Smash the COVID Orthodoxy
Smash the COVID Orthodoxy by Ethan Yang for American Institute for Economic Research (AIER)
For better or for worse, the American Institute for Economic Research was built for a time just like this. The date is 1933, the world is having a debate over whether to adopt Communism or Fascism. The intellectual class scoffs at the ideas of economic and social freedom, believing that society had advanced towards a new era where everything and anything could be planned. They assert that with the scientific and awesome hand of government, we could conquer nature, eliminate strife, and construct a new world.
President Roosevelt unleashed an unprecedented assault on the principles of sound economics and limited government. Against vast criticism and tremendous controversy, a young US Army Colonel and MIT Professor by the name of Edward C. Harwood spoke out against the regime and founded a small research institution: AIER.
He challenged John Maynard Keynes, an economist who enjoyed near deity status as his ideas served as the foundation for the new order. Harwood’s defense of markets, of sound fiscal spending, of responsible monetary policy, would soon be joined by an ever-growing number of organizations and individuals. All because one man decided to defy the orthodoxy, speak truth to power, and ask the necessary questions that nobody else would. His legacy along with the ideas he wished to preserve have survived and continue to grow in support.
Fast forward to the current day and once again AIER finds itself as one of the few, if any, organizations that are willing to ask the right questions and say what others are afraid to say. We face a new orthodoxy where silence and compliance has and will continue to produce dire consequences. The conversation surrounding COVID-19 has been dangerously one-sided to the point where critical considerations and questions have been largely relegated to the fringes. A failure to diversify and open up the national discourse, much like Harwood did, will have long-lasting consequences that extend far beyond the current crisis.