Saturday , April 17 2021
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Cafe Hayek

The Foul Jones Act

Juliette Sellgren’s podcast with the Cato Institute’s Colin Grabow is a gem. It’s on the 1920 Jones Act, a particularly nasty piece of still-existing legislation that protects a very small number of U.S. ship owners, ship builders, and maritime workers at the larger expense of the American public. Under the Jones Act, each vessel carrying goods by water between U.S. ports must be: – owned by U.S. companies that are controlled by American citizens with at least 75 percent U.S. percent...

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Beware of Businesses Pandering

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Daniel Henninger rightly denounces CEOs’ pandering to Progressives – pandering that chews cancerously at the market order that alone makes possible not only the success of these CEOs’ companies, but also the wealth that Progressives rely upon to fund their countless schemes (“When CEOs Zoom for Democrats,” April 15). Such venal opportunism, alas, is as old as, well, venal opportunism. In the conclusion of his masterful survey of the...

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Some Covid Links

Joakim Book bemoans the deep and unhinged hostility of so many people to those of us who question Covid-19 lockdowns and the mainstream narrative that supports them. Toby Young makes the case against vaccine passports. A slice: The strongest objection to making access to any service or activity contingent on producing evidence that you don’t have an infectious disease is that it’s an inversion of the Common Law principle that everything should be permitted unless the law specifically...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 573 of the 1988 collection of Lord Acton’s writings (edited by the late J. Rufus Fears), Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality; specifically, it’s a note drawn from Acton’s extensive papers at Cambridge University; (I can find no date for this passage): Official truth is not actual truth. DBx: Pictured here is a dispenser of official truth. Comments

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Private Entities Should be Free to Choose

Here’s a letter to a new correspondent: Mr. W__: Thanks for your e-mail. I share your fear of vaccine passports, as well as your hope that businesses in jurisdictions without passport mandates will not require customers and employees to show such passports. I cannot, however, agree that businesses and other private organizations not be allowed to choose to require customers and employees to show such such passports. You’re correct that fear of Covid is far out of proportion to its true...

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will writes wisely about technology – and the people who use it. A slice: Today, the Internet and social media enable instantaneous dissemination of stupidity, thereby creating the sense that there is an increasing quantity of stupidity relative to the population’s size. This might be true, but blame it on animate, hence blameworthy, things — blowhards with big megaphones, incompetent educators, etc. — not technologies. Technologies are giving velocity to stupidity, but are not...

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Some Covid Links

AIER deserves tremendous thanks for hosting, and for making available the full transcript of, Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s April 12th roundtable discussion of Covid-19 and lockdowns with Scott Atlas, Jay Bhattacharya, and Martin Kulldorff. Scott McKay is rightly appalled by 60 Minutes‘s scurrilous and dishonest treatment of Ron DeSantis. A slice: [CBS 60 Minutes “reporter” Sharyn] Alfonsi found a couple of Democrat politicians who said Florida’s vaccine rollout was racist because...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 279-280 of my former student Alex Nowrasteh’s and GMU Econ alum Benjamin Powell’s excellent hot-off-the-Cambridge-University-Press book, Wretched Refuse? (2021): The economic case for international labor mobility, immigration, is similar to the economic case for free trade in goods. Both imply that, as a general rule, wealth is maximized when government does nothing to interfere with the free choices of individuals in the marketplace. Thus, the starting point for crafting...

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Gov. Ron DeSantis’s New Discussion with Scott Atlas, Jay Bhattacharya, and Martin Kulldorff

Infamously, YouTube removed the video of Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s mid-March roundtable discussion with Scott Atlas, Jay Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta, and Martin Kulldorff. Thus, the video of this discussion is, alas, no longer available at Cafe Hayek – but here’s my original link to it. (By the way, I happened just now to stumble upon this March 18, 2021 ‘report’ in the Tampa Bay Times on Gov. DeSantis’s March roundtable. Check out the absurd headline: “DeSantis gathers hand-picked...

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Or Read Robert Higgs

Here’s a letter to a new correspondent: Mr. M__: I fervently hope that you are right that I am wrong when, as in this essay, I predict that most of the powers seized by governments in the name of fighting Covid-19 will remain in place long after SARS-CoV-2 is endemic. But given the terrifying transformation of society over the past year – given that people have shown themselves to be easily stirred into hysteria by obsessive focus on one particular risk – and given, as I see now, that...

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