Entries by Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Why Conservatives and Liberals Are Responding to COVID-19 in Such Different Ways [+Video]

Liberals and conservatives are approaching the COVID-19 pandemic through very different moral frameworks. In a 2008 TED Talk, psychologist Jonathan Haidt said the worst idea in psychology is the notion that humans are born as a “blank slate.” Like the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, Haidt was rejecting the notion that the human mind is a blank […]

The CDC’s Guidelines for Back-to-School Under COVID Sound Traumatizing

Parents may prefer to continue homeschooling and distance learning. When schools reopen in the US amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they will be even more restrictive than they already were. Schools have long controlled students’ movements and imposed constraints on where they can go, when, and with whom. With virus concerns, those controls will increase […]

Sweden’s Top Infectious Disease Expert Says COVID-19 Lockdowns Are Not Based on Science. History Shows He Could Be Right

The debate over COVID-19 lockdowns has thrust Sweden into the global spotlight. Anders Tegnell, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he’s confident Sweden’s approach is the right one. As nations around the world begin to ease lockdown restrictions passed amid the scariest pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu, a new battle is brewing among disease […]

YouTube bans content that contradicts WHO on Covid-19, despite its track record of misinformation

The policy represents a betrayal of the pioneering platform’s founding principles. YouTubers are being silenced if they don’t agree with the United Nations on public health. As The Verdict reports: YouTube will ban any content containing medical advice that contradicts World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus recommendations, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki. Wojcicki announced the policy on CNN […]

Rigid Lockdowns vs. Relative Freedom: A Tale of Two Southern Governors

How do you explain the vastly different approach to the pandemic from two red states with similarly low coronavirus impact? In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper has adopted the policy premise that anything done in the name of safety from the coronavirus trumps all other interests, including economic, religious, or other health considerations. Despite comparatively […]

How Elon Musk Beat a California Dictate by Flexing the “Power of Exit”

As I discussed Wednesday, the Alameda County Health Department backed down in its face-off with Elon Musk over the closure of Tesla’s car plant in Fremont, California. Musk reopened the factory, openly defying the government’s order to remain closed. The health officials acquiesced to the fait accompli by granting it after-the-fact provisional approval. As I argued previously, Musk’s act qualified […]

It’s Wildly Wrong to Blame Capitalism for Government’s Botched Response to COVID-19

The litany of government fiascoes speaks for itself. On April 1, 2020, a letter-to-the-editor appeared in my town’s newspaper in which the author declared that the COVID-19 pandemic proves capitalism to be “woefully inadequate to sustain itself through any type of major crisis.” He suggested that we must embrace a massive expansion of government without […]

Stop Forcing People to Wear Masks Over COVID-19 Fears

Whether masks actually prevent the spread of respiratory infection remains a subject of debate. As recently as March, the US Surgeon General was saying face coverings could actually increase one’s risk of infection. There’s a famous scene in the movie Fight Club where Tyler Durden is on an airplane thumbing through one of those safety manuals in […]

It’s Time to Privatize the United States Postal Service

The country would be wise to let the market take a shot at cleaning up government waste. Last week, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service (USPS). The plan comes as part of a broader initiative to trim and reorganize the federal government. And given its track record of waste […]

Coronavirus Crisis Exposes a Devastating Consequence of Fed Policy: Americans Have No Savings

Over 100 years, the Federal Reserve has destroyed more than 97 percent of our currency’s purchasing power. During a March 17 address to the nation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, President Donald Trump asked that Americans work from home, postpone unnecessary travel, and limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people. Ten days […]

Why Taiwan Hasn’t Shut Down Its Economy

As the Austrian school of economics demonstrates in the calculation theory of socialism, no central planning body has the capacity to organize society based on coercive mandates. The main reason is that the central planner is unable to obtain all the necessary information to organize society in this way, as information has subjective, creative, dispersed, […]

A Virus Worse Than the One from Wuhan

Socialism is an intellectual virus, and it’s more deadly than the one from Wuhan. The Wuhan virus pandemic may teach us many new lessons before it’s over—in science, hygiene, interpersonal relations, economics, and more—but one thing is plainly evident already. Socialists need to self-isolate. They are learning nothing from the crisis. Indeed, these righteous opponents […]

Why Are There Toilet Paper Shortages around the World?

There are a few explanations for the run on toilet paper, but one basic economic lesson explains the shortage. Americans have seen scarcity, bailouts, price fluctuations, and epidemics before, but one thing seems to set the coronavirus emergency apart: The toilet paper. Shelves where the product once was stored are bare—and not just in the […]

Panic Has Led to Government “Cures” That Are Worse than the Disease, History Shows

Let’s take the novel coronavirus seriously, but let’s not throw reason, prudence, or the Constitution out the window. Anyone who’s seen the John Hughes movie Ferris Beuller’s Day Off probably remembers the scene where Ferris’s economics teacher (Ben Stein) explains the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act to a roomful of bored, sleeping students. The scene is brilliant for many reasons, […]

How America’s Gun Culture Cultivates Civic Virtue

From the colonists winning independence from Great Britain to African-Americans vindicating their civil rights, the role of the gun is inseparable from American identity. “It is through the enjoyment of a dangerous freedom that Americans learn the art of reducing freedom’s perils.” —Alexis de Tocqueville Many people are often surprised to learn that I am […]