Wednesday , October 21 2020
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Tag Archives: Trade

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Stacey Rudin eloquently exposes the inexplicable superstition that fueled – and that continues to fuel – most of the world’s hysterical reaction to the coronavirus. A slice: Perhaps [Neil] Ferguson never believed the world’s most powerful governments would take his predictions seriously. The world had not acted on his past predictions, so maybe he expected more of the same. This time, however, the media — breathlessly reporting on hospital overflow in Northern Italy; bolstered by...

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George Will urges that today’s economically and historically uninformed antitrust wolves be kept, despite their rabid howling, in their den. A slice: Warning against “monopoly fatalism,” the Cato Institute’s Ryan Bourne says: Time was, the A&P grocery chain was the entrenched “Amazon of its day,” with almost 15,000 stores by 1935. Seen one recently? Between 1976 and 1978, the government worried that IBM might have a monopoly on the “office typewriter industry.” A November 2007 Forbes...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 128-129 of Matt Ridley’s insightful 2015 volume, The Evolution of Everything (original emphasis; link added): It is the sea herself who fashions boats. It’s in this radical re-imagining the the new wave of thinking about the evolution of technology in the current century is turning the world upside down. Indeed, as Peter Drucker wrote in his classic 1954 business book The Practice of Management, customers shape companies in much the same way: ‘It is the customer who...

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George Leef makes the case for negative voting. Here’s his conclusion: Last but not least, if Americans could vote against candidates, that might make them more inclined to think about the damage that government does to them, and less about the promises politicians make for supposedly beneficial new laws and programs. It’s interesting to note that when the United Nations chooses a new secretary general, nations are allowed to vote against candidates they don’t want. Voters in the United...

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In today’s Wall Street Journal is this letter by my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy: In your otherwise excellent editorial “Pelosi’s Taxpayer Ransom Demand”(Oct. 7), you write that “aside from money for beleaguered industries like airlines, there was very little stimulus at all.” This is a terrible mistake. You assume that the airline bailout would be stimulative. Yet, as you have noted in the past, and as academic research also shows, bailouts benefit mostly...

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Yet More on Industrial Policy

Here’s a letter to a self-described “fan” of Brink Lindsey’s and Sam Hammond’s proposed “development policy” (which is their neologism for industrial policy): Mr. Griff: Thanks for your e-mail. You advise that I “be more forgiving of demands for industrial policy. We must keep pace especially with China by doing more than them to grow their economy.” With respect, I’ve never understood this argument. If industrial policy strengthens an economy, then regardless of its use or nonuse...

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Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins is, thankfully, relentless in writing sensibly amidst the senseless hysteria over covid-19. A slice: We don’t lie to ourselves about the extent of the flu but use this information to extrapolate its true extent. And though the government’s annual influenza estimates may not be perfect, they certainly are not off by an order of magnitude. I introduced this subject Wednesday and will keep pounding away as one must with obvious truths that, for...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 224-225 of the 2015 Fourth Edition of Dartmouth economist Douglas Irwin’s superb volume, Free Trade Under Fire: Still, the best and most direct way to raise wages and labor standards is to enhance the productivity of the workers through economic development. Trade and investment are important components of that development, and therefore efforts to limit trade or to shut down factories are counterproductive. DBx: Doug here is writing specifically about developing...

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