Terrible Policies Possess Both Virulence and Prevalence

by Robert E. Wright
The American Institute for Economic Research

Why did so many governments lock down economies and societies in response to the not-so-novel coronavirus? According to a recent study, “Explaining the Homogeneous Diffusion of COVID-19 Nonpharmaceutical Interventions Across Heterogeneous Countries,” they did it because other countries did.

That’s right, nations ignored the perennial warning of mothers everywhere and jumped off the bridge of rational policy because their friendly neighbors jumped first.

Monkey see, monkey do in other words. AIER’s Jeffrey Tucker would have retitled the scientific paper referenced above to “how so many governments behaved so stupidly at once.” Yes, stupidity is a strong term but I cannot reject his hypothesis that the bizarre spectacle of countries with no COVID cases locking down stemmed from “ignorance and stupor.”

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