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Coronavirus and the Failure of Big Government, Part V


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Coronavirus and the Failure of Big Government, Part V

I wrote a four-part series last year about coronavirus and big government (here, here, here, and here), so it goes without saying that the first two lines of this tweet deserve some sort of accuracy award for hitting the nail on the head.

But the sentiment expressed in the last line of the tweet also deserves some sort of award.

I don’t know if the award should be for false hope or naive expectation, but I am sadly confident that everything will stay the same. Or perhaps get even worse.

Simply stated, instead of the deregulation that’s needed, here are some more likely outcomes.

  • The World Health Organization will get rewarded with a bigger budget and more power, notwithstanding its failures.
  • The Centers for Disease Control will get rewarded with a bigger budget and more power, notwithstanding its failures.
  • The Food and Drug Administration will get rewarded with a bigger budget and more power, notwithstanding its failures.

Why am I so pessimistic? Because I understand “public choice,” which is the application of micro-economic analysis (things like incentives) to the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats. In other words, people in Washington act in ways to advance their own interests.

Just in case all this isn’t clear, here are a few headlines and tweets to drive the point home.

We’ll start with an understatement.

And here are examples of that failure.

Starting with a column in the Wall Street Journal.

And this tweet.

There are many more headlines that tell tragic stories.

From the Houston Chronicle.

Here’s a very sad and succinct headline.

Government intervention also hurt in little ways.

This tweet tells us the lesson we should learn.

 

As does this tweet as well.

One of Trump’s great failures was protectionism.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that trade barriers also hurt the fight against the pandemic.

And here’s a tweet about the FDA’s bungling.

Don’t forget that bureaucracy and big government also caused problems in other nations.

Such as the United Kingdom.

Sounds like the bureaucrats in the U.K. want to compete with the FDA and CDC for some sort of incompetence award.

There was a better response in Germany because the private sector played a much bigger role.

And the German approach was better than the United States as well.

Needless to say, the WHO also deserves some negative attention.

Indeed, it should come with this warning label.

And we’ll close by shifting back to the failure of government in the United States.

This column from the New York Times captures the real lesson of the past 12 months.

P.S. At the risk of outing myself as a libertarian, this image tells us everything we need to know. As does this collection of cartoons.

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