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Geee

Good News in Georgia Is Bad News for Doom Prophets

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should-grateful-good-news-georgia

hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Atlanta is not burning. Bodies are not piled up in the streets. Hospitals in Georgia are not being overwhelmed; in fact, they are virtually empty. There is no mad rush for ventilators (remember those?). Instead, men, women, and children in the Peach State are returning to some semblance of normal life: working outside their homes, going to restaurants and bars, getting haircuts, exercising, and most important, spending time with their friends and families and worshipping God. The opening that began more than three weeks ago is continuing apace.

Oh, my apologies, you were waiting for bad news? Sorry, I forgot, we were actually not supposed to be rooting for the virus. Despite the apparent relish behind headlines like "Georgia's Experiment in Human Sacrifice," one assumes that most Americans, even the ones most committed to omnidirectional prophecies of doom, were actually hoping this would happen. While it really is a shame that we do not get to gloat about the cravenness and stupidity of yet another GOP politician, I think on balance most of us will be glad to hear that Gov. Brian Kemp was not badly wrong here.:snip:

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The Politics of Fear

Covid-19 is just the latest emergency justifying expanded government power.

Covid-19 is just the latest emergency justifying expanded government power. Covid-19 is just the latest emergency justifying expanded government power.Covid-19 is just the latest emergency justifying expanded governmentIn the political response to the Covid-19 pandemic, everything is proceeding just as economist Robert Higgs has foreseen. But that doesn’t make it any easier for him to watch it. “I have an overwhelming feeling that I am reliving a bad experience I’ve lived through several times before, only this time it’s worse,” Higgs says. “I have no doubt that even if the current situation plays out in the best imaginable way, it will leave an abundance of legacies for the worse so far as people’s freedom is concerned.”

Higgs sees government, as usual, vastly expanding during the crisis, and he’s sure that it will not shrink back to its former scale once the crisis is over. It never does, as he famously documented in his 1987 book, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, and in later works exploring this “ratchet effect.”

By surveying the effect of wars, financial panics, and other crises over the course of a century, Higgs showed that most government growth occurs in sporadic bursts during emergencies, when politicians enact “temporary” programs and regulations that never get fully abolished. New Deal bureaucracies and subsidies persisted long after the Great Depression, for example, and the U.S. military didn’t revert to its prewar size after either of the world wars.

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