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Summary:
Gerard Baker, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reveals that he is no convert to the faith of St. Greta of Stockholm. A slice: The High Church of Environmentalism has acquired many of the characteristics of its ecclesiastical predecessor. An apocalyptic eschatology warns that we will all be consumed by fire if we don’t follow the ordained rules. The notion that it is our sinful nature that has brought us to mortal peril—from the Original Sin of a carbon-unleashing industrial revolution to daily transgressions with plastic bottles and long-haul flights—is as central to its message as it was to the Catholic Church’s. But repentance is near. A gospel of redemption emphasizes that salvation lies in reducing our carbon footprint, with reusable shopping bags and bike-sharing. The secular

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Gerard Baker, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reveals that he is no convert to the faith of St. Greta of Stockholm. A slice:

The High Church of Environmentalism has acquired many of the characteristics of its ecclesiastical predecessor. An apocalyptic eschatology warns that we will all be consumed by fire if we don’t follow the ordained rules. The notion that it is our sinful nature that has brought us to mortal peril—from the Original Sin of a carbon-unleashing industrial revolution to daily transgressions with plastic bottles and long-haul flights—is as central to its message as it was to the Catholic Church’s. But repentance is near. A gospel of redemption emphasizes that salvation lies in reducing our carbon footprint, with reusable shopping bags and bike-sharing. The secular authorities preach the virtues of abstinence. Meatless Fridays are no longer just for Lenten observance.

Speaking of St. Greta and her religion, Marian Tupy explains that, ironically, that religion is fueled, and its practice made possible, by that which its adherents believe to be the devil. A slice:

Scan the newspapers or watch the evening news, and you’ll quickly realise that environmental concerns are most keenly felt in rich countries, the citizens of which typically enjoy the best quality environment. The epicentre of apocalyptic sentiments about the state of the planet is Western Europe, with North America coming in a close second.

Tom Firey debunks several of the myths that motivate people to endorse protective tariffs punitive taxes on Americans’ purchases of imports from China. A slice:

Dougherty and others likely would object that China’s government has impeded such currency adjustment by “sterilizing” U.S. dollars—using Chinese renminbi to purchase dollars from Chinese exporters and then sitting on those dollars. But this would be a benefit to Americans: in essence, we’d be getting valuable Chinese goods in exchange for easily replaced green paper (or computer code representing green paper). If you don’t think that’s a bargain for America, then I have a deal for you: send me a list of your valuable possessions and I’ll purchase them with my own personal currency that you can sterilize.

Dougherty et al. may also object that China subsidizes its exports. Again, this would be a benefit to Americans: China is taxing its own citizens in order to lower Americans’ prices. (Of course, that’s not such a great deal for China’s citizens.)

Gary Galles reminds us of the creative power of free markets.

Chelsea Follett shares data that show that the American middle-class is indeed shrinking … by becoming richer.

Adam Millsap weighs in against that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Here’s his conclusion:

America’s economy can thrive without the EXIM Bank. Even in states where traditional bank beneficiaries are big employers, such as Boeing in South Carolina, the local economy can flourish without the bank’s subsidies. Fair competition, not corporate welfare, is what makes the free enterprise system so dynamic and innovative. The EXIM Bank just gets in the way.

I sincerely hope that this article will not turn out to be Bob Higgs’s final professional publication. A slice:

One of the chief reasons why almost every regime in the world has converged to a system of participatory fascism is that this system creates or retains a great variety of institutionalized opportunities for the state’s victims—who compose the great majority of the people—to challenge the state’s exactions and to “make their voices heard,” thereby gaining the impression that the rulers are not simply oppressing and exploiting them unilaterally but involving them in a meaningful way in the making and enforcement of rules imposed on everyone.

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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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