One of the most elementary insights that new libertarians learn is the concept of the “seen and the unseen” popularly disseminated by French political theorist Frederick Bastiat.
His theory posits that, when the government does something, we only see the result of that policy. If the government builds a park, we see the park that the government built. However, we do not see where the resources to build the park came from. Further, we do not know what those resources would have accomplished if they had not been redirected by the government to build a park. The resources would have stayed in the economy where they would have been directed according to the subjective desires of their respective owners.
Indeed, this effect is immeasurable. That is why Bastiat called it “the unseen.” It can’t be seen.
But it is felt.
Two years later, in 2022, we are still just beginning to really appreciate the effects that the government’s COVID-19 policy had. We might not know the full scope of these effects for decades to come.
Much has been said about the excess rate of substance abuse during COVID-19. To try to understand some of these causes, I brought on my friend Drew Cook of the Clean Libertarian. Drew is a recovering addict who is now working to help other addicts recover.
Premium subscribers have early access to the full interview, without ads, linked below. Join them to get bonuses like this, and to help support my work.