Covid-19 Ratchet Effects is Becoming Clearer & More Concerning

The Covid-19 Ratchet Effects is Becoming Clearer, and More Concerning

BY: Raymond J. March

On June 24, Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky extended the national eviction moratorium for tenants unable to pay rent through the end of July. First enacted last September, the moratorium hoped to prevent further Covid-19 spread by helping tenants avoid traveling to find new housing or becoming homeless.

The announcement from the CDC’s website indicates, “this is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.” They have had similar intentions before. As their FAQ on the moratorium notes:

CDC issued its initial order temporarily halting residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent on September 4, 2020. That order was set to expire on December 31, 2020. On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Section 502 of Title V, Division N of that Act extended the expiration date of the CDC Order until January 31, 2021. On January 29, 2021, the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, modified and further extended Order until March 31, 2021. On March 29, 2021, CDC modified and further extended the Order until June 30, 2021”

But why do we need another extension?

The CDC itself estimates total Covid-19 cases are down 95.5 percent from January 10. Hospitalizations and deaths are in a similarly steep decline over the same period. Nearly half of the US population is fully vaccinated.

Concerns that ending the moratorium will lead to increased homelessness and Covid-19 spread also seem overblown. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in March, only about 18 percent of the last round of stimulus checks were used to pay necessary living conditions, including rent.

When policy decisions counter common sense, examining political incentives often provides answers. As I wrote with deep concern several months ago, the ratchet effect of Covid-19 policy was beginning to take effect.

As economist and historian Robert Higgs explains in his influential and alarming book Crisis and Leviathan, government power often expands during times of crisis. Sacrificing freedom for (supposed) security, a fearful public allows the government to increase its size and scope over domains of public life in the hope that things will soon return to normal. Eventually, the crisis ends, but government rarely revokes the powers it gained during the crisis.

The CDC gained the authority to prevent landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent and extended its expiration date five times. And this is far from the only example.

Although mainly focused on his infrastructure bill, President Biden is still open to more stimulus payments. Many states continue to provide Covid-19 related unemployment benefits despite reopening and facing a shortage of labor. Travel bans from Europe and the UK continue despite medical research indicating there is a low risk of Covid-19 spread during a flight.

Creating the best post-covid world possible involves more than eradicating the virus. It also requires returning to pre-covid levels of government involvement in our lives. The ratchet effect stands in the way, and it lasts much longer than a pandemic.


The above article (The Covid-19 Ratchet Effects is Becoming Clearer, and More Concerning) was originally created and published by Independent Institute and is republished here under “Fair Use” (see disclaimer below) with attribution to author Raymond J. March and

About the Author: Raymond J. March is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Assistant Professor of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.
Posts by Raymond J. March | Full Biography and Publications


Read more about COVID Lockdowns


Click on the image below to visit site:



Stay tuned to …


The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)


Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.


Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.