If all this moral imbecility and cowardice has a “root cause” — to use one of the favored phrases of those who indulge it — it’s a simplistic worldview that insists that the first and last question to ask about any political controversy is who are the oppressors and who are the oppressed, and treats the latter as practically incapable of doing wrong. This ends up dehumanizing everyone, implying as it does that Palestinians have no choice but to kidnap and murder children.
In 2020, the pandemic hit, and under both President Trump and President Biden, the government went crazy with big deficits. They acted as if we were in Keynesian Recession world, even though the decline in economic activity was due to pandemic-related closures, not to an excess of saving relative to desired investment.
In this context, the deficits caused a bulge in Domestic Saving. Some of this went into long-term investments, including apartment buildings and venture-funded start-ups.
Then, even with the pandemic over, President Biden kept the deficit machine going by spending on “green energy” and other progressive priorities without raising taxes to pay for this surge. The Democrats acted as if we were in the Minsky/MMT world, and these deficits would not matter.
As it turns out, in 2023 we are in something like Classical world. The big deficits now are crowding out private investment.
Even if lawsuits were a major source of health cost inflation, tort law reform invites unintended consequences. Doctors may increase risky surgeries, for example, if they have less fear of being sued. Studies suggest that reforms have contributed to worse patient outcomes or increased use of certain procedures, implying higher costs.
The policies that cause high and rising health care costs are subsidies for health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and the tax exclusion for employer‐paid health insurance premiums). Politicians looking to constrain health costs should trim these subsidies.
The covid response was an exercise in public health anti-science.