Disregard of the empirical; optimism of the will: The abandonment of good government in the covid-19 crisis
Abstract. We are grateful to the editors and the publishers of the book in which this chapter appears, for that manner of that appearance is unusual. Save for the correction of slips and what it is hoped are some minor stylistic improvements, this chapter has been left as it was when it was given what the authors thought was a shape ready for publication sometime in early 2021. The central thinking of the chapter had taken shape sometime in late 2020. The wish to publish a chapter which will, then, be three years out of date when it appears would anyway require explanation, but this is a fortiori the case with a chapter on a topic so quickly and dramatically shifting as the evaluation of the UK government’s response to the outbreak of Covid in early 2020. In essence, such significance as the chapter possesses is that it shows that, at the time that what is in the chapter called ‘inchoate communism’ was generating lockdown, an immensely superior alternative was perfectly possible, had the UK government taken what can, consistent with the title of this book, be called a ‘conservative’ approach to regulation.
Keywords. Covid-19 pandemic; Ronald coase; Government failure; Blackboard economics; Ceteris Paribus reasoning.JEL. F51; F52; P16; P26; P48.
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