When it’s time to panic

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“As Matt Yglesias recently pointed out, the term ‘panic’ has a negative connotation …. I’m not going to quibble with Yglesias’s claim, as he correctly describes how people think of this term. Nonetheless, I do insist that panic is often appropriate, if we define ‘panic’ in the way that the state uses the term. Indeed throughout history, states often justify evil policies by claiming that they are lying to the public in order to prevent ‘panic,’ as if the state is somehow smarter than the public. In most cases, the opposite is true.” (11/14/21)