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OpenMarket: Iain Murray

  • All Levels of Government Need a Top-to-Bottom Review of Transportation Policy

    September 2, 2020
    Evidence is mounting that mass transit played a major role in spreading COVID-19. According to analytics firm TrendMacro, the only factor “that seems to make a demonstrable difference [in the severity of outbreaks] is the intensity of mass-transit use.” This makes intuitive sense. Mass transit places people in close proximity in confined spaces, often for long-ish periods of time.
  • Are Scandinavian Countries Socialist?

    August 25, 2020
    Are modern Scandinavian countries actually socialist? This question must be asked because it is a common rhetorical device of “democratic socialist” politicians to wave away objections about the horrors of past socialist regimes by saying that all they want is to be like Scandinavia.
  • The Socialist Temptation: Why Don’t People Remember the Horrors of Socialism?

    August 14, 2020
    Why are people still attracted to socialism when its history is plain for all to see? One reason is that those who proclaimed the dawn of real socialism will say that the state failed because it was never real socialism in the first place.
  • The Socialist Temptation: Socialism and American Values

    July 28, 2020
    The way to reach people is by making sure a policy accorded with their values. In his new book, The Socialist Temptation, Iain Murray argues that the recent rise in popularity of socialism has occurred because socialism talks a very good game when it comes to values. The trouble is that it actually undermines those values.
  • America’s Cultural Revolution

    July 17, 2020
    In his forthcoming book, The Socialist Temptation, Iain Murray talks about how socialism in China produced the Cultural Revolution. The text of the book was finalized before our current moment, so he was unable to draw parallels between what happened then and what appears to be happening now, but he thinks we should worry.
  • Infrastructure Bill’s Non-Serious Nature Is a Serious Problem

    June 30, 2020
    America’s current surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act, expires at the end of September. Rather than reauthorizing it, however, House Democrats have introduced the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2). While this bill stands no chance of becoming law, it exemplifies several problems with the current approach to lawmaking from the House.
  • Emergencies and the Project Manager’s Dilemma

    June 17, 2020
    Government agencies’ initial responses to the COVID-19 crisis were notable for one particular characteristic: incompetence. From basic errors in data collection, through failed lab safety precautions, to contradictory messaging about the effectiveness of masks, the record of agencies like the CDC and FDA has been distinctly subpar. Americans are entitled to ask why.
  • Delivery Price Caps Threaten New Restaurant Lifeline

    May 4, 2020
    Tomorrow, the Washington, D.C. City Council votes on a bill that seeks to impose a price cap on the commission a third-party delivery platform can charge restaurants for bringing them custom. Seattle and other cities are doing something similar. This is a classic case of an action that seems reasonable but would in fact be disastrous.
  • The Economy after COVID-19 Will Be Different from Before, Part One

    May 1, 2020
    As governors begin to lift restrictions on economic activity, polling data show that Americans are generally still afraid of the virus and have changed their economic behavior. Whole sectors of the economy have had their parameters changed. This will also likely mean a change in regulations will be necessary too.
  • Regulation, Not Offshoring, Is Hindering Industry from Ramping up Production

    March 25, 2020
    In his latest Bloomberg column, Noah Smith argues that offshoring production led to the current shortage of medical masks and equipment in the face of the coronavirus. The real question is: Why can’t we suddenly switch production and churn out millions of masks a day in the face of an unanticipated calamity? The answer to that is not offshoring, but regulation.


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