Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Personal vs. Private

The Coronavirus crisis has caused me to re-evaluate one of my opinions: I used to think the left-wing distinction between “personal” and “private” was silly. I now think they have a point. They just had it backwards. The regulations that had to be repealed (e.g., selling unauthorized coronavirus tests) tend to be regulations of private property but the regulations that have to be added (e.g., against crossing borders or going out in public) are of personal behavior. The business regulations are a matter of using businesses to enforce the regulations of personal behavior.

Many people regard the Coronavirus crisis are a refutation of libertarianism (formerly known as classical liberalism). On the other hand, as I've said before:

Control of contagious disease was a traditional activity of classical liberal governments. I have seen complaints that such governments were more concerned about contagious disease than malnutrition.

As for the bailouts… the above-mentioned regulations are a taking of the value of private property for public use. Such takings must be compensated. On the other hand, in order to keep the economy going, the compensation has to be distributed faster than it can be aimed. I suppose we should figure out the proper compensation after. One way is to suspend taxes during the recovery period on those businesses that had to be shut.


Blogger Kevin Mathison said...

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