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David Friedman wisely warns of some paradoxes of an interventionist foreign policy.

And speaking of the dangers of foreign military intervention, Conor Friedersdorf, at The Atlantic, offers a helpful reminder that such intervention expands arbitrary executive power.  A slice:

Today, the White House is once again signaling that war may be close at hand, though this time instead of striking Syria’s dictator, there is talk of U.S. air strikes against ISIS, a radical Islamist group that Syria’s dictator is currently fighting. Picking up on the hawkish shrieks of Chuck Hagel and John KerryThe New York Times notes that “Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there,” while Yahoo News reports that the White House has no plans to ask Congress for permission if it decides to start bombing.

That is scandalous, though many journalists don’t seem to agree. “The White House maintains the president has the authority to act unilaterally in Syria and Iraq for now,” Lauren Fox declared at U.S. News and World Report. “The War Powers Act gives the president 90 days to intervene militarily without congressional approval.”

Incorrect! The War Powers Resolution does no such thing. Read it yourself.

I’m thinking of starting a new series here at the Cafe entitled “Brave New World” – a series to feature factual accounts of government intrusions and insane catch-22s that Americans would mistakenly expect to find only in dystopian political novels.  This item would be featured in that series.  (HT Methinks)

And this item should really appear in my “Who’d a-Thunk It?” series.

John Taylor spoke about Gary Becker during one of Monday’s sessions at the Mont Pelerin meeting in Hong Kong.

AEI’s Alex Pollock gives a Bronx cheer to the Fed.

Kathryn Shelton and Richard McKenzie expose the lunacy of the politicized water “market” in California.

Steve Landsburg doesn’t buy the claim that Barry Goldwater’s 1964 ideas eventually became ascendant within the mainstream Republican Party.  A slice:

If Goldwaterism is in fact ascendant, then how did entitlement spending, as a percentage of GDP, manage to grow for most of the past 20 years — even though Republicans controlled the House of Representatives for 16 of those 20? For that matter, how is it that after all those years of Republican control, the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities — two of the more noxious weeds to arise from the soil of the Goldwater defeat — continue to thrive?

Bryan Caplan – in a post meant chiefly for economics teachers – explains well how to reveal the distinction between the substitution and income effects caused by changes in prices.  (See also Alex Tabarrok’s note in the Comments section of Bryan’s post.)


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