No evidence that masks or lock-downs made any difference. Governments take credit anyway.

I am convinced that part of the government’s strategy is to see an improving trend, create a law or agency to make things “safer” or “better” related to that trend, and then take credit for that positive trend to maintain their relevance.

Alternatively, they see a free-market economic sector or activity that is self-regulating, enact a ream of laws to “control” that economic sector for our protection, which then distorts that sector to the point that harm is now being caused to the people, then legislate even more laws or the creation of a governmental body to “fix” the problems that their own laws created in the first place.

For the pro-Big Government crowd, everything I just said will fall on deaf ears. As far as they are concerned, only the Government knows how to make the world a better place (despite hundreds of years and hundreds of examples to the contrary) – with all that matters to them being whether the government-du-jour is red or blue.

For the open-minded and those cognizant, and accepting, of government history, the worst thing that could happen to the federal government is for everyone to realize the truth – that we don’t need them.

For example, OSHA was created long after a steady decline in workplace accidents was already underway. Naturally, OSHA then took credit for the improvement in the decline of worker injuries.

The free market was already improving worker safety, because the selfishness of businesses is to reduce costs and increase efficiency, and this selfishness incentivizes businesses to protect their assets – and human labor is an asset. You don’t need to pass a law for a company to maintain its machinery, it does it because not maintaining it is more expensive. Maintaining humans by keeping them safe is the same. A healthy employee can work, work well, and work consistently.

The self-regulating nature of voluntary and mutually beneficial cooperation between individuals and groups is the mortal enemy of government.

Improvements in literacy were underway well before the creation of the Department of Education. In fact, we should question how much impact the DOE had all these decades and trillions of dollars later when, “a recent study conducted by the DOE reported that 32 million American adults are illiterate, 21 percent read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates are functionally illiterate, which means they can’t read well enough to manage daily living and perform tasks required by many jobs.”

There are many other examples of this trend in government taking credit for free market solutions.

The COVID-19 event has given governments at all levels yet another crisis to take advantage of. Several studies have shown time and again that regardless of when lock downs were instituted, for how long, and to what level of tyranny – there is no difference shown in COVID-19 cases or fatalities. As Tom Woods pointed out on a recent podcast, “If I show you the case and fatality charts of different states and countries over time, you would not be able to accurately point out the ones that required masks and did lock downs, and those that didn’t.”

In fact, as of today, we now have a slightly higher per capita fatality rate than Sweden. Except we destroyed our economy, are devastating the dollar, added trillions to the debt of our unborn great-great-grandchildren and will, I believe, ultimately have more fatalities associated with the lock-down than with COVID-19.

But the strategy of the Left and the Big Gov folks to defend masks, occupancy limitations, lock-downs, etc follows a rigid playbook:

Masks Not Worn : Deaths Zero = Ignore
Masks Worn : Deaths Zero = Claim Credit
Masks Not Worn : Deaths Rise = “Told you so!”
Masks Worn : Deaths Rise = “Would have been worse without masks.”

Which is why on the last one the “death predictions” are always so high. That way they can “show” how wearing masks prevented the fatalities from being worse.

More From Tom Woods:

The heroic journalist Jennifer Cabrera has been doing an excellent job smashing the government line on the virus.

For example, the Sun Belt spike was supposed to have devastated Florida, according to hysterics on social media.

It didn’t.

Why didn’t it?

Want to guess what the media wants you to think did the trick?

Go ahead, guess.

You got it.


They need it to be masks, because that way they can claim that government mandates saved us.

The trouble is, the numbers do not bear this explanation out at all. Not even a little.

On August 25, Dr. Michael Lauzardo, Chief and Assistant Professor of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at the University of Florida nevertheless made this very argument: when people heard about the rising case count, they wore masks more reliably and left their homes less frequently.

I’ve already given away the punchline: there is no evidence for this theory.

Florida saw a very minor decrease in mobility in July and August, but there is no statistically significant relationship between cases and mobility in Florida or in the United States in general.

The Phase 2 reopening has been blamed for the growth in cases, but the data show that the Phase 2 reopening did not affect mobility at all.

Miami introduced a mask mandate as early as April 9, and required masks even outdoors as of July 2. Despite no changes to their lockdown policies, Miami saw a massive increase in cases in July, and then saw a decline in August — again, with no changes in policy.

There is no evidence that Floridians increased their mask usage during the spike, so it’s not clear why Dr. Lauzardo would have said such a thing — unless he is assuming a priori that masks work and must be the explanation for a decline in cases and deaths, so therefore mask usage must have increased.

If you can see a connection between mask usage and health outcomes in the below, I owe you a Coke:

Once again, no matter what we do, no matter what policies political leaders enact, the virus follows a predictable pattern almost wherever it goes.

I am convinced that half the reason behind the mask mandates is that government officials can then try to take the credit (“it’s because we forced you stupid rubes to wear masks!”) when the virus follows its inevitable path downward.

Categories: Government Failures

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