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

Why a failed opening today may lead to a slower recovery when the epidemic has faded

Matt Yglesias has a good piece up explaining why “opening” the economy now won’t save the economy.  The reason is that people will continue to avoid contact with others until the epidemic is brought under control.  Simply allowing restaurants, theaters, and workplaces to open will not change this basic fact.  Indeed, airlines are still open […]

Epidemiologists, government failure, and COVID-19

Jason Brennan has a new post up doubling down on his earlier criticism of epidemiologists and government policy in response to the COVID crisis.  I responded to his earlier blog posts here.  I am still not convinced, but there are useful lessons to be learned from going through his argument. Brennan continues to claim that […]

Define Rich, part II: Rat Race and the American Dream

I have had this re-posted today because I believe it is as relevant today as when I wrote it in May, 2009.  My hope is that this event we are living moves enough new people to realize the society we built is not sustainable.  My hope is that one of the basic questions I was […]

News flash: Libertarian invents new reason not to help people!

Thinking about the coronavirus is bleak, so let’s do some political philosophy to cheer ourselves up. Libertarian philosopher Jason Brennan has a new post up claiming that our obligations to help strangers are much weaker than we might think they are, and may not exist at all, because most people are “morally very bad”. Brennan […]

CDC Early Release – Syndrome Coronavirus 2

“High Contagiousness and Rapid Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2,” CDC, Emerging Infectious Diseases Doing my usual morning reading, I ran across a comment concerning an early release article by the CDC which as the CDC points out is not considered to be a final versions. I believe what is important about the […]

Weekly Indicators for March 23 – 27 at Seeking Alpha

Weekly Indicators for March 23 – 27 at Seeking Alpha by New Deal democrat My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. As you might expect, almost all of the “hard” indicators have crashed. What sticks out is that consumer spending, as measured by chain store sales, has not – even though one week […]

Mass testing for Covid-19: economics, politics, and policy options

The Covid-19 epidemic is creating a painful dilemma for policymakers.  On the one hand, we need to practice social distancing to keep people healthy and to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.  Unfortunately, this strategy is causing a severe economic contraction as people avoid contact with others. An ideal response to this dilemma would have […]