URLs du Jour


  • Try not to look at the stock market. Instead console yourself with Jeffrey A. Tucker writing at AIER: In a Disease Panic, the Free Market Is Your Friend.

    That hand sanitizer you are using, where did you get it? The local store or an online shop. And who made it? Private enterprise, operating based on profit and loss within a market economy. And that mask you are keeping just in case? Same thing. It came from private investment, brought to you by international trade. It cost a buck or two but it might save your life.

    Those latex gloves? An amazing innovation with a remarkable history. The first ones were invented at the height of the hated Gilded Age in 1883, a result of the booming oil industry which led to countless derivative products. Disposal versions are wonderfully sanitary but they have only been available since 1964, as innovated by the private company Ansell, founded by Eric Ansell in Melbourne, Australia. Thank you international trade. 

    Jeffrey's bottom line: "When it’s the difference between health and sickness, life and death, government is the last institution you want to trust."

  • Away from general philosophy, and down to specifics, is Robby Soave at Reason: The White House Made Coronavirus Meetings Classified. That’s Idiotic.

    Federal health officials' coronavirus meetings should be treated as classified, according to a White House order first reported by Reuters.

    As a result, relevant health experts who lack the necessary security clearances have been kept out of meetings since January. This is a serious, idiotic act of self-sabotage on the part of the Trump administration. It will not only hamper transparency—it will compromise the efficacy of the government's coronavirus prevention strategizing.

    About the only rationale I can think of is the wild market swings that might result from some publicized, misinterpreted remark in one of those meetings. Although could that be worse than what we have now?

  • George F. Will writes on an even sadder pheomenon (because it's likely to last longer than Covid-19): Higher education’s mandatory political participation.

    The Free Speech Movement, an early tremor of the earthquake that shook campuses in the 1960s, began on Sproul Plaza at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. Today eight of the 10 universities in the UC system are administering faculty hiring practices that involve coerced speech, enforced political conformity and mandatory political participation.

    Any academic seeking a position is required to write a “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) statement affirming support — sometimes even “enthusiastic” support — for, and demonstrating activism in support of, a systemwide orthodoxy. In the required statement (“Demonstrating Interest in and Ability to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”), an applicant should show that he or she has been active, and must promise to be active, in advancing the approved agenda. This process explicitly subordinates assessments of academic excellence.

    Some facules are brave enough to object. The ones with tenure.

  • And the Google LFOD alert rang for an article in the Root: Detroit Charges Poor People Pay to Not Die From Coronavirus.

    The Free Press reports that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmire have created a program to prevent water shutoffs and restore service for residents who can’t afford to pay the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) for the most abundant natural resource that covers 75 percent of the planet.

    “We know that washing hands is an important defense to this virus,” DWSD Director Gary Brown said in a statement, according to the Metro Times. “[S]o for the duration of the COVID-19 situation, DWSD is implementing this plan to help make sure every Detroiter has access to clean running water.”

    The author, Michael Harriot, is extremely contemptuous of the move, especially the bottom line:

    For the TL;DR crowd, instead of simply offering amnesty, the city will collect $25 from already poor people to prevent the spread of a global pandemic. And if they are really close to dying for the heinous crime of not having enough money, they can ask the state to give them $25 dollars. The city probably got the idea from the great American motto, “Live free or die.”

    I have to say that $25 seems pretty cheap to me. But we appreciate the LFOD shoutout, Michael.

Last Modified 2020-03-13 4:34 AM EDT