April 26, 2022

489: It Didn't Have To Be This Way: How a Crumbling Economy Will Cause More Death than COVID-19 (from April 2020)

489: It Didn't Have To Be This Way:  How a Crumbling Economy Will Cause More Death than COVID-19 (from April 2020)
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*Today's episode comes from April 2020, when economist Dan Mitchell joined the program and outlined exactly what would transpire (and ultimately has transpired) over the past two years of COVID mandates and lockdowns.*



As weeks go by with the economy stuck on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many economists are starting to sound the alarm that the impact of our economy screeching to a halt could cause as much, if not more long-term death and prolonged hardship than the virus itself.


Dan J. Mitchell, a libertarian economist with a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University and founder for the Center for American Prosperity is amongst those economists raising his voice in concern. Mitchell joins The Brian Nichols Show today to discuss one of his more recent articles that discusses that very concern, titled, "The Temporary Tradeoff Between Health Outcomes and Economic Outcomes".


Listen as we discuss his article and then dig deeper into the dangers of a stagnant economy as it pertains to both the economic and physical health of the nation and more!


Find Dan Mitchell Online-

Website: https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danieljmitchell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanMitchellEconomist/


Dan's Article, "The Temporary Tradeoff Between Health Outcomes and Economic Outcomes": https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2020/03/24/the-temporary-tradeoff-between-health-outcomes-and-economic-outcomes/?fbclid=IwAR105jX2H2WTyekeTWBBKoGl3mopJcxIlBqWwygApha-zOq9sosMu2ZKLZc


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Brian Nichols  0:00  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. So, without further ado, onto the show, Dan Mitchell here on The Brian Nichols

Dan Mitchell  0:17  
Show. Glad to be with you.

Brian Nichols  0:18  
Absolutely. Glad to have you, sir. So you are a public policy economist hailing from the great Washington DC, our wonderful capital, the United States, but right now it has been more affectionately labeled as the swamp. So let's kind of start out this, Dan. Let's let's show the folks out there in in the greater United States podcasting world that you are not a swamp creature and you are one of the good guys. So let's kind of walk through your your bio, and kind of explain how you got to where you are in libertarian economics today.

Dan Mitchell  0:47  
Well, the first thing I'll say in my defense is that I'm not actually in Washington, DC on Fairfax, Virginia. There we go. And I am outside the Beltway, you know, the the the i 495, beltway that circles Washington. The old joke is if you're inside the beltway, you're in the bubble, you're part of the swamp you, you've been co opted by big government. So I like to think where I live and where I happen to be right now. At least semi insulated from the corrupting forces of Washington, DC. But that to answer your question, I came to this area for my PhD at George Mason University, which is actually less than a mile from my house. That's a great center for a free market thought public choice scholars, Austrian School experts. And once I got here, I started working on my PhD I started working in the think tank world did a little stint on Capitol Hill for Senator Packwood and the Finance Committee many years ago. But most of my career has been at the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. And now I'm chairman of the Center for freedom and prosperity, which is a smaller Think Tank focusing especially on international economic issues.

Brian Nichols  1:56  
So nowadays, what would you say is your primary focus as you're we're taking a look into economics, is there any particular area you'd like to specialize in?

Dan Mitchell  2:06  
For most of my career, I have focused on fiscal policy, taxes, tax reform, tax competition, the economic burden of government spending, issues related to things like entitlement reform, decentralization of government activities. But of course, in the last couple of months, I've written so many things that are related to Coronavirus because it is literally draining life both literally figuratively trading the oxygen out of the room. And so every so often I can't resist, I write about other things because I have a daily column that I put out at international liberty, just any search engine type and Dan Mitchell blog, it'll be the first thing to come up but again for the last two months, it's Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Coronavirus,

Brian Nichols  2:56  
and understandably so, right. I mean, obviously, we have not seen something of this global scale in I want to say probably World War Two, but even still, the economic impact that we're seeing, really, as not only a nation, but as a world is really government saying stop, like complete stop on all production on all on all commercial activities. And it's it's really it's kind of weird to experience this firsthand, because it in the way I actually heard it explain. I believe it was Peter Schiff, who said this, it was it's the great pause. And that's kind of what it feels like right now is that literally somebody hit a gigantic pause button on literally everything across the world. And it seems like we're finally getting to this point where we're starting to maybe get the engines at least turned on not revving, but we're turned on right now. Here's a recording April 13. So let's kind of set set the stage here. Dan, you know, obviously, we're looking at a situation where we have a global pandemic. And there's been really two schools of thought. One is shut everything down, like close everything, the folks who are at the highest risk, we need to take their lives and their livelihoods into consideration the most because they are the most at risk for this very dangerous disease. On the other hand, and this is the argument, I want to have you come into the show today, is that our response, this economic response that we're making, in terms of shutting quite literally everything down. Yes, can stop the spread of COVID. To those at risk folks. And I you know, we could even go into the the questions, is it actually the most effective means, but then the the flip side, and that is the economic impact. And you mentioned your blog, international liberty, and you wrote an article about this way back, I say way back because it feels the way back about three weeks ago, march 24, a temporary trade off between health outcomes and economic outcomes. And that's partly why I want to have you on the show today, Dan, actually, I'd say it's probably the main focus because I have seen this this two schools of thought either A, you want people to be able to go into the workplace if they are not at risk or if they are at the very least lowest risk categories to be able to still keep things going. The other kept saying, Don't you care about people's lives? Don't you care about the people who are sick? So, as I've set the stage here for you, Dan, take that argument. And let's kind of walk through what is the best way, or at least the most economically rational, logical, rational way to approach this Coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic that we find ourselves in today.

Dan Mitchell  5:22  
The challenge, of course, with the caveat that there's still a lot we don't know about the disease. But the challenge that we face is that both sides have a lot of truth. There's no question if you lock down the economy, maintain very strong social distancing, you can reduce the spread of the disease. On the other hand, when you do that, you're imposing tremendous damage on the economy, a lot of it very likely will be permanent damage. And frankly, some of it is going to be totally independent of government. Because even if state governments were an ordering these lockdown and shutdowns, you still would have lots of people not going out and shopping, not going out and socializing. And frankly, even if we think about what's going to be happening, say, four months from now, will people be going to movie theaters? Will they be going to restaurants? Will they be going on cruise ships, so I suspect that there are some permanent changes to our economy and to our culture, that that are simply because the disease of the disease and will have nothing to do with what the government is doing today. Now, with that out of the way, the point I made in my column a couple of weeks ago about the trade off between health and economics is simply this. Everyone is talking about flattening the curve, what is the what is the goal of flattening of the curve is to reduce the rate of new infections. Why? Well, at least when that originally came out, it was to make sure that the capacity of the healthcare system wasn't overwhelmed. If there were a say, you know, 500, ventilators in a metropolitan region, you didn't want 1000 critically ill patients who needed ventilators, right? And so the idea was, Oh, my God, this is going to spread, so many people are going to get it, we have to at least slow down the pace of them getting it. So we don't have these these horrible triage type decisions being made where, okay, this person's 83 years old and not very healthy. So we're just going to let them die in a hallway in the hospital. And in effect, what is being done with those kinds of decisions is we're saying, Well, we're going to make everyone poorer, to save some lives. And that's a judgment call. Now, how many lives do you save, I mean, in theory, you could save lives by banding the personal automobile or setting speed limits at five miles an hour, we don't do those things, because we know it simply doesn't make sense. So we do make trade offs all the time, as a society, we make trade offs individually, there's a risk anytime any of us take an air, an aeroplane someplace, it's a tiny, tiny, tiny risk. But yeah, we could die as a result of taking an aeroplane, we're more likely actually to die, taking a trip to the supermarket in our car. So we make trade offs all the time, what what irritates people now is we have politicians making trade offs. And we're concerned about the fact that what are politicians trying to do? Well, maybe part of their decision making is what's in the best interest of society. But a lot of times, we suspect with considerable accuracy, that they're making decisions on the basis of what's going to maximize the votes that they get. And so sometimes it's in their interest to, to, to make everything seem worse than it is to use any excuse to, to grab more power to spend more money. So I think it's a very healthy thing for us to have skepticism of what the politicians are saying and what they're asking us to do. But again, that doesn't change the fact that there are some underlying real world health concerns. And we're trying to balance those things out both individually. And in terms of our families, and of course, society wide.

Brian Nichols  9:14  
Well, and this is the part that's kind of hit me by surprise. I didn't expect to have this type of reaction that we've been receiving from from folks, and it has turned into this kind of it shouldn't be political Dan, but it's become political. And that's the part that drives me crazy. And, and the only comparison I can really make to try and fit what I think is happening right now with this response to COVID-19. And it's really the response to the response to COVID-19. And that's when I look at what's happening with the climate change argument that the green New Deal argument and it really comes down to either a you're with us and trying to promote this brand new green new deal that we say is going to change the future. It's going to save the planet in 10 years because right now we're on That ticking time bomb 10 years that the world's gonna change as we know it. And if you're not with us, you are a science denier. And I'm hearing that today. And this is what's kind of catching me off guard is I'm hearing this same argument, you're you're a science denier. Only instead of it being a science denier, it's you don't care about people, you only care about money, because you're only talking about the economics. And you know, I've seen people and I will raise my hand saying, well, listen, there are people who are going to lose their lives, because of just the mere economic impacts, whether it's, it's they're losing their jobs, they're not able to put bread on the table, they're not able to deal with whatever whatever social issue, they're dealing with other things, xiety depression, you know, there's so many things that are negative externalities, as a result of these economic downturns, that I would dare say have as much if not more of an impact, then the number of folks who are going to be impacted negatively by COVID-19, directly as a disease. So I think now we get to the scary part, where as you discussed, we are now discussing trade offs, what are we willing to risk? And what is the reward, and it sounds so gross to use the word reward, and we're talking about, quite literally people's lives. But that that really is what it comes down to things, all things in life, I would daresay, are based in some form of economics. In this case, it's supply and demand. So I'll frame this question to you in this way, Dan, because I've had this question framed to me. And I said, instead of me trying to answer the question completely out of my element, let's go ahead and ask the experts. And that question is, is there a simple like, study or something that we can look back to and say, Listen, we can objectively state that per, let's just say, per per percent of unemployment rate, you can, on average, see, x number of people who are negatively impacted with their lives, you know, in more terms of mortality, is that something that we can say, Listen, this is something we need to we need to tangibly take, as as real information and be concerned with? Or is it something that we're kind of we're unfortunately, we're stuck in talking in abstract.

Dan Mitchell  12:12  
There is real world evidence, it's actually used all the time, and the legal system and the regulatory analysis apparatus of the government. Where there's very strong data on the health of a society in terms of longevity, average lifespans, and the prosperity of a society simply stated, people in rich countries, all other things being equal, live longer than people in poor countries, if you're going to choose where to be born in the world, you don't want to be born, say in South Sudan. You want to be born in a rich Western society, because your lifespan will be much longer because you're in a healthier society. Because of all the all the things that are made possible by prosperity, whether you're talking about health care, infrastructure, the quality of life, so there is this trade off. And there's all sorts of analysis and studies about, you know, how much should you spend to try to save one life and sometimes they measure it in terms of things like quality life years, it all gets very technical, and, and probably probably very boring. But it does happen. We do measure these things, courts measure them when they're looking at legal issues, regulatory agencies look at it. I just gave the example before about, you know, how much money do you want to spend for a policy that would save one life, while in some cases like mandating seatbelts, that actually by by a traditional cost benefit analysis, that saves lots of lives, and it's very worth it, because the cost of installing the seatbelts is so low, whereas the absurd example I gave you earlier about banning private automobiles, or requiring five mile an hour speed limits. We instantly unnaturally reject that, because it's so preposterous, but given that we have what 30,000 or something fatalities on the roads every year, well, what are you don't want people to die? Why don't you want five mile an hour speed limits? So yes, these trade offs get made. And one of the big trade offs at least, especially in the long run, and this is why I in the title of my column, I specified that there's only a temporary trade off because in the long run, the correlation between the wealth of society and the health of a society is very strong. In the short run, though, we are dealing with this painful trade off because of the Coronavirus in part because we just don't know the answers on some things. And what's frustrating to sort of get me back to one of my favorite topics which is criticizing ineffective and incompetent government. It would be great if we were more like some of these East Asian economies that were more decentralized and more and more Did driven in terms of testing and, and personal protective equipment South Korea,

Brian Nichols  15:04  
South Korea, they had testing readily available within weeks

Dan Mitchell  15:10  
now that they've had to deal with being neighbors to China and all the viruses that have come out of China, SARS and things like that, you know, they're more sensitive to it. So I'm not really blaming necessarily policymakers for our somewhat slower reaction. But I am definitely blaming the FDA and the CDC for having these just incredibly silly bureaucratic hurdles, where you can't you can't start producing new equipment without getting some bureaucrat to check fill five boxes on a form. You can't unveil a test without some lengthy, complicated FDA procedure for approval. In a normal environment. That kind of regulatory burden is a hassle. It's like, you know, driving over a bumpy, curving road when you'd rather just drive on a straight line to get to a certain destination. But but it's not a deadly thing. Well, when you're dealing with something like a Coronavirus, the impact of these government rules, people presumably are dying, because the government's regulations are so inane, and so senseless, these bureaucrats, these bureaucracies don't want to give up control, that they think that somehow they're all knowing and all and they should be all powerful in this field. And the reality, the lesson one of the lessons we should be learning, is that okay, if the government wants to say these are the the quality standards, you have to meet for a protective mask fine, put those quality standards on our website and say, If we catch you making masks that don't meet these standards, we're going to throw your CEO in jail, okay, let's do that. That's a reasonable compromise, but don't have it where you can't actually start producing the mask, until some some bureaucrat, you know, six weeks later can swing by your factory, and then pick up some mass and take them back to Washington for then a six week trial period. You can literally kill people with that kind of senseless check the box bureaucratic approach,

Brian Nichols  17:11  
or let's let's take it a step further. And like just allow people to make the masks and say, listen, here's our CDC or FDA guidelines, we say that as you are a consumer, a rational, smart consumer, you should be looking for these, you know, these certain criteria to be to have been met. And if they've been met, we will give our FDA CDC seal of approval, and you know that that product has been met by our standards to be a safe product. And if you don't do that, then we'll I'm sorry, if you don't, if you buy a product that does not have our seal, then we we can't be held responsible for whatever happens. As a result of that and wanting to look further than then what we have with the supplement industry, for weightlifting and so forth. I mean, you can go to bodybuilding.com and buy any supplement you want. Everyone says the very bottom of this has not been approved by the FDA. But for some reason, the protein powder still helps you and I lift weights to get stronger and get bigger muscles. It's amazing how that works. It's almost as if I don't need to be told by the CDC by the FDA, what is and is not good for me that I as a rational human being can make those decisions for myself. And one thing that's been driving me crazy, Dan, and I'm gonna, I'm going to turn the conversation this way it is the argument that has been trust the experts. And I've been going crazy because I hear this this parroted quite a bit throughout not only the media, but also from people by and large. And in everyday life. It's saying trust the experts trust the experts. And then I asked the question, well, which experts? And then there's silence? Because when that question gets asked, all sudden, now it's putting the onus on the argument, the onus on the people who are actually the quote unquote, experts to make a rational, logical, substantive position. And in many cases where they have a differing opinion, to then in the court of public opinion, battle it out to find out what's going to be the best solution. And I feel that we've gotten to a point as a society, where we, as a public have so abdicated our personal responsibility to trusting the experts that we know look at these experts who've been put in front of us and have been labeled experts by name institution here that's been put in place by government. And now we're giving these people more and more credibility, where I would dare say a lot of times, they at the very least don't deserve it. But then we have experts, let's just take you, for example, right? An economic person who is outdated and an expert in economics, and free market economics at that yet, people won't say look at the experts and then point to you when they're coming from the argument of more government. So I would say what would be the free market economists response to trust the experts? Should we really trust the experts or should we trust what makes sense?

Dan Mitchell  19:49  
First, let me say something about the the testing and the bodybuilding supplements and that whole issue. The easy answer the logical answer to so much of that is to get the FDA and the CDC out of the business and rely on things like underwriters Laboratory, which is, of course, a private testing and verification service. I think that would be much more sensible, much more efficient than what we have right now. And I should have mentioned that earlier. But since it came to mind, I wanted to throw that out there before I got to your question about the experts. So regarding the experts, you're exactly right. Who's experts? When you talk about something like climate change, there are lots of experts out there, but they tend to be people who are getting fat and happy with government grants, because it pays to be an alarmist on these issues. Now, does that mean they're wrong? I have no idea. I'm not a climate scientist. But I do know enough about public choice economics. And the perverse incentives that you get when people's livelihood depends on saying X, even if they really think why it makes me very, very suspicious. But but let's even let's even set that aside and assume that people have nothing but pure motives. Everyone who's an expert on a certain topic, is vulnerable to having tunnel vision. So we took all the 18th century French literature professors at a university and said, From now on, you're in charge of running the university? Well, you'd probably have the best 18th century French Literature Department in the entire country. But would you have the right amount of biology professors, the right amount of finance professors, what happened to everything from, you know, the structure of the intramural program at the University, to the football game, to the dormitory building and stuff like that, being an 18th century French literature professor is probably a wonderful thing. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you, you should be making the call on everything involved with the university. And likewise, if you're somebody at the CDC, or even as much as I hate to say this, I'm sure there are some competent expert people at the World Health Organization, you probably do have a lot to add to the conversation. But does that mean that you're the only person who should say anything about this debate? Are you the only person who's qualified to look at these trade offs between? Well, do you completely sabotage and kill the economy with negative long term consequences that has on longevity, mental health, all sorts of aspects that we should be that should be part of this conversation, of course, you want a broader array of experts, even if we're talking about completely well, meaning completely intelligent people without an axe to grind, which, of course, is probably a little bit of a fantasy to begin with,

Brian Nichols  22:44  
quite literally a little bit of fantasy to begin with. And then this, I think, what we just did here is we painted this picture very, very well, I'm gonna try to bring it full circle, because you mentioned about, you know, the 18th century French scholar at that college. And it made me really think back I'd actually just reading this article, and it said, if we were experiencing COVID, 19, in the time period of the Spanish flu 1917 1918, that COVID-19 would be much worse. And I stopped for a moment, I thought to myself, isn't that funny, that they just completely acknowledged our entire position in a headline, because what's different between 1918 and 2020? And the obvious answer is an increase in technology. An obvious answer is the increase in interconnectivity globalism for whatever people want to argue about globalism, its pros, its cons, I don't care the fact we are in a global society now. And looking at where we are 2020 versus 1918, I would dare say that the economic conditions of people across the globe and this is can obviously be supported by empirical data saying people are objectively in a much better position, you know, GDP per capita than they were back 100 years ago. And it's because of those advancements, not only in technology, but because there was an incentive structure in place. For again, yes, an open economy, people being able to engage in commerce, that created a situation where now we're dealing with COVID-19. And we're not seeing millions and millions of deaths. I mean, we are we are so lucky to be in the area, the era that we are in currently. But I think we're almost forgetting the reason that we are in such a good position is because we were in embracing and supporting these policies that were at the very least allowing things to progress. And now we're seeing like you mentioned the end 2020. What's holding us back? It's been the response of government. It's been the response of these unelected bureaucrats who are deciding what is and is not good, without having to have that that you know, that instant response from the market, really an instant response from the consumer and we saw firsthand, there were companies out there who were ready to answer the call. I mean, we had companies who were ready to produce ventilators and masks in Instant but they couldn't they weren't allowed to because of government red tape. And like you said, Dan, it quite literally did impact people to the extent that it cost people lives. And that's something that I think the experts as they have been labeled, they need to take into consideration but also, I think that they need to have that little bit of egg on their face, because those are the experts who have been put into positions of power within our bureaucratic system of government, and they have not had to really answer for, you know, their, their beliefs, or your what their their expertise are. Until now they're being pushed to the forefront of a national issue, a global issue, because now you know, it's rubber hitting the road, it's like, okay, you're the experts fix it. And, and they're all kind of like, oh, like, now we're at the point where we're getting called in their bluff. And we gotta show the cards. And the reality is, we have all twos, and I'm sorry, you're not gonna win the game that way. And I think now they're at that point, they're just trying to like save face, until they get to the point that either A, this kind of just starts to fizzle out on its own, much like what happened in 1918, or 1970 1918. Or we find a vaccine, which fingers crossed could happen sooner rather than later. And I know that there's a lot of companies who are working on that. But we really need to see something happen. But right now, those experts, again, are the ones who are standing in the way

Dan Mitchell  26:18  
they are, they are standing in the way. And one of the things that I hope comes out of this whole exercise is that instead of just giving the FDA and the CDC a big budget increase, which is the normal let's reward failure approach that you get in Washington, I'm hoping, desperately hoping that maybe somehow even some of the more status oriented members of Congress will say, You know what, people died because we had too much bureaucracy. Let's try to streamline this process. Let's shift to underwriters laboratory or, or even if it's just that middle of the road approach, I said, where the FDA and the CDC put up guidelines on the internet and say, Okay, anyone who can meet these guidelines can produce x, y, and z. And we're not going to try to require pre approval at the time, there are all sorts of things we can do to either marginally or significantly make our system more flexible, more adaptable to dealing with this kind of crisis. So maybe I'm just being naive. But I would think that this has been such a terrible situation that even some of the people I know in Washington who are on the left who always think government is the answer, I'm hoping that they're going to draw at least some right conclusions out of this in terms of what has to be done, to have us better prepared in the future. And one other thing, I think, that might tell us something, although it's too early to, to know what lessons we'll get out of it, is different countries are trying different approaches. Sweden right now is famous for having a more relaxed approach on this. Now, having said that, a lot of you a lot of the people who are libertarian minded are citing Sweden, but at least in the short run, it appears that's a costly strategy with higher infection rates and death rates than some of the neighboring Scandinavian countries. However, it could be that in the long run, Sweden comes out ahead because yes, they bit the bullet, they incurred higher infection rates, rates and death rates in the short run, but enable them to keep their economy a little bit more alive. And to get through the to have the in effect the disease burn through the economy quicker. Now, it could be that maybe we learned that Sweden made the wrong calculation. But I'm glad that there are different approaches out there by different countries, so that we can hopefully learn from that experience as well. I mean, obviously, we mentioned the East Asian economies before, hopefully one thing we learned is that it's so important to have the capacity to test and to provide personal protective equipment, and the East Asian economies, I think you've done a good job on that we can certainly even already at this stage, we can take that as a lesson to be learned. But there are probably going to be other lessons that we're going to learn by seeing how different countries have handled it above and beyond, of course, as you indicated, the biggest lesson of all is that it helps to be a rich country, kind of how do you become a rich country by having free markets and limited government.

Brian Nichols  29:21  
And I'm hoping in you mentioned things that we can learn as we walk away from COVID-19. And I say walk away, we're just a month into it. But I'm hoping that we can at least look at what the United States did. And it was starting off as kind of this approach to federalism. And I don't want to go into another conversation about federalism. That's a horse. I've beaten a million times in the past year in The Brian Nichols Show, but at least from a Federalist approach, we were seeing localities respond to the COVID COVID 19 pandemic coming to America. And they were doing it in kind of this way that the Eastern Asian countries have and that we were seeing in Europe where each individual state or Each individual locality or municipality, we're making decisions. I mean, I in Philadelphia, we were closed down. I would say that the day after the NBA canceled their season, I mean, we were ready to rock and roll, you know, in in quarantine a month ago. And we're we're seeing our numbers kind of, you know, stay pretty stagnant. All things considered, you know, we quote unquote, helped, you know, was a cut the curve or spread the curve, whatever the heck it was. We did that. And that was that was great to see here in Philadelphia. But also we saw a response in the free market, the free market was answering a lot of the the questions that governments were starting to question themselves. I mean, the NBA closing down, you know, their entire season NHL, suspending all their NHL playoff hockey's you had the NCAA canceled all of March Madness. And this was all in preventative means from the free market from the private sector, to answer the areas where government was dropping the ball, or in many cases where government wasn't even responding. I mean, we had Mayor Bill de Blasio sitting in New York City and telling people tell people to go see Broadway shows on the third of March. And this is just weeks before New York City has hit with the biggest pandemic that's ever hit the city. And it's something that I think that we we, as libertarians, at the very least can walk away from this. And I'll leave this with, you know, for the last words to you, Dan, but I'm gonna say, I think we can leave the saying, hey, look, look, we argue all the time that the very least we should try to reel things back and give more more power more authority to the states and localities. Let them make some more of their decisions. And we saw with the COVID response, that, hey, we were right, you had an overarching government that was preventing these bureaucratic institutions preventing companies from from answering the bell and actually providing real life saving, whether it's products or services, etc. But also, you had private sector or localities who were starting to shut down starting to, quote unquote, quarantine themselves, way before any government did. So doesn't that really just speak to what we're saying every single day that federalism, at the very least, is a good starting point for us to build a society around instead of this cookie cutter, you know, one shoe fits all approach the government seemingly has taken here in 2020.

Dan Mitchell  32:14  
The lesson that I learned, of course, is that decentralization federalism is much better than a one size fits all approach out of Washington, because, frankly, what's best in terms of a large city that's heavily reliant on mass transit, like New York City, what's best there is going to be different than what's best in South Dakota. There are politicians in Washington right now saying, oh, there are some of these states that haven't issued stay at home orders yet? Well, if you're in the middle of Wyoming, you don't need a stay at home order. And especially given that all the news and attention that's been given to this issue. I'm sure people in Wyoming are just as cognizant of social distancing as people in Philadelphia and New York City and Washington DC right now. So yes, let 1000 Flowers bloom, let's have some decentralized decision making on this as part of our answer to this, but I'll close up with where I started. There are still things we don't know. And I don't want to pretend to be. It's bad enough when you got 2020 hindsight, armchair quarterback types, well, we're still dealing with things where we don't know, all we can do is just hope and pray that we come out of this with as little damage to our country and to our economy and to our to our families as possible. And that's going to mean striking the correct balance, letting markets perhaps play a bigger role than federal bureaucrats and politicians and regulators. And otherwise, just hope for the best.

Brian Nichols  33:50  
Amen. Dan, well, listen, I will go ahead and make sure I include all links on to not only your social media, but also to all the great work you're doing, specifically mentioning that international liberty, which again, I'll include the link to that in the show notes as well. But just for folks who are listening along, where can they go ahead and follow you if they're interested in learning more about yourself, but also interested in staying up to date with all the economic work that you're doing?

Dan Mitchell  34:13  
Well, the organization I run the Center for freedom and prosperity is freedom and prosperity.org. But in terms of my output of material, probably the easiest and simple thing to do is either follow me on Twitter at Daniel J. Mitchell, although I'm sort of shadow banned. So maybe the smartest thing is just to go to my blog, international liberty, just go to any search engine, type in Dan Mitchell blog, and somewhere sort of on the top right, you can put in your email address and automatically every day, get the column mailed to you. I of course, don't use the email address for anything else. There's no charge for it. I push out this material as part of the educational mission that we have at the Center for freedom and prosperity.

Brian Nichols  34:57  
Awesome. Well, listen, Dan, it was an absolute pleasure. And I definitely will be sure to be keeping an eye on how things transpire. And as we, you know, looking back months ahead from now, we'll make sure we have you back on the show. And we'll do a post mortem of this conversation and see where things stand and hey, maybe we'll be proven right, who knows?

Dan Mitchell  35:15  
Let's keep our fingers crossed. We have some good news. All right,

Brian Nichols  35:17  
folks. So that's gonna wrap up my conversation with Dan Mitchell, as we discuss the temporary trade offs. When we look at the trade off between health outcomes and the economic outcomes as it pertains to the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic, as we are here, April 2020. And this is a conversation obviously, that needs to be had. So please be sure to share with family and friends because this is definitely a question that is airing on a lot people's minds be approached me and we're starting to really question are we going to open up the country? Again, I think, you know, we need to make sure we are we are presenting a smart and well thought out logical argument. And I think right here with the conversation with Dan, especially as it pertains to his article, which I will obviously include as a link in the show notes, you know, speaks to exactly why it is so important that we get people back to work, but also doing it smartly. So with that being said, guys, a couple of housekeeping notes. I had the the absolute pleasure of joining our friend Kevin wormhole over on his podcast and it's the exchange and we had a presidential debate. Between five of the libertarian candidates Dan tax agent is Neff Berman, Adam Kokesh, Sam, Robert, Mark Whitney, and Ken Armstrong. And yours truly was a co Moderator. So that was an absolutely phenomenal time I will be sure to include the link to that debate in the show notes by I'll also be doing a special re air of this episode as a bonus in the next week or so. So if you want to hold on to then look for that re air otherwise, you can go ahead and hunt it down in your podcast catcher or just go ahead and click the link right there in the show notes. So guys, with that being said it was an absolute blast. And as always, if you follow me on social media at V Nichols liberty, both on Twitter and on Facebook, but hey, you know what, I'm gonna leave us there. It was an absolute fantastic time with Dan Mitchell, as we discussed the temporary trade off for health outcomes and economic outcomes for the Coronavirus. But signing off for Dan Mitchell. It's Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com Enjoying the audio version of the show, then you'll love our YouTube channel. Be sure to head over there and subscribe. If you're new to The Brian Nichols Show, be sure to head to your favorite podcast catcher and click download all unplayed episodes so you don't miss one of our nearly 500 episodes that will be sure to leave you educated, enlightened and informed. If you got value from today's episode Kate do me a favor and Edie the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support and leave us a $5 donation and by the way you get on the show five sober yet if not head to Apple podcasts and tell folks why you listen to the program and don't forget to tell your friends to subscribe to follow me on social media at be Nichols liberty, and again, if you'd be so kind please consider making a donation to The Brian Nichols Show at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support. The Brian Nichols Show is supported by viewers like you. Thank you to our patrons Darryl Schmitz, Michael Lima, Michel Mankiewicz Hodie John's Fred, the caster and the we're libertarians network. Faced with an uncertain future many business owners and technology professionals don't have the time needed to invest in their business technology strategies and as a result are afraid of their technology getting outdated and putting their company and customers information at risk. The digital future is already here. But with all different choices in the marketplace, it's difficult to know which one will be the best fit for you in your strategic vision. Imagine having the peace of mind that your business is backed by the right technology investments that are tailored for your specific needs. Hi, I'm Brian Nichols and I've helped countless business owners and technology professionals just like you helping you make informed decisions about what technologies are best to invest in for your business voice bandwidth, cybersecurity, business continuity juggling all the aspects of business technology is messy. Let me help head the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash help and sign up for a free one on one consultation with yours truly to dig deep into where you see your company headed and how we can align your business technology towards those goals. Again, that's Brian Nichols show.com forward slash help to get your simplified business technology started today.

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