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Some Non-Covid Links

Summary:
Pierre Lemieux ably defends his claim that wokism and fascism “are not so different anyway.” Samuel Gregg looks back 80 years ago to the publication of Wilhelm Röpke’s Die Gesellschaftskrisis der Gegenwart (The Social Crisis of Our Time). A slice: That rationalism went hand-in-hand with another 19th-century phenomenon: that being the steady concentration of state power. Monarchical absolutism may have been on its way out, but Röpke believed that power had in other respects become more centralized, including in countries in which constitutional and democratic forms of government had emerged. This was partly a function of many people wanting governments to do more in the economy, and using their newly acquired voting rights to support politicians who promised to use the state to protect

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Pierre Lemieux ably defends his claim that wokism and fascism “are not so different anyway.”

Samuel Gregg looks back 80 years ago to the publication of Wilhelm Röpke’s Die Gesellschaftskrisis der Gegenwart (The Social Crisis of Our Time). A slice:

That rationalism went hand-in-hand with another 19th-century phenomenon: that being the steady concentration of state power. Monarchical absolutism may have been on its way out, but Röpke believed that power had in other respects become more centralized, including in countries in which constitutional and democratic forms of government had emerged. This was partly a function of many people wanting governments to do more in the economy, and using their newly acquired voting rights to support politicians who promised to use the state to protect and subsidize industries or deliver welfare programs.

Nor, Röpke argued, had democratic regimes proved resistant to the pressures exercised by well-organized interest-groups intent on acquiring legal and economic privileges at everyone else’s expense. The German economy’s cartelization may have begun in late-Wilhelmine Germany, but Röpke stressed that the advent of the liberal Weimar Republic—“the freest constitution in the world,” as The Social Crisis describes it—had not brought an end to such practices. On the contrary, cartelization and the associated legalized limitation of competition had accelerated. This had made it easier for the National Socialists to bring more and more of the economy under direct state control once they took power in 1933.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Eugene Scalia explores the larger meaning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent OSHA ruling. A slice:

The court’s decision has other, broader lessons on agency overreach that should worry the Biden administration in general. From climate change to labor policy and antitrust, Mr. Biden has ambitious plans for transformative regulatory change. Inevitably, that will involve agencies pursuing objectives for which their authorizing statutes weren’t designed—“work-arounds,” as the White House chief of staff characterized the administration’s vaccine mandates.

The problem for Mr. Biden is that placing constraints on the administrative state—including on “work-arounds”—is a defining concern of the Roberts court. All of President Trump’s appointees are arguably more interested than the justices they replaced in articulating a jurisprudence that constrains federal agencies’ ability to assume responsibilities ordinarily performed by Congress, or by the courts.

Gary Galles documents the fact that “even Bastiat’s correspondence shows his love of liberty.”

Neal McCluskey writes that federal student loans do indeed play a role in jacking up the costs of collegiate educations (and, in too many cases, “educations”).

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner decry the power enjoyed by teachers unions in Illinois. A slice:

As if all of this weren’t enough, Illinois lawmakers recently voted to add a referendum to the November 2022 ballot that would enshrine and vastly expand the state’s extreme union powers in the Illinois Constitution. That amendment would deny any chance at future labor reforms and create a new, personal constitutional right that would subject even more labor issues to litigation.

The fact that such a referendum even made it onto the ballot highlights the real issue: Illinoisans keep electing legislators who want to perpetuate the system.

The Chicago Teachers Union has proven again how willing it is to trample on the city’s children. If voters don’t kick out the politicians enabling this behavior, Chicagoans will have no one to blame but themselves.

Țara Henley resigns from legacy media. (HT Bari Weiss)

With Tyler Cowen, Russ Roberts talks about his move in 2021 to Israel – and also about some larger topics.

Jacob Sullum explains that gun control is just as racist as is drug control.

Randy Holcombe concludes:

Citizens and voters adapt their public policy preferences from the political elite–the people who actually determine public policy. One implication is that citizens and voters have less influence over public policy than a romantic notion of democracy would suggest. The political elite tells voters what to think, and they fall in line behind their leaders.

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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