Brownstone » Articles for Donald Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University, where he is affiliated with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center. His research focuses on international trade and antitrust law. He writes at Cafe Hayak.

I Weep for My Profession: Letter to the American Economic Association

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Your announcement ensures that I will not attend the meetings under such absurd restrictions. Furthermore, it makes me weep for my profession, for it is strong evidence that today’s leaders of the world’s most prestigious organization of professional economists are unaware of basic facts about covid and, worse, ignorant of basic tenets of economics. 


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Why I Signed the Great Barrington Declaration

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The Declaration merely reminded humanity of what was until early 2020 the consensus among public-health officials, including those at the World Health Organization, of the best means of dealing with respiratory pandemics. All the GBD did, really, was to advise that long-standing consensus be regained and followed.


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The Children We Call Our Leaders

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Social engineering appears doable only to those persons who, seeing only a relatively few surface phenomena, are blind to the astonishing complexity that is ever-churning beneath the surface to create those surface phenomena. To such persons, social reality appears as it does to a child: simple and easily manipulated to achieve whatever are the desires that motivate the manipulators.


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Lockdown Is Not Liberalism’s Endgame

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As summarized by Thomas Sowell, freedom under a truly liberal order “is, above all, the right of ordinary people to find elbow room for themselves and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of their ‘betters.’”


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The Dangers of Compelled Belief

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To establish their utopias, enemies of liberalism will never hesitate to squelch free expression. We liberals, therefore, must forever be ready, understanding the power of words, to challenge with our own words these assaults on freedom of expression and on open, peaceful discourse and debate.


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Reich (and Fauci) are Wildly Wrong

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To propose that any government action be immune to judicial oversight – that is, immune to oversight by the formal guardians of the law – is to propose that the officials who perform that action be above the law.


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Not Every Health Problem Needs a Social Solution

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According to public-health paternalists, almost no decisions that affect individuals’ health are truly ‘individual.’ Nearly all such decisions are either heavily determined by the actions of third parties, or themselves affect the choices of unsuspecting third parties.


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A Memo to GMU President Gregory Washington

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  Because you’re a man of science, and because science stands firm against popular fads and hysterias, I urge you to follow the science and eliminate the booster mandate.


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A Letter to Send to Venues that Exclude the Unvaccinated

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Vaccination is effective at preventing the vaccinated from suffering serious consequences from Covid. (And children naturally are at virtually no risk from Covid.) Therefore, those of your patrons who choose not to be vaccinated personally bear the costs of their choice without imposing any costs on those of your patrons who are vaccinated. So your requirement of vaccination is pointless.


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The Economics of Focused Protection

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By using general lockdowns, and by treating everyone – including school children – as being equally at risk of suffering from Covid, governments caused resources, attention, and mitigation efforts to be spread too thinly. Far too many resources, attention, and mitigation efforts were spent where they had much smaller impact than they would have had were they instead focused on protecting the most vulnerable. 


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The Dangerous Fantasy of Zero Covid

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The costs of any eradication program are immense and must be justified before the government pursues such a goal. These costs include a sacrifice of non-health-related goods and services and other health priorities—forgone prevention and treatment of other diseases.


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