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 Libertarianism and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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PostSubject: Libertarianism and the Coronavirus Pandemic    Libertarianism and the Coronavirus Pandemic  Icon_minitimeWed Mar 25, 2020 8:31 pm

In recent days, there has been snark from some quarters about the current crisis somehow catching libertarians flat‐​footed. The argument goes that the need for a big government response disproves a political ideology that is often, though in somewhat oversimplified fashion, summarized as favoring “small government.” A better description would be a government limited in scope but sufficient to meet that scope.

Libertarianism, properly understood, encompasses certain core functions as the proper role of government. It is not the libertarian view that government should be ineffective at protecting individual rights or dysfunctionally paralyzed in the face of a massive threat to people’s lives. Government has a role to play in responding to the pandemic in much the same way it is the government’s job to prosecute murderers or defend the country from invasion.

At the same time, libertarian principles and insights can provide some guideposts for how to respond in this unprecedented global emergency.
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