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Some Links

Summary:
In the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Phil Gramm and GMU Econ alum Jerry Ellig rightly bemoan the misguided antitrust attack on successful tech companies. A slice: Progressives want to use the antitrust laws to break up big tech companies because they believe that bigness is bad and leads to a host of other evils, including malign political influence. Conservatives want to use antitrust as a club to get social-media companies to curb their alleged political bias. While there is a long and rich history of using antitrust laws to try to implement policies that proponents can’t enact into law, both parties would be wise to focus on consumer welfare, which has defined recent antitrust jurisprudence. No one can seriously challenge the hard evidence that big tech companies have delivered

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In the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Phil Gramm and GMU Econ alum Jerry Ellig rightly bemoan the misguided antitrust attack on successful tech companies. A slice:

Progressives want to use the antitrust laws to break up big tech companies because they believe that bigness is bad and leads to a host of other evils, including malign political influence. Conservatives want to use antitrust as a club to get social-media companies to curb their alleged political bias.

While there is a long and rich history of using antitrust laws to try to implement policies that proponents can’t enact into law, both parties would be wise to focus on consumer welfare, which has defined recent antitrust jurisprudence. No one can seriously challenge the hard evidence that big tech companies have delivered enormous consumer benefits. You don’t have to look any further than online shopping, smartphones and social networking.

Announcing the end of his long-running column for the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson decries the fiscal imprudence unleashed by majoritarian politics. A slice (original emphasis):

One of the pleasures of journalism is that you get to learn lots of new “stuff.” I have learned much from economists. With some exceptions, most are intelligent, informed, engaged and decent. In my experience, this truth spans the political spectrum. But it’s not the only truth.

Another is this: Economists consistently overstate how much they know about the economy and how easily they can influence it. They maintain their political and corporate relevance by postulating pleasant policies. Presidents claim the good and repudiate the bad. There are practical limits to how much economic growth and living standards can be accelerated and sustained.

Pierre Lemieux notes the reality of rational ignorance.

Jeffrey Tucker reports on the continuing scare-bias of the media.

Arnold Kling details the flaws that he sees in ‘critical’ theory.

Christian Britschgi reports on a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania ruling that Pennsylvania’s lockdown order is unconstitutional. And here’s Stacey Rudin on the same. A slice from Rudin’s piece:

Thank you, Judge Stickman, for recognizing our predicament, and for taking the first step towards restoring our freedom today by reminding those with authoritarian leanings that “governors cannot be given carte blanche to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists.” The response to an emergency cannot undermine our system of constitutional liberties, or the system of checks and balances protecting those liberties. Liberty before “governor-guaranteed safety” — this is the American way, famously stated by Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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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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