… is from page 227 of Robert Higgs’s September 1986 Freeman essay, “To Deal With A Crisis: Government Program or Free Market?” as this essay is reprinted and slightly retitled and revised in the superb 2004 collection of some of Bob’s essays, Against Leviathan:
Above all, we need to understand that the choice is not between a governmental program and an unrelieved calamity. Rather, the choice is between remedial actions taken by governmental officials, who can wield coercive powers, and remedial actions taken by private citizens, who must confine themselves to voluntarily accepted arrangements. In either case, something will be done. The critical questions have to do with the effectiveness and long-run consequences of the actions taken.
DBx: This truth is typically ignored – and never more calamitously so than in 2020-2022 during the pandemic of covid hysteria.