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The great Hayek scholar and historian of economic thought, Bruce Caldwell, is leading the way again this year in hosting on the campus of Duke University the annual Summer Institute on Topics in the History of Economics.  Econ grad students are urged to apply.  (The application deadline is March 2nd.)  The program and faculty are outstanding.

My colleague Alex Tabarrok explains that American patriots were once – and wisely – skeptical of military power.  And he reports on a new paper that he wrote with my former student Alex Nowrasteh.  Here’s a slice from Alex’s blog post at Marginal Revolution:

Today the patriotic brand of anti-militarism, the brand that sees skepticism about the military and the promotion of peace and commerce as specifically American, is largely forgotten. President Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation was perhaps the last remnant in modern memory. It’s a tradition, however, that true patriots must remember.

Writing in Friday’s New York Times, Steven Rattner identifies serious supply-side problems with Europe’s economies – problems that no amount of government-induced increase in aggregate demand will solve or overwhelm.  Two slices:

But the focus on macroeconomic policy underappreciates the critical importance of smaller structural problems that collectively amount to a bigger challenge for Europe….

Europe needs to become more competitive in global markets. That can be achieved only by a variety of policy changes, such as keeping top tax rates at sensible levels and regulatory reforms that would give companies more freedom to manage their businesses as they see fit, including, when necessary, closing plants and reducing head counts. That is the only viable path to sustainable growth and, ultimately, more jobs.

Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson discusses recent research that calls into question the popular claim that the housing bubble that burst in 2008 was caused by unscrupulous lending aimed at taking advantage of low-income people.

Washington Examiner columnist – and warrior against cronyism – Tim Carney discusses the GOP Congress’s options regarding that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank.  The best option, of course, is to kill that monstrosity immediately and without mercy.  As Carney points out, being pro-business does not mean being pro-free-market.

Over at EconLib, Timothy Taylor makes clear the blurriness of the line separating competition from cooperation.