The U.S. government's response to the coronavirus has been nothing less than catastrophic, with weak, delayed, and incompetent actions by its two main public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at George Mason University and one of the co-founders of the popular blog and online university Marginal Revolution, is an outspoken critic of the government's actions, including the FDA's refusal to allow for home testing of the coronavirus. Reason spoke with him about official responses to past pandemics, which countries are doing things right, and how the government can get a better handle on stopping the spread of this novel coronavirus.
Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Alex Tabarrok is a professor of economics at George Mason University and holds the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center. Alex has written widely on long run economic growth and joins the show today to talk about it. David and Alex also discuss how capital relates to economic growth, the impact of regulation on dynamism, and the important distinction between “catch-up” and “cutting edge” growth. Transcript for the episode: https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/podcasts/09092019/alex-tabarrok-elements-economic-growth-and-decline-dynamism Alex’s Twitter: @ATabarrok Alex’s Mercatus profile: https://asp.mercatus.org/alexander-tabarrok Alex and Tyler’s blog: https://marginalrevolution.com/ Related Links: *Modern Principles of Economics* by Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/product/Loose-leaf--Version-for--Modern-Principles-of-Economics-4E--FlipIt-for-Survey-of-Economics-Six-Months-Access-4E-Online/p/131909872X *Is Regulation to Blame for the Decline in American Entrepreneurship?* by Alex Tabarrok and Nathan Goldschlag https://academic.oup.com/economicpolicy/article/33/93/5/4833996 *Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990* by Michael Kremer https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~walker/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kremer1993.pdf *Why are the Prices so Damn High?* by Alex Tabarrok and Eric Helland https://www.mercatus.org/publications/healthcare/why-are-prices-so-damn-high *The Value of Health and Longevity* by Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel https://www.nber.org/papers/w11405 David’s blog: macromarketmusings.blogspot.com David’s Twitter: @DavidBeckworth
Alex Tabarrok (@ATabarrok), economist and author, joins Erik on this episode for a wide-ranging discussion.They talk about:- The contributions of economics to society over the past several decades and the biggest challenges ahead for the field- What “the great forgetting” means in economics and why bad ideas from the past keep coming back- The arguments for open borders- Why Alex thinks we should focus on increasing the number of police as opposed to increasing punishment for offenders- Whether the US or China will pull ahead in the next decades- Whether capitalism and democracy are compatible- Why “democracy is not the secret sauce to riches”- The merits of inductive versus deductive thinking- Why he thinks too few robots, not too many, is the cause of low wages- His thoughts on cost disease- How he would change academia, the FDA, healthcare, the tax code, and other areas if he could wave a magic wand- The ways in which he thinks differently from other economistsThanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Over the last two decades, the prices of consumer goods like toys and electronics have gone way down, but the prices of health care and education have gone up roughly 200%. Why? In this episode, economist Alex Tabarrok discusses his latest book, co-authored with Eric Heller, "Why are the Prices So D*mn High?," which blames rising costs on a phenomenon called the Baumol Effect.