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Tag Archives: The Future

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 181 of Arthur M. Diamond, Jr.’s wonderful 2019 book, Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism (footnote deleted): Happiness depends more on freedom and hope for the future than on current income. Comments

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will rightly decries the increased militarization of Capitol Hill. A slice: In normal life, when there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate. In government, failure, far from being penalized, is often rewarded. Those whose bad judgments botched the Capitol’s security on Jan. 6 now are granted seemingly unlimited deference regarding their judgments about needed security measures. Hence their infuriating project currently scarring the epicenter of American democracy: more...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 190 of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Alberto Mingardi’s excellent 2020 book, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State: In planning the program of the economy – or the program of art or science or architecture or craft work or social customs – the one mind even of a genius does not usually do as good a job as does the artificial intelligence machine known as commercially tested betterment, millions of minds having a go in markets. Imagine a central planning of fine-art painting only...

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Some Covid Links

British MP John Redwood understandably calls for more care in distinguishing deaths with Covid-19 from deaths from Covid-19. Also from Mr. Redwood is this short reflection on the state of freedom today in Britain. A slice: I never thought I would be living in a country where you needed a reason to leave your house, where you were banned from making trips just for pleasure and where every social contact you wished to make had to be done electronically or under a special dispensation...

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Industrial Policy: Obviously a Blind, Lame, and Drunk Donkey

Here’s a letter to a Café Hayek reader: Mr. T___: Impressed with Oren Cass’s performance against Scott Lincicome in the Soho Forum debate over industrial policy, you wonder why I, in this earlier letter, “ignore Cass’s point that market don’t account for the country’s future needs.” (I listened again to the debate. You accurately report Cass’s position, which he stated like this: “If we want to have a strong industrial base we need to make sure our economy is one that is, in peace time...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 82 of the brilliant yet largely forgotten 19th-century American lawyer and legal scholar James Coolidge Carter’s powerful 1884 monograph, The Proposed Codification of Our Common Law (original emphases): [A] rule enunciated by a statute must be applied to all cases which fall within its scope, according to a fair interpretation of its language. Let it be supposed that language employed in it is used with the utmost accuracy, it is still impossible that its framers should...

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Some Covid Links

Phil Magness argues sensibly that young adults are being killed by Covid-19 lockdowns. (Where’s the sympathy for these victims?) A slice: The concession itself is stunning. If opioid overdose deaths are up compared to their 2018 baseline, they could explain the surge in excess deaths among young people rather than the speculated undercounting of Covid fatalities. Opioid and other substance abuse problems have a well-documented connection to mental despair and economic downturns alike....

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Tyler vs. Tyler?

In his excellent and thought-provoking 2018 book, Stubborn Attachments, Tyler Cowen writes (on page 93; original emphases): More practically, the additional wealth that accumulates as a result of economizing on life-saving expenditures does lead people to buy safer cars, to take less risky jobs, and so on. So it can be argued that we will save some number of other lives by invest less in life preservation for the elderly. We don’t know whether an increment of wealth saved will in fact...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 71-72 of Russ Roberts’s splendid 2014 book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: Everyone can explain why the stock market rose or fell yesterday. No one can predict what it will do tomorrow. DBx: Who dares deny the truth this observation? Answer: Proponents of industrial policy. Proponents of industrial policy pose as prophets possessing special knowledge of what particular, detailed economic processes and outcomes will be best for hundreds of millions of their fellow...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 295 of Matt Ridley’s excellent 2020 book, How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom: Thus for innovation to flourish it is vital to have an economy that encourages or at least allows outsiders, challengers and disruptors to get a foothold. This means openness to competition, which historically is a surprisingly rare feature of most societies. DBx: Distressingly, even the most open and liberal societies are never free of harmful forces aiming to plan, bridle,...

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