Saturday , November 17 2018
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Some Links

Summary:
Thomas Firey explains that imports increase GDP. And import restrictions not only reduce GDP but are also not generally “pro-business.” Deirdre McCloskey reviews Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed. A slice: True liberalism by itself is, as Adam Smith said, “the liberal plan of [social] equality, [economic] liberty, and [legal] justice,” then leaving people alone, with a little help in the form of a modest national defense and some subsidies to elementary education. By contrast, more intentional practices are exactly what we do not need. We’ve tried them, in Brook Farm and in Russian central planning. Believing that we need to “intend” an economic result in order for it to be just and good exhibits the ignorance of economics found in many political theorists, and now in Pope

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Thomas Firey explains that imports increase GDP.

And import restrictions not only reduce GDP but are also not generally “pro-business.

Deirdre McCloskey reviews Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed. A slice:

True liberalism by itself is, as Adam Smith said, “the liberal plan of [social] equality, [economic] liberty, and [legal] justice,” then leaving people alone, with a little help in the form of a modest national defense and some subsidies to elementary education. By contrast, more intentional practices are exactly what we do not need. We’ve tried them, in Brook Farm and in Russian central planning. Believing that we need to “intend” an economic result in order for it to be just and good exhibits the ignorance of economics found in many political theorists, and now in Pope Francis and his economic advisers. (In departments of political science, the ignorance is paired strangely by a group of ardent econo-wannabes reducing politics to game theory.)

Marion Elizabeth Rodgers busts the despicable myth that H.L. Mencken – a true liberal if ever a true liberal breathed – would have been sympathetic to the ignorant and bigoted people who today make up the alt-right. A slice:

Living in a port city, Mencken refused “to fall into the sentimental fallacy that all immigrants are worthy of pity.” Nonetheless, he consistently praised their many contributions to American culture, and battled against their deportation: “What becomes of the old notion that the United States is a free country, that it is a refuge for the oppressed of other lands?” During the 1930s, in a departure from popular opinion, including that of fellow journalist Walter Lippmann, Mencken argued for the admission of Jewish refugees into the country and personally sponsored a Jewish family’s emigration to the United States.

When, in 1933, the leader of one of the first pro-Nazi societies in the United States chose to award Mencken an honorary membership, he rejected the offer outright. Any defense of Hitler and Germany was impossible, “so long as the chief officer of the German state continues to make speeches worthy of the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and his followers imitate…the monkey-shines of the American Legion at its worst.” To friends in Germany, he expressed distress at the reappearance of anti-Semitic feeling in the United States, and elsewhere lamented that Nietzsche would be misinterpreted as “the inventor of all the deviltries of Hitler.”

Richard Epstein absolutely eviscerates Elizabeth Warren’s dangerous scheme to radically restructure corporate governance in the United States. A slice:

This same woolly notion of stakeholder claims also could reshape nonprofit boards and even governmental institutions. Universities could be required to set aside board seats for local residents, alumni, potential applicants, prospective employers of graduates, and of course university employees. Hospitals could have required seats for drug addicts and chronically ill patients. Churches could be required to put apostates and atheists on their boards. Seats in the Massachusetts Legislature could be reserved for people from other states, and in Congress for aliens.

Even A.C. Pigou was more skeptical of government’s powers and motives than are many economists today.

Let’s celebrate the true heroes of true progress.

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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