Measuring Overreaction

In a sense, Scott Sumner is completely right.  If you measure overreaction using the ratio of the reaction to the actual harm, then the Covid response probably doesn’t even make the U.S. “top 100.”  After all, many government crusades target “problems” that cause zero harm.  Or, like immigration, negative harm. In another sense, however, Scott is completely wrong. 

A Package of Populist Deregulation

The best deregulation lacks popular appeal.  Deregulation of immigration is unpopular.  Deregulation of housing is unpopular.  Deregulation of labor markets is unpopular. But when the stars align, specific forms of deregulation become potentially popular.  All you need is close the deal is some brash populists to enthusiastically tell the masses what they’re ready to enthusiastically hear. […]

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The Two-Front War on Techtopia

My own view, though, is that the tech industry’s leftism is largely sincere.  They aren’t pretending to have left-wing sympathies; they really do.  Unfortunately for them, leftist thinking brands even the most sincerely left-wing billionaire as an arrogant sinner in need of humbling.  And at the same time, rightist thinking brands even the most productive left-wing billionaire as a leftist in need of immiseration.

Politics is Cruelty

Cruelty is the main emotion that politicians pander to.  And cruelty is what every politician strives to deliver.  They don’t want to make everyone happy.  They want to make their friends happy by making their enemies suffer.  Which requires them to not only identify enemies, but create an endless queue of enemies lest they run out.