An Open Letter to Tyler Cowen

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet Tyler, Happy Beethoven’s 250 th Birthday!

But I write not about music but, instead, about your Marginal Revolution post of today titled “ The ideological shift of the libertarian movement on pandemics .” You argue there that libertarians have shifted ideologically on the question of how government should respond to lethal infectious pathogens.

As evidence for this shift, you point to remarks offered in a 2014 Reason symposium held in response to Ebola.

You’re correct that all four symposium contributors are libertarian, and that Reasonis a prominent libertarian organization. But nothing written by any of the symposium contributors is remotely at odds with today’s libertarian opposition to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Only two symposium participants – Ron Bailey and Declan McCullagh – talked about a general lockdown of a region; the other two participants discussed the merits and demerits of quarantining only those individuals who are infected. Quarantining of individual identified as infected is a categorically different animal from the general lockdowns of whole populations that we’re suffering, and continue to suffer, in response to Covid.

Source: An Open Letter to Tyler Cowen