Economics

"US life expectancy stalls due to cardiovascular disease, not drug deaths"

I leave as an exercise for the reader to reconcile this finding with the recent, much-discussed finding of Case and Deaton in Deaths of Despair.

After decades of robust growth, the rise in US life expectancy stalled after 2010. Explanations for the stall have focused on rising drug-related deaths. Here we show that a stagnating decline in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality was the main culprit, outpacing and overshadowing the effects of all other causes of death.


"The Real-Life Costs of Bad Regulation"

"Early administrative failings of the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control greatly exacerbated the Covid-19 crisis in the United States."

See also "Is the CDC to Blame for the Lack of Adequate Coronavirus Testing?"

And more, from two Univ. of Chicago professor: "To Fight the Coronavirus, Cut the Red Tape".

Still more, from John Stossel: "The Red Tape Pandemic".

Yet more: "FDA Shouldn’t Keep Safe Drugs off the Market".

Oh, there's more: "Doctors need freedom to choose off-label drugs".

Finally, from economist Art Carden: "The Anatomy of Government Failure in a Pandemic".

This means there is a discrepancy between the private and social benefits from flu shots and careful hand washing, and according to the standard stories about externalities that we teach in introductory economics classes, we probably won’t do as much as would be socially optimal. . . . 

 As I wrote over the summer, “just because an externality exists doesn’t mean the market has ‘failed’ enough for command-and-control regulation or even corrective taxation to be appropriate.” The stories we tell in introductory economics classes also tend to assume away the problem of government failure–and governments are failing mightily in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.


"The Unbuildable American Home"

Government policy swings from one extreme mistake to the opposite extreme mistake. Sad, sad, sad.

The irony today is that housing affordability is increasingly a concern, yet we are building new units at historically low rates. This is because policy interventions have made the prices of existing homes lower than the price of the potential new home down the street.