Paul recently discussed the piece by Richard Epstein, the legal scholar who made his bones in conservative legal circles by writing a ludicrously ahistorical book asserting that the takings clause enacted Mr. Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia, which predicted that fewer people would die of COVID-19 in the United States than have died in New York already. (It was widely circulated within the White House because of course.) In its current form it has a grimly hilarious update:
That estimate is ten times greater than the 500 number I erroneously put in the initial draft of the essay, and it, too, could prove somewhat optimistic.
That’s why pencils have erasers! Although they don’t really work for people who are dead.
You might think that having said something 1)howlingly wrong on 2)a subject about which you have no relevant expertise that is 3)having an actively pernicious influence on public policy would compel you to at least shut up about it, but nope he’s back with yet more confident pronouncements! Ah, the groves of academe.
And it’s not just Federalist Society types who are prone to thinking that having a J.D. makes you an instant expert on everything. Check out Epstein’s former colleague Cass Sunstein:
Repeating my reply to someone:
Sunstein didn't merely change his mind in response to events. He told people four weeks ago that if they held the view he now holds, they had a brain defect. He and others rationalized a delayed response that now forces the wrenching shutdown.— Ari Schulman (@AriSchulman) March 27, 2020
At least nobody in the Trump administration is likely to care about what Sunstein wrote last month. Alas, he had not merely influence but power within the previous Democratic administration, something that really needs not to be repeated by the next one.