Ilya Somin applauds Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken’s embrace of federalism.

The indispensable Institute for Justice weighs in again against the banana-republic practice of civil asset forfeiture.

Speaking of civil asset forfeiture, Justice Clarence Thomas is unlikely to be a fan of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s obscene expansion of this heinous abuse of power.

Here are the highlights of my recent “Ask Me Anything” sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education.

My Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold explains that free trade means that the right stuff will be made in America.  A slice:

The issue is not whether we make stuff in America, but what kind of stuff. Do we make more of what Americans enjoy a special advantage in making? That’s what international trade allows us to do. Or do we make more of the stuff that does not play to our strengths, such as furniture, clothing, shoes, or mass market TV sets?

Also from Dan Griswold is his support for Ivanka Trump’s practice of sourcing her clothing in Ethiopia.

Radley Balko argues correctly that public-choice scholarship supplies important keys to those who wish to understand the actual operations of the criminal-justice system.

Here’s a Cato Daily Podcast in which Caleb Brown talks with the deeply knowledgeable Phil Magness about Nancy MacLean’s fictional book, Democracy in Chains.

Bob Higgs dispenses with Nancy MacLean’s ludicrous argument that public-choice analysis is the fruit or tool of a racist scheme to impose oligarchy.  A slice:

The claim that public choice analysis is intended to, or actually does, assist the rich in dominating the poor, or the capitalists in dominating the workers, or the whites in dominating the blacks cannot be made in good faith by anyone who has the slightest familiarity with public choice analysis. Questions posed in these forms are simply not component parts of public choice analysis. Nor were they among the concerns of James Buchanan, one of the leading founders of modern public choice analysis. Buchanan’s principal concern pertained to the use of constitutional restrictions that would, to the maximum feasible extent, allow each individual’s preferences to be registered in the political process and prevent special interests and the state itself from overriding the rights and interests of those with the least voice in the process.

Progressives who do not understand public choice analysis (and indeed object to it on principle) seek to force it into the Procrustean bed of quasi-Marxist class-struggle analysis—you know, capitalists versus the oppressed working class as a whole—or into a quasi-Marxist multiculturalist framework in which privileged straight white men as a whole oppress women and members of ethnic and sexual-preference minorities as a whole. These aggregations are so coarse that they invite the mockery of informed people, and they certainly cannot be sustained by systematic research of the kind one finds in the pages of Public Choice and related peer-reviewed journals.

Nancy MacLean’s thesis that James Buchanan and his comrades in the development of public choice analysis sought to subvert democracy and put in its place a racist oligarchy at the behest of evil billionaires is too ludicrous to take seriously.


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