The idea that a free and mostly privatized society would let pandemics rage unchecked is based on a crude caricature. The truth is that a free society offers flexibility and resilience that a centralized system lacks.
Anti-price gouging laws mean that those who really end up getting the short end of the stick are those who don't have the time or the means to beat the crowds to the store. Worse off are those of lesser means who rely on public transportation or walking to transport groceries home.
The economy is not primarily about the adjustment of capital investment across industries and firms, but about the determination of which industries and types of production will exist—and who will be involved in this future production.
In terms of economics, what currently is should be of very little importance: what matters, and that we should seek to understand, is the process that brought it about and that will create what will be in its place.
The psychological impact of a lifetime within a fiat money economy cannot be underestimated. With more wealth seemingly available at the click of a computer button, refusal to spend more on government programs must stem only from cruelty and greed.
As the government continues to pile up trillion dollar deficits, when interest rates return to a historical norm, interest payments on the national debt may exceed payments to Social Security recipients.