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Are We All Paul Krugman Now?

Cast your mind back to the heady days of the giant Obama-era “stimulus package” following the financial crisis of 2008. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman—the great advocate of ultra-Keynesian big-government spending—assured us that the only problem with the nearly trillion dollars of pork-barrel spending was that it wasn’t big enough. What we really needed […]

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Libertarians in a Pandemic

In a moment of crisis, people like to assert a sense of control, no matter how illusory, by reverting to well-worn habits. In the case of COVID-19, that means using it as a vessel for whatever political hobbyhorses they had before the pandemic. So it’s no surprise to see the headline, “There Are No Libertarians […]

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If Something Cannot Go On Forever, It Won’t

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. The Ultimate Resource In charting out the course of the coronavirus pandemic, there is really only one fundamental issue. It’s not the development of a vaccine. That will happen, but not soon enough to head off disastrous consequences, either economically or in terms of human life. The […]

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How to Work from Home As If You Actually Want to Enjoy It

Now that everyone is stuck at home during the Time of Coronavirus, you may be getting a lot of advice on how to telecommute. It usually runs somewhere along these lines: make a separate and closed-off space just for work, keep a regular 9-to-5 work schedule, and get dressed and ready in the morning the […]

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The Plague Year

What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Pandemic Should you panic about COVID-19? That’s a trick question, because it’s too late. All the hand sanitizer and toilet paper (which is somehow necessary for dealing with a pandemic) has already disappeared from the store shelves. Judging from the state of my local Walmart, canned soup […]

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“We’re Going to Face This Virus for Some Time”

An Interview with Amesh Adalja Transcript RWT: This is Salon of the Refused, I’m Rob Tracinski. My guest today is Amesh Adalja, and he’s a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and I’m talking to him about the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the first big question, the sort of overarching question people […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 17

Episode 17 of my podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. The conversation includes: how COVID-19 is different from the flu, the risk of “surge mode” overwhelming our health care system, what the US government has done and […]

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Trump’s Self-Induced “Authoritarian Blindness”

Donald Trump’s position heading into November’s presidential election is surprisingly strong. He remains personally unpopular, of course, but he heads toward re-election with—for now—a strong economy and—for now—no major foreign policy crisis. Notice that I keep saying “for now.” There’s one glaring weakness that could bring Trump down hard, and we’re seeing it on full […]

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Ayn Rand’s Answer to the “Social Contract”

As part of the research for my new book in defense of individualism, I’ve been reading several key books from the newly strident illiberal “nationalist” conservatives. I’ve noticed that they have mixed feelings about the “social contract.” Patrick Deneen rejects it because it’s too individualist: it assumes that “the individual ‘creates’ the state,” while he […]

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All They Had to Do Was Not Be Crazy

The Search for Sanity, Part 3 As many of us having been saying, all the Democrats had to do to have a good shot at winning back the White House this year was to not be crazy. Here’s a version of that argument from last June. Trump’s personal problems are myriad. He is as polarizing a […]

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