Tag: Big Government
Are Special Interests Undermining the Quest for a Covid-19 Vaccine?

At the time of peak lockdown, nearly 94 percent of the U.S. population was placed under stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of Covid-19. Currently, every state is working toward ending, or already has ended, their stay-at-home measures. Lifting the lockdown has provided many benefits. Foremost, the U.S. economy climbed out of a severe…
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Will California’s Destructive Restrictions on Freelance Workers Go National?

California Assembly Bill 5, signed last September by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is now slated for reconsideration on the November 3, 2020 ballot. An initiative, qualified for the ballot on May 22, establishes criteria for determining whether rideshare drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors.” Voters might keep a few realities in mind.

Keep Government Out of Developing a COVID-19 Vaccine

In late March, California became the first state to issue mandatory “shelter in place” orders. By mid-April, nearly 94 percent of the U.S. population was under order to stay at home. Nearly three months later, millions are still desperate to get back to their lives. Protest rallies held to “reopen the economy” have emerged…
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Pandemics Are Not Recessions, And Pessimism Isn’t Logic

I thank Dr. Edwin G. Dolan for taking the time to critique my recent Independent Institute Executive Summary, A Pandemic is Not a Recession, in his April 15th blog posting for the Niskanen Center, “The Shaky Logic Behind Hopes for a Quick Recovery.” Criticism is valuable and necessary—though inaccuracies need to be cleared up…
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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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