has declined massively in recent decades, nearly an area the size of Alaska.

Pierre Lemieux offers at least four good reasons to learn economics.