In addition to Bill’s crash alert flying proudly from the mast of the good ship Markets and Money, we’d like to ad a madness alert. Scanning the headlines yesterday, we saw the following stories: “Bill Banning iPods in Crosswalks Slated for New York… Hackers attack key net computers… U.S. Companies prepare for pandemic… Proposals to launch ecological crime laws… Who watches the watchers in surveillance society… Governor plans to fire Oregon climatologist for sceptical views of warming.”
Is the world any more made than normal? Yes, we answer firmly. Collective madness is synonymous with a period of low interest rates, in which easy money leads to both financial and later personal recklessness. Inflation is a disease of the mind as well that shows up in the loose habits of people. Of course that has nothing to do with pandemic. But our point is this, the collectivizing impulse to make things illegal, ban them, forbid them, won’t prevent them from actually happening. It will just give politicians something else to speechify about, and fill up the courts with frivolous assaults on every day liberty. Booo! Hisss!