Tuesday , October 15 2019
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Tag Archives: Books

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Alex Nowrasteh highly recommends Azar Gat’s book Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism. A slice from Alex’s post: Fortunately, recent scholars have put forward new definitions of nationalism. Yoram Hazony tries to define nationalism in his book The Virtue of Nationalism, but he produces a confused mishmash that boils down to (1) nationalism is a natural and ancient human ideology and (2) real nationalists are not responsible for anything bad like...

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Richard Epstein ponders life on planet Thunberg. A slice: Before we join the crusade, we should listen to the independent professionals decrying the current crisis mentality. Five hundred professional climate scientists have flatly stated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that “There is no climate emergency,” stressing the dangers of relying on today’s “immature models.” Petteri Taalas, who is the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, has decried the...

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Max Gulker ponders freedom and economic development. Pierre Lemieux – inspired by James Buchanan – asks if most people really do want to be free. Michael Krauss reviews Tamar Herzog’s A Short History of European Law. In this long essay, Donald Schneider gets much right about the state and fate of American workers. (HT David Levey) A slice: The study finds that the industries that have seen the largest increases in concentration are also the most innovative (measured by patenting...

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Kevin Williamson brilliantly exposes the noxious mix of arrogance and economic ignorance that fuels Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to have government more heavily regulate obstruct low-income people’s access to pay-day loans. A slice: Simply cutting the poor off from credit is one way to keep them from going more deeply into debt, but that will produce consequences nobody will much like, the poor themselves least of all. If the payday lenders are regulated out of existence, Senator Warren et...

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David Henderson’s review of John Quiggin’s Economics in Two Lessons is wonderful. Pierre Lemieux details some of the Trump administration’s trade nuttiness. Here’s the abstract of William Easterly’s latest paper: The lack of growth response to “Washington Consensus” policy reforms in the 1980s and 1990s led to widespread doubts about the value of such reforms. This paper updates these stylized facts by analyzing moderate to extreme levels of inflation, black market premiums, currency...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy offers some options on how to deal with that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, if it’s politically impossible to slay the damn thing. A slice: As the narrative goes, without Ex-Im many foreign companies would buy Airbus rather than Boeing; hence the need for support. This is a weird argument at many levels. First, as a believer that the government’s job is never, ever, ever to prop up private companies, I would...

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Susan Dudley has very good reasons for liking Paul Rubin’s new book, The Capitalism Paradox. A slice: Similarly, President Trump’s immigration and trade policies are based on flawed zero-sum thinking. Under the mistaken premise that all workers are competing for a fixed number of jobs, he concludes that keeping foreign workers out is good for Americans. He doesn’t see that voluntary transactions are positive sum and that immigrants increase the number of people available for Americans to...

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Michael Strain offers some reason to believe that today’s populism will soon be back beneath the rock from where slithered. Matt Welch reviews Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist. (HT David Henderson) Kevin Williamson exposes the astonishing ignorance of New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. A slice: Bouie’s majoritarian ideology is nowhere to be found in the Constitution; in fact, the very structure of American government is designed to frustrate that kind of crass...

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Max Gulker argues that a President Elizabeth Warren would be an even greater calamity than would a President Bernie Sanders. A slice: Warren presents herself as a tireless, technocratic savior of capitalism, but her plans give the U.S. government far more control over individual firms, households, and markets than anything proposed in recent memory. Warren, a legal scholar by trade, has moved into the complex realm of a modern economy, where a lawyer’s penchant for sweating the details...

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