People’s Love and Innovation: 50th Birthday Edition

Political News


I spend a lot of time in my professional life railing against those who only highlight either the cost or the benefit of a policy. This one-sided view drives me nuts.

Yet that’s what I do in this column, where I recount the incredible experience of turning 50 during a pandemic. I hope my amazement toward people’s love and ability to adjust and connect with others, as well as the creativity of innovators who have made this isolation more tolerable, comes through here.

A tidbit:

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I soon discovered another gift at 11 a.m., but it was delivered to my house around 8 a.m. and would be picked up 12 hours later. This one is 100% a pandemic innovation, triggered by the thousands of life events that couldn’t be celebrated during these times of social distancing. As I opened my front door, I discovered a beautiful sign wishing me a happy birthday. It was festooned with balloons and cupcakes right there in my front yard, all orchestrated by my loving friends Ashley and Kevin.

The company, Sign Sisters, didn’t exist before this crisis. It’s an Arlington, Virginia, startup, and, just like its signs do, it displays the creativity and thoughtfulness of so many local entrepreneurs throughout the country — creative people who come up with ideas to satisfy needs, such as enabling celebrations when most of us remain in isolation.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.


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