What happened in Newton several days ago was a horrible and sickening tragedy. I pray for the families and their community.
Given the recent mass shootings, one would get the impression that our nation has been experiencing a sharp rise in gun violence, or violence in general. Fortunately, that’s not true—violent crime has steadily decreased over the last 30 or so years—but it hasn’t stopped the increase in stricter rules, more pat-downs, and uneasy minds. And it hasn’t prevented the national media and some lawmakers from exuberantly passing around accusations and solutions. They are very happy to claim the sky is falling and that they have the answer. We should resist such a reaction.
I strongly encourage you to read Robert Tracinski’s excellent piece on this subject, warning Americans to act responsibly in the face of such tragedy, instead of making it worse. You can read it here.
Over at Values & Capitalism this week I share thoughts on “social capital”—the idea that voluntary community associations increase social trust and cooperation, creating an environment suitable for democracy and capitalism. From this premise, we find that liberty and virtue share a reciprocal relationship, where they both depend on and enhance one another. Read the post here.
Is Price Gouging Immoral? Should It Be Illegal?
The folks at LearnLiberty.org are creating some excellent and rather entertaining videos on liberty and free markets. This short video shows how price gauging during an emergency—an act commonly viewed as inspired from the devil himself—is merely a function of the market finding a way to deliver goods to the people who need them most.
I heard a great EconTalk podcast a while back with Russ Roberts and Mike Munger on this very topic. Paradoxes like these are one reason I enjoy economics. The bigger reason is learning how to actually help people in need instead of making situations worse.