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John Tamny

John Tamny, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is an economist and author. He is the editor of RealClearMarkets and Vice President at FreedomWorks.

never again

Never Again


During what government deems crisis, it’s those most willing and eager to flout convention and expert opinion who produce crucial information for the rest of us. If living freely results in sickness and death, then we all know what not to do. But if as was the case with the coronavirus that living freely wasn’t much of a risk at all except for the already very old and already very sick, then those who didn’t flout convention and expert opinion have the information necessary to alter their lifestyles with the information created by the rebellious.  

War and Peace

Time to Read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Toward the book’s end, Tolstoy wrote that “To imagine a man without freedom is impossible except as a man deprived of life.” So true. Imagine if Tolstoy had lived to see what his beloved country had been reduced to. The free thinking libertarian would have been horrified, all the while well aware of why what became the Soviet Union imploded. Do-gooder types and self-regarding politicians (a redundancy, obviously) break things with poverty and blood-soaked battlefields the result. War and Peace makes this all very clear.

Washington Post

No, Washington Post, the Experts Were the Whole Problem


In 2020, rather than encourage the very wealth creation that has long been the biggest foe of death and disease (by far), panicky politicians quite literally chose economic contraction as a virus mitigation strategy. Historians will marvel at the abject stupidity of the U.S. political class, but not the Post’s editorialists or the authors of a report that the editorialists remarkably find insightful.

freedom is the answer

Regardless of Virus Origins, Freedom Is the Answer


Lest the crowd that has long been properly anti-lockdown forgets, pathogens are as old as mankind is. Since they are, the accenting of where they come from is to completely miss the point. Instead, the always and everywhere expressed view should be that reality should not be used by the political, expert and medical classes as a pretext for taking our freedom. Freedom is precious, and authoritarians can’t have it regardless of a pathogen’s origin or its presumed lethality.

Freedom from masks

The Freedom Not to Wear a Mask


The simple truth is that the one-size-fits-all approach didn’t protect us from the virus as much as it blinded us to its reality; one that only could have been arrived at via freedom. We didn’t need medical studies, and the reality is that still we don’t need medical studies. What we needed and need is freedom. With the latter once again comes knowledge from different people doing different things, and all of us learning from their successes and failures.

covid controls china

Covid Controls Removed in China but Persist in the US


Emanuel and the lockdown crowd he caucuses with lament that the return of freedom to the Chinese people “could have been done responsibly.” Too much freedom too fast according to Emanuel et al. He writes that rather than gradually giving it back with experts like him fully in charge, “China ended zero Covid in the most dangerous way possible – precipitously.”

China economy

The Virus Response is Wrecking China’s Economic Prospects


A growing lack of freedom in Asia’s foremost country is the surest signal we need that China’s lust for greatness is more rhetorical and performative than real. In other words, the only way to be beaten by China is to mimic its authoritarian ways. Please keep this in mind with what indefensibly happened stateside in 2020.

Lockdowns Discredit Those Who Try Them, Even the CCP


History will say that drunk with power American politicians acted like Chinese politicians only to get a Chinese result. The Chinese leadership acted Chinese on the way to another horrifying result. And for the pundits who proclaimed the Chinese response in 2020 effective for it being freedom-crushing, just know that the internet is forever.

Xi Jingping Is Reminded that Markets Don’t Like Central Planning


The Hang Seng correction is a reminder to politicians and pundits the world over that markets are much more powerful than politicians, and they’ll speak their mind in ways that shame those so foolish and so arrogant as to believe that prosperity can be planned. It’s a warning to Xi Jingping, but also a warning to conservatives who should know better, but who presently think that the answer to state planning is more state planning.

Ben Bernanke Was the Crisis


Left alone, recessions are the cure. The problem was that the political class tried to medicate what was healthy.  Bernanke fell hard for the medication part. Fast forward to 2008, a falling dollar under the impressively inept President George W. Bush had instigated what Ludwig von Mises referred to in Human Action as a “flight to the real.” Yes, presidents get the dollar they want, Bush wanted a weak one, and a falling dollar drove massive consumption of housing over investment in new ideas.  

How Lockdowns Broke Human Capital


Politicians, policymakers, and experts who would never miss a paycheck or a meal suddenly decided that workers not like them were no longer essential. In making this choice for others, they robbed human beings of years of investment of self in certain industries while also bluntly telling these others that their livelihood could be taken from them near overnight.

The Triumph and Glory of Air Conditioning


The story about the mass production of air conditioners is that what were once status symbols are now common. Crucial here is that people got very rich making air conditioners common. It’s how the world works. Or at least how to grow rich in the world. The best way to become very well-to-do very quickly is to produce in abundance, and at low prices, what used to be scarce and nosebleed expensive.

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