Cato Institute Editorial: The Coronavirus Crackdown is Libertarian

by | Apr 23, 2020


When you come across an editorial titled “Libertarianism and the Coronavirus Pandemic” at the website of the Cato institute that describes itself as “a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace,” what do you expect? You may expect the editorial to argue against local, state, and national governments in America, in the name of countering coronavirus, prohibiting people from exercising many individual rights including rights to travel, assemble, engage in commerce, and even just leave home.

Well, think again.

Instead of delivering a strong defense of freedom and a strong condemnation of the coronavirus crackdown in which governments shut down many private businesses and wholesale violate individual rights, the March 25 editorial, written by Cato Institute Staff Writer Andy Craig, endorses the crackdown.

Craig’s objections to the coronavirus crackdown that he expresses in his editorial hardly even qualify as quibbles. He writes that restraint should be applied in enforcing the draconian mandates and that “emergency rules and powers should extend only for the duration of the emergency, and be repealed at the earliest feasible opportunity.” Notably, government officials who have mandated and implemented the coronavirus crackdown across America appear to have typically agreed since the beginning of the crackdown that there should be enforcement restraint and that imposed mandates should be lifted based on changes in circumstances.

You can read Craig’s editorial here.

If you want to read some editorials that deal with the coronavirus crackdown and are more in line with libertarian ideas or, as the Cato Institute puts it, “the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace,” check out libertarian communicator Ron Paul’s editorials “The Coronavirus Hoax” from March 16, “End the Shutdown; It’s Time for Resurrection!” from April 6, and “What If the Lockdown Was All A Big Mistake?” from April 20.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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