When you walk around, you see no economy. It is not a thing like a machine, a building, or a vehicle. When we say economy, we mean individual persons acting in a series of continuing and more or less regular relationships that involve money in transformation of stuff from less-useful to more-useful forms, as consumers view things. Government officials don’t regulate an economy; they regulate individuals–us!–thereby interfering with our lives, liberties, purposes, and pursuit of happiness.
According to a 2016 study by University of Miami economics professor Austin Smith, “springing forward” results in an average of 30 excess auto accident deaths, at a “social cost” of $275 million, each year. So, why do we do it? Well, because the government says we should.
Socialist and nationalist revolutionaries are Latin America’s most successful criminal gangs, augmenting sheer brutality with fanatical ideology. The average person in these countries, however, craves tranquility and opportunity. Revolutionaries are a handful of wolves who make daily life hell, all the while vainly promising a heaven-on-earth that never comes.
You can’t sell everyone liberty with the same sales pitch. Everyone has their priorities and they differ from person to person.
If government controlled the production of turkeys and toilet paper, this would be a very unhappy holiday.
There are people who have no imagination. They can’t imagine anything but what is right in front of them right now. Then there are those with overactive imaginations. They imagine– or fall for– everything, regardless of whether it’s possible or realistic. And many people exhibit both conditions simultaneously, but it depends on what you’re talking about at the moment.
“Remember $2 gas?” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asked in 2012 as he sought the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Politicians love to remind us of low gas prices in the past and promise their return in the future. But in early April, Reuters reports, US president Donald Trump threatened to severely curtail the US government’s military relationship with Saudi Arabia unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced oil output to drive prices back UP.
“Caplan’s point is a good and striking one. His conclusion is fairly extraordinary, though: He is apparently claiming that all (or a plurality) of the major decision makers in the American government are power-hungry demagogues who deliberately decided to channel money into stimulus rather than research because they are bad people.”
Local employers are now giving employees “travel papers” so they can prove to cops who might stop them for being out on the road that they are traveling “legitimately”. I personally know that Walmart, Family Dollar, a cattle feed producer, and other businesses have issued such papers. Probably everyone whose business is deemed “essential” enough to be allowed to stay in business is doing the same.
I just returned from cruising the Caribbean on Anthem of the Seas. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Fortunately, no coronavirus panic marred our vacation, and the concluding scare at the dock turned out to be a false alarm. Though I’d seen a little of the Caribbean before, this trip was a heavy dose: after a stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico, we sailed on to St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. Here are my social science reflections.