David Boaz’s discussion of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) offers further evidence that being pro-business is not at all identical to being pro-free-market (or pro-free-enterprise). Mr. Amash, thankfully, is not pro-business; he’s pro-free-market and pro-liberty. (Mr. Amash, by the way, is one of the tiny handful of elected officials in Washington who I would welcome into my home as a guest – and that’s not just because I’m told that he reads Cafe Hayek. The reason is that Mr. Amash seems to be a genuinely principled, pro-liberty person. Nearly all of the other politicians who haunt Pennsylvania Ave. are smarmy, duplicitous, and officious rent-creators and rent-distributors. I would no more allow into my home any U.S. President or the typical buffoon in Congress than I would allow into my home someone who makes his or her living as a shoplifter or embezzler.)
Speaking of rent-creators and rent-distributors, my Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy weighs in (this time with GMU Econ PhD student Andrea Castillo) yet again against that monument to cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Over at EconLog, Scott Sumner writes wisely about economic inequality and Thomas Piketty (although I’m far less enthusiastic than Scott seems to be about taxing consumption – but that’s chiefly because I want nothing to be taxed). A slice:
Unfortunately, most of the Piketty supporters seem to think it’s better to have lower tax rates on a wealthy person who devotes his wealth to riotous living, as compared to a wealthy person who is thrifty, putting the money into capital formation, charity, and/or his children’s welfare. I have yet to see a persuasive justification for this bizarre policy preference.