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Tag Archives: Books

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“I betray no secret when I report that the modern litigation drive against the fossil-fuel industry is oriented overwhelmingly toward the age-old money chase rather than a concern with environmental improvement.” – So begins this new piece by Ben Zycher. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy talks with Beverly Hallberg about the dangers of the U.S. government’s fast-growing indebtedness. Art Carden rightly warns against mistaken perceptions about the domain of experts....

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Robert Sauer, Donald Seigel, and David Waldman reveal some of the awful unseen consequences of the covid lockdown. A slice: Of course, there was never any need to “lock down” any of our children for any period of time. It is well known that children are at extremely low risk of contracting the disease and even when they do, they have the highest recovery rate of all. CDC data reveal that school-age children are more likely to be struck by lightning than to perish from the virus. While it...

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From two years ago: Jamie Whyte devastatingly reviews Mariana Mazzucato’s book The Value of Everything. A slice: Mazzucato’s failure to refute marginalism, or to offer any coherent theory of value of her own, undermines her subsequent claims about who is making and who is taking, who is a producer and who a mere rentier. These assertions are entailed by no theory of value; they are the personal judgements of Mazzucato about who is deserving and who not. My intrepid Mercatus Center...

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Jonathan Chait documents the mad and lethal intolerance – the sinister hostility to diversity and inclusion – that is now surging among intellectuals. A slice: When anybody defending the accused is automatically accused of the same crime, and any demand for evidence of the charge is seen as an extension of the original crime, you are following the logic of a witch hunt. In this excellent editorial, the Wall Street Journal editors warn of the Jacobinism now loose upon the land. A slice:...

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Ian Rowe writes beautifully, in today’s Wall Street Journal, about the arrogance and dangers of the ignorant racism that today parades as enlightenment. A slice: The narrative that white people “hold the power” conveys a wrongheaded notion of white superiority and creates an illusion of black dependency on white largess. This false assignment of responsibility, while coming from an authentic desire to produce change, can create a new kind of mental enslavement. Glenn Loury, a Brown...

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My emeritus Nobel-laureate colleague Vernon Smith and his Chapman University colleague Gabriele Camera write wisely about the importance of freedom for a return to economic normalcy. A slice: Continued lockdowns are infeasible; somebody must produce essential food and services for others. So what kind of policy should guide the recovery phase in order to be consistent with beneficence and justice? We believe it is a policy that quickly stabilizes economic freedoms at pre-crisis levels,...

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Brown University’s Glenn Loury pens a brilliant and reasoned letter to Brown’s senior administration. A slice: What I found most alarming, though, is that no voice was given to what one might have thought would be a university’s principal intellectual contribution to the national debate at this critical moment: namely, to affirm the primacy of reason over violence in calibrating our reactions to the supposed “oppression.” Equally troubling were our president’s promises to focus the...

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In the Wall Street Journal, John Cochrane devastatingly reviews the new book by Magical Modern Monetary Theory’s leading wizardess, Stephanie Kelton. A slice: Writing the book to “defend” an immense list of left-wing spending policies destroys what’s left of her argument. If you could only feel her singular empathy for the downtrodden, if you could, as she does, view the federal budget as a “moral document,” if you could just close your eyes and need it to be true as much as she does,...

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Pierre Lemieux draws a lesson from Trump’s presidency. A slice: To advance liberty, an ignorant disrupter is not sufficient. He is more likely to advance tyranny. If he appears to defend one libertarian cause—say, the Second Amendment—he will more probably bring it into disrepute. Speaking of Trump’s presidency, for George Will it cannot end soon enough. A slice: In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than...

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Max Gulker explains that basic economics taught well conveys the reality and importance of market processes. A slice: Faced with uncertainty across so many dimensions, reopening firms are not simply central planners with smaller jurisdictions than government. Their best practices emerge as they do business in this new landscape, observe price signals, make mistakes, and ultimately adjust countless times. The process of competition is what central planners can’t replicate. Speaking of...

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