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The Institute for Justice – a special and genuine force for significant good in the U.S. – just published its superb Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide.

I thank the many of you who sent to me Michael Moynihan’s excellent essay “Castro’s Hipster Apologists Want to Keep Cuba ‘Authentically’ Poor.”  A slice:

Flickering across my computer screen, elements of the left were uniting with elements of the right, insisting that Cuba remain in the cold, a museum of the Cold War isolated from both the glories and evils of American culture. One lefty tweeter even complained that an invasion of icky American tourists would undermine “family values” in Cuba.

There are, of course, already tourists clotting Cuban beaches and hotels—many of which are chains—undermining “family values.” But these are sophisticated Europeans and semi-sophisticated Canadians, some of whom are sex tourists, clomping around in socks-and-sandals, fanny packs stuffed with American dollars, looking for—and finding—poor and desperate women in need of hard currency.

I just discovered Tim Worstall’s December 2013 essay on Mariana Mazzucato’s book The Entrepreneurial State.  (See also this follow-up exchange between Tim and Ms. Mazzucato.)

George Will praises Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

David Henderson points us to evidence of just how mindless “Progressives” can be in their social-engineering efforts.  You can’t make up such stuff.  This episode at the University of Wisconsin is of a piece with the “Progressive” tendency to believe that reality can be altered for the better simply by changing the signals in which reality is reported.  Are wages too low?  No problem: order them to be higher.  Are some grades too low?  No problem: order them to be higher.  In both cases, those who endorse such ordering believe that the underlying reality will be changed by changing the report of that reality – that employment compensation for all or most low-skilled workers will indeed rise when the minimum-wage is ordered to rise, and life’s prospects for pet classes of students will rise when the collegiate grades for these students are ordered to rise.  Crazy stuff.

But if you’re depressed by the mindless “Progressives” who use unjust and head-shakingly idiotic means in their quests for cosmic justice, take heart: here’s serious evidence that, despite it all, the quality of human life today continues to improve.  (Thanks to Michael Long for the pointer.)

Speaking of improvement, Mark Perry compares Christmas 1964 to Christmas 2014.  Here’s Mark’s conclusion:

As much as we might complain about a slow economic recovery, the decline of the middle class, stagnant median household income, rising income inequality and a dysfunctional Congress, we have a lot to be thankful for, and we’ve made a lot of economic progress in the last 50 years as the example above illustrates, thanks to the “magic and miracle of the marketplace.”

Seth Lipskey likes Ridley Scott’s “Exodus.

Jerry Jordan explains that steadily rising purchasing power of money (“deflation”) caused by productivity improvements is a good thing.  Here’s Jerry’s conclusion:

It is important to note that a condition of “rising purchasing power of money” is most commonly described by the pejorative “deflation.” This unfortunate custom has caused most observers to believe that a gradually falling “price level” is as bad, or even worse than, a gradually rising “price level.” Our analysis concludes there can be—and historical experience has demonstrated —“virtuous deflations” during periods of rapidly rising productivity.