Now it’s time for the third installment, and we’ll start with this hard-hitting video from Reason, which shows how red tape has hindered the development and deployment of testing in the United States.
Next, here are a bunch of stories and tweets about the deadly impact of bureaucracy and regulation.
As with the Part I and Part II, feel free to click on any of the stories for the details.
If you think this a moderately interesting twitter thread, which took me half an hour to write, imagine what I was able to come up w/ after writing for half a decade! Pre-order my book w/ @OUPPolitics about the censoring of conservative radio in the 60s. https://t.co/Y0UNuumUMg— Paul Matzko (@PMatzko) March 26, 2020
The FDA just waived their usual demanding face-mask regulatory standards!— Robert Wiblin (@robertwiblin) March 27, 2020
Awesome, let's get making masks:https://t.co/TaBXdNyUK5
I have less faith in general in "the authorities" as a result of this epidemic. I'm involved in several different efforts to fight Covid-19 (PPE, testing, vaccines, etc) and the weak link in all of them is some government body.— Paul Graham (@paulg) March 28, 2020
By the way, the problem of excessive government exists in other nations.
Here are two tweets about the situation in the United Kingdom.
The first one deals with having to get government approval for medical devices.
To everyone making 3D printed ventilator parts in the UK - there is good news from the regulators!— Hugh Harvey (@DrHughHarvey) March 25, 2020
You can apply for approval to supply a non-compliant medical device on humanitarian grounds during the #COVID19 pandemic. Decision made in 48 hours.https://t.co/vjlYtVYRGe
The second one deals with how politicians and bureaucrats have misallocated public health resources – similarly to some of the foolish misadventures of the FDA and CDC (and let’s not forget the World Health Organization).
"Only a tiny fraction of the £4 billion spent on public health in England goes towards the prevention of infectious disease. Far more is spent hassling people about their lifestyles." https://t.co/smMMnAjJOU— Matt Ridley (@mattwridley) March 29, 2020
I’ll close with another story from the United States.
This report from Reason is especially useful because it contains a 30-minute interview with Professor Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University. So if you liked the short video at the start of this column, you’ll definitely want to click through and watch this video.
The message here isn’t that government shouldn’t exist. As I wrote earlier this month, collective action is appropriate to protect life, liberty, and property. Needless to say, that libertarian principle applies during a pandemic.
But that doesn’t mean government should be micro-managing everything.
In normal times, excessive regulation is a costly nuisance because things cost more and take longer.
In a crisis, however, that means needless death and suffering. Which is exactly what’s happening today.
Let’s hope the folks in Washington learn from this awful experience.
P.S. Another lesson to be learned is the Seventh Theorem of Government.