By David Henderson
Congress and the President quickly produced one of the most expensive spending bills in history, a bill that, tragically, will pay tens of millions of workers more to be unemployed than to work. The politicians claim that their spending is “stimulus,” but it’s not and it can’t be. A government cannot stimulate production that it has forbidden.
The only way to stimulate the economy is to liberate it. The people, all of us, need emancipation from the lockdown. And we need it now.
Many people fear the consequences of letting tens of millions of people go back to work. I’m afraid. But we can’t continue as we are. Some say that we need to discuss when to free up the economy. No. We needed to discuss it long ago. The time for discussion has passed. We are surrounded by wreckage. It should not last one more day.
This is from David R. Henderson, “Liberation from Lockdown Now,” American Institute for Economic Research, April 13, 2020.
As for the disease itself, we’re pretty sure that social distancing works to slow the spread. But most state governments didn’t give voluntary social distancing more than a week to work. Could the power of citizens’ imaginations be unleashed to produce sufficiently effective social distancing at lower cost than what governments mandate? Federal official Dr. Deborah Birx has commented on how thrilled she is by widespread American support for social distancing. Yes, of course, people respond well to better information. That’s the whole idea of freedom: people adapt, even without coercion.
Do read the whole thing, especially if you want me to respond to your comments.