Thursday, January 19, 2023

From the archives, on pandemics

I was looking back through old blog posts searching for something on a different topic when I ran across this from 2009. A reader had asked the question: 

How would 300 million of us, as we "governed ourselves" react for instance to... a pandemic?
My response back then was:

With a pandemic, people should be allowed to seek treatment from whoever they trust, using any medications they wish, without government intervention. Government "help" has a history of making things worse by not foreseeing the unintended consequences. 
Innovation is crushed under the government's regulations and by its FDA. No one ever talks about the people who died while the FDA wraps new treatments in a mummy of red-tape and backroom deals. Doctors are rationed by a broken licensing scheme that only rewards the ones who play politics well. Then you have the pharmaceutical company/government partnership. If pharmaceutical companies develop a vaccine, many people would choose to buy it. If it really works as advertised, the vaccinated people would have nothing to fear from those who chose other methods. You seem to also be ignoring the fact that wars, the main business of government, are prime causes of pandemics throughout history.

I think that held up pretty well. But, then, liberty always does.

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