Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

COVID and the case for non-pharmaceutical interventions

The use of non-pharmaceutical interventions has been a source of persistent controversy during the COVID pandemic.  Opposition to NPIs was the motivating impulse behind The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), which called for an immediate end all “lockdowns” and the use of “focused protection” to “protect the vulnerable”.  The GBD was trumpeted by the American Institute […]

Ivermectin, redux

The conceit of the article on ivermectin by Hooper and Henderson I discussed in my prior post is that medical authorities – mostly the FDA, but also Merck, the maker of ivermectin – are wrongly denying that ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID.  They raise some issues that are worth discussing.  For example, they […]

Libertarians and medical misinformation:  the case of ivermectin

A 73-year-old woman died of COVID because she got caught up in conspiracy theories and medical misinformation.  NPR has the details: When Stephanie caught COVID-19 just before Thanksgiving of last year, her daughter Laurie suggested that she get help. “She was really not feeling well, and I was like, ‘Just go to the doctor,’” Laurie […]

The uses and limits of bipartisanship

Many Democrats seem to view bipartisanship as a trap for naïve centrists.  This view is understandable given the way Republicans play political hardball.  But the right response to hardball is to use bipartisanship strategically, the way Republicans do, not to eschew it altogether. There are several advantages to pursuing bipartisan agreements.  First, many people hate […]

On abortion, women and Democrats can win, the big questions are how and when

If any more evidence is needed that the Democrats are, much, much more in step with the public on abortion than Republicans, two items.  First, more evidence that people have serious reservations about government meddling in the most personal of decisions: And this: House Republicans are weighing what kind of national-level abortion ban legislation to […]

State of the mid-terms

A month ago the upcoming election seemed likely to go very badly for the Democrats, with a large loss of seats in the House, and an uphill battle to hold the Senate as well.  Today things look somewhat brighter for the Democrats, for several reasons: The Republican nominating process has produced some pretty weak general […]

Is classical liberalism anti-democratic?  Spoiler alert:  yes.

As we have discussed, classical liberals and libertarians have an uneasy relationship with democracy.  The reason is obvious – classical liberals support unregulated or lightly regulated capitalism, and this is not a popular position with voters.  Of course, it could be that classical liberals support both capitalism and democracy, and reluctantly prioritize their commitment to […]

An abortion polling Rorschach test

What does this make you think? Option 1:  This is a moral outrage! Option 2:  We need to figure out how to win elections! Politics is not a morality play, folks!  If you think this is an outrage, spend your time figuring out how to win elections.  And winning elections may require messaging that does […]

How should Democrats fight Dobbs?

The Democrats seem to be a bit uncertain about how to respond to the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe.  This isn’t surprising.  They face enormous pressure from their voters to “do something”, but there is, in fact, little they can do that will materially improve the situation of pregnant women in the short term.  Despite the […]