Tag: Big Government
The Mask Madness of Big Government

As Newsweek reports, people are sewing their own face masks to protect themselves against the coronavirus. Readers might wonder why something as simple as a face mask might be in short supply. As it turns out, such masks are strictly regulated. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and...
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California Coronavirus Measures Impact the Justice System

As we noted, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 12 Executive Order N-25-20 “readies state to commandeer hotels and medical facilities to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients” and “readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals.” As Milton Friedman observed, temporary government measures often become permanent,...
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Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

Remember the Golden Age of Laissez-Faire, the grand epoch brought to a tragic end by the COVID-19 crisis, which laid bare its failures for all to see? Me neither. And yet the New Narrative is already being written. “The Era of Small Government Is Over,” writes Jamelle Bouie in the New York Times. US federal, state, and local government...
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What C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Teaches Us About Politics

Americans, finally facing the prospect of the mano-a-mano portion of the 2020 presidential campaign, have already learned that previous complainers about the negativity, underhandedness, and attack-dog nature of politics didn’t know how good they had it. Abetted by technologies that increase the reach and power of smear campaigns and by mechanisms that allow far more money to...
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Coronacrisis and Leviathan

In his magisterial Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs shows that the growth of government in the twentieth century can largely be explained by patterns of crisis and response. These crises can be real (World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, stagflation) or imagined (inequality, the various isms). In either case new government programs, agencies, and policies...
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No $1,000 Handouts, End Payroll Taxes!

As a small business owner, I don’t need a $1,000 handout. This is a gimmick—let’s instead focus on solutions tailored to the problem. I need the tax relief of suspending the payroll taxes I and my workers pay. Some math—my workers are all being paid their normal salaries for the foreseeable future, despite trials,...
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Does the Coronavirus Favor the Left or the Right?

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is caught up in the ideological and cultural wars of our time. Perhaps it is not entirely frivolous to ask whether the effects and consequences of this virus disproportionately help the left or the right. One obvious aspect plays to the interests of the right: the outbreak has...
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Forgive Me if I Don’t Fall Right into Line with the New Fascism

As a San Francisco resident and business owner, I’m wondering—can I trust the health judgments of leaders who let thousands live on the streets in their own filth? And if we are now getting the homeless into shelter, why couldn’t that have happened earlier? Doesn’t their health count? All of a sudden, we are...
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Favor Local Action to Combat the Coronavirus

Three months ago, the novel coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China. Now, it is considered a global pandemic. As of March 18th, the virus has infected over 169,000 individuals, resulting in 8,732 deaths—and counting. The United States as of this writing has approximately 7,769 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 125 related...
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Court Hinges Privacy Rights on Smartphone Settings

“Yes, compelling someone to reveal information on how to decrypt data is compelling testimony from that person. But obtaining information from a person’s mind is not what happens when agents pick a finger to apply to the sensor.” —Judge Edmond E. Chang, qtd. in In re A white Google Pixel 2019 began with digital...
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