John Tamny

John Tamny is Senior Scholar of the Brownstone institute, editor of RealClearMarkets, and Vice President at FreedomWorks

American Happiness and the Wisdom of George Will

Will brings to mind Oxford’s Sunetra Gupta (or she brings to mind Will) when he writes that “The interconnectedness of the modern world, thanks in part to the jet engine’s democratization of intercontinental air travel, deters the weaponization of epidemics that the connectedness facilitates.”

Governments Broke the Supply Chains

While politicians couldn’t ever create or legislate billions working together around the world, they could and can surely break voluntary economic arrangements. When you have guns, handcuffs, the power to quite literally shut off power sources to the productive, not to mention the wealth produced by the productive, you have the power to impose command-and-control.

The Travel Bans Achieve Nothing for Public Health

Many countries have economies reliant on tourism, but it seems the businesses created to serve the tourists weren’t asked their opinions about this overreach. It’s worth adding that investment is the driver of all economic progress, but with travel limited, how many interesting concepts have been suffocated by a lack of exposure to the financiers whose allocations would, in normal times, propel them to greater heights? 

What If There Had Been No Lockdowns or Operation Warp Speed?

Long before the vaccine was created, market signals from China indicated the virus wasn’t terribly lethal for the healthy, but much the same was revealed here. In other words, in a world without a vaccine, the healthy were going to get the virus, but the natural immunity achieved was going to render them less liable to get it again, and spread it.

Vaccine Mandates and the Pretense of Knowledge

Similarly, private businesses were in some instances going to shut down altogether, shut down partially, not at all, and many ways in between. What’s important is that varying actions in response to the virus were going to produce voluminous information about how it really spreads, along with the behavior and level of business openness most associated with spread. Human action was going to teach us about the behavior most associated with good health outcomes, while lockdowns based on highly limited information were going to blind us.

Rich Enough to Escape Lockdowns

The rich and left wing could do their jobs from the Hamptons. And so they moved there. And so did their art, and other sources of entertainment. Those who personify “limousine liberal” got out of town because they could, supported lockdowns because they could, but does anyone think their reaction would have been at all similar had their own livelihoods and source of dignity been threatened?

What If Fauci Had Faced the Discipline of the Market?

Market signals plainly never factored into Fauci’s analysis. He made plain that no virus-related risks should be taken, even if it meant economic contraction. Such are the luxuries, but more realistically the negatives of working without marketplace pressures. It’s easy to be wrong when there’s no share price exposing your error.

Restricting Freedom Did Not Defeat Covid

The lockdowns were the cruelest form of elitism, by far. The implication of the lockdowns was that those who had the temerity to have jobs that were destinations—like restaurants and shops—would have to lose them.

Stay Informed with Brownstone