03 Oct Some Links
It didn’t surprise me at all that Melloan was an anti-lockdowner. He was an old-school liberal who believed “markets are like Mother Nature, not to be messed with.” He was a solid free trader (remember those?), a proponent of tax cuts and fiscal restraint, an advocate of sound money, and a genuine humanitarian who believed that wealth creation through free enterprise is the best path forward for all societies.
His views shaped the editorial direction of the Wall Street Journal for half a century, and his spirit there has been evident in the lockdowns, which the Journal has marvelously and consistently opposed from March onward. Indeed, so far as I know, the Journal is the only mainstream news outlet that has been speaking sense on this topic from the beginning.
(A boast: A few years ago Mary O’Grady told me that George Melloan read Cafe Hayek. Naturally, I was pleased to hear this news, and am pleased now to recall it.)
Mr. Trump, at 74, is at higher risk for a bad outcome than a 30-year-old would be. But most 74-year-olds survive Covid and many never have debilitating symptoms. Our media are prone to hysteria, oversimplification and fetishizing random things—case-fatality rates, masks, etc. Reporters and editors have a distorted single-variable mentality. Covid is deadly in a small percentage of cases, currently estimated at between 0.1% and 0.41%, especially among older people in ill health.
Scott Lincicome identifies the inconsistency of applauding (or supporting) subsidies for American farmers arranged by U.S. government while opposing subsidies for American farmers arranged by foreign governments.
Also from Scott Lincicome is this (unsurprising) report on the cronyism is inseparable from protectionism. Here’s Scott’s conclusion:
When skeptics criticize “free markets,” the markets at issue are usually not very free at all. Indeed, the conclusions above are utterly unsurprising to free traders who have for years watched large, well‐connected corporations capture the administrative state and use regulation to restrict foreign competition and maintain power. If the markets were free (or, at least, freer), and large companies were forced to compete without the government’s thumb on the scale, Big Business’ market power could be significantly checked. You’d think such a result would be welcomed by the populist right and left, but progress (especially these days) is often thwarted by emotional antipathy to markets and “globalism” more broadly. As a result, un-free markets proliferate, and corporate power increases—ironically fueling populist calls for the very government action that increased it in the first place.
Read the Full Article here: >Cafe HayekCafe Hayek