Responding to the outbreak of coronavirus reveals exactly how not to deal with a crisis.
Hopefully, you and your loved ones are safe and well from this extreme strain of influenza.
To keep it that way, be sure to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands, clean the things you touch frequently, and, when traveling, wear a cotton face mask.
Folks in Asia have been doing this for ages.
It’s fully expected that people with the slightest hint of a cold will wear a mask so as to not make their problem everyone else’s problem.
I wish everyone would learn the Japanese phrase: “meiwaku nai de kudasai” (Do not create burdens).
Similarly, during cold and flu season people will wear these masks when in close proximity to others so as to avoid whatever viruses are “going around.”
With the outbreak of a particularly novel version of coronavirus, people, and public officials in particular, appear to be losing their minds.
To put this in perspective, you have more reason to avoid regular influenza than to concern yourself with novel coronavirus.
Despite flu season being an annual event, China is facing a shortage of cotton face masks.
How can this be possible?
Do you ever hear of beer companies running out of cases and six packs to sell in the high summer season?
The New York Times admits that all is not well with health care delivery in the people's socialist paradise, stating China has “a medical system that is overburdened and overwhelmed even in normal times.”
In the absence of a free market the socialist production of anything, including security and healthcare, is left to political irrationality.
Now, as good political economists can easily predict, public officials in China are squabbling over the common pool of medical goods under government control.
Dali City in Yunnan Province, with only eight cases of the virus, put in an emergency requisition that diverted a shipment of face masks away from other, harder hit, areas.
This kind of squabbling and these kinds of bureaucratic screw ups are commonplace in a command economy.
You may be familiar with accusations of price gouging whenever there is a hurricane, flooding, or earthquake. The commies, news media, and ignorant masses want to demonize the price mechanism whenever disaster strikes, however, it is the best way to mobilize resources in a crisis.
- You want high prices to prevent hoarding of scarce goods in a crisis.
- You want high prices to attract more entrepreneurs into delivering services in a crisis.
- You want high prices to offset the risks involved with working in a crisis.
Rather than relying on ineffectual bureaucracies and self-aggrandizing politicians, the free market, guided by the price mechanism and rational economic calculation, is the best way known to humanity for mobilizing resources in response to crisis.
Only rational economic calculation, guided by market pricing and entrepreneurial profit and loss estimates can direct resources to their most highly valued ends.
Otherwise, you wind up with tremendous waste and political bickering that the deliver the goods to who need it most.
You probably didn’t learn in school about the crucial role market pricing plays in responding to crisis, yet you can learn sound economics from the best teachers available…and you can learn it where and when it’s convenient for you: libertydojo.com
Until next time. Stay sharp, stay aware, and be well.
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