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Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s executive director Jim Stergios for a conversation with Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby about the lawsuit against the Massachusetts Governor’s executive orders. They will explore what can be learned from the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what must be considered when devising a new way forward.
The Boston Globe (Columnist Jeff Jacoby): “Baker’s pandemic orders were tough. Were they lawful?“
Commonwealth magazine (Pioneer Executive Director Jim Stergios and MA State Senator Ryan Fattman): “Executive branch overreach, blanket orders having harmful effects“
The consequences of the Great Policy Blunder – shutting down our economy in a futile attempt to escape a viral pandemic – are numerous and devastating. Widespread unemployment, cratering GDP, educational disruption, escalating overdose and suicide rates, and increased racial tensions are just part of the penalty we are paying for decisions made.
But when the dust has settled and we’re in the New Normal, whatever that is, we’ll have to deal with the most lasting of all the self-inflicted wounds – the broad economic destruction that will be the result of piling onto our debt load.
Politicians seem oblivious to the fact that those are real dollars being spent to mitigate the effects of the lockdown. The CBO pegs the additional debt so far at $2.7 trillion since last October.
On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet talk about the latest COVID stats — why is California, a lockdown state, seeing a rise in cases while Texas declines?
Why are Democrats mad about President Trump tapping Scott Atlas for his Coronavirus Task Force?
…or How the Governments Multiplied Their Power by Destroying the US Economy to Fight the Wuhan Coronavirus
The United States has seen epidemics of new and old diseases many times in the past. The so-called Spanish Flu infected 500 Million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920, claiming between 17 and 50 million lives (figures vary, because governments around the world censored their information reaching the public). About 105 million people were infected in the United States, with 500,000-850,000 deaths.
Well, now our out-of-control Governor and his Health Secretary have really done it this time. They’ve expanded their mask order to require masks “whenever anyone leaves home.” This, despite evidence that the risk of contracting coronavirus outdoors, especially while physical distancing is ~0. Please remind me, what “super spreader” events have occurred in most major […]
This week the British bed-wetters are doubling down on the lockdown and Toby and James are thinking abut forming a new political party called the Dangerous Party for people who are pro-risk.
Speaking of risk, the lads lead off with a recount of James’ near fine and/or arrest for committing an act of journalism as the constabulary questions his presence at the Speaker’s Corner of Hyde Park yesterday (and a tip of the hat to our Twitter follower @SteveRightNLeft)
To the unsuspecting glance, Michigan’s Republican Party might seem to be a force. After all, it controls both houses in the state legislature, and it has done so ever since the shenanigans that took place early in Barack Obama’s first term catapulted Republicans nationwide into a dominant position within most of the states. It is nonetheless an empty shell, little more than a front for the chamber of commerce, and during the period of its ascendancy, it has achieved next to nothing – apart from shifting taxes from corporations to retirees, raising the gas tax, and making Michigan a right-to-work state.
The party’s fecklessness has something to do with the defects of the state’s most recent Republican governor. But his unwillingness to cut expenditures, reduce taxes, and introduce reforms can best be explained as a consequence of the party’s debility. Rick Snyder is the Michael Bloomberg of Michigan. Before he sought the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination, he was registered as an independent. He became a Republican only because he recognized that the party itself had no substance and could easily be seized by a wealthy candidate able to fund his own campaign.
Thus, as was predictable, while in office, once he got the legislature to shift the tax burden from the state’s corporations to its senior citizens, he was reluctant to do anything else of any significance. It was only when the unions ignored his attempts to reach an accord with them and fiercely entered the fray to prevent his re-election that Snyder, by way of revenge, was willing to sign off on the Republicans’ right-to-work initiative.
The coronavirus crisis raises two urgent questions for the United States: First, what are the likely number of deaths from the coronavirus in either the absence or presence of a determined program of social intervention? Second, what is the set of tools, both coercive and noncoercive, that should be used to implement the most effective interventions in light of the limited resources that are available? Both questions give rise to multiple, often clashing considerations, and they require urgent answers given the rising anxiety about the disease. As of March 30, a total of over 143,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States, with just over 2,500 deaths, many of which are concentrated in the New York metropolitan area.
It is critical to take a step back from the immediate crisis in order to articulate a few fundamental propositions that should help place this problem in context.
The first proposition is that there are no acceptable market solutions on how best to allocate scarce social resources for dealing with the coronavirus crises. Markets use wealth as a medium of exchange, and do nothing directly to satisfy the subjective preferences, or individual utilities, of market players. In ordinary times, the correlation between utility and wealth is generally strong enough that it becomes unwise to allocate resources on the basis of utility without reference to wealth. A set of charitable institutions grew up alongside markets to provide assistance to those individuals who had evidently high utility but no wealth to satisfy them. The family is one such institution, but, where it breaks down, private orphanages, hospitals, and countless other charitable institutions grow up to fill that void along with some government programs.