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North Korea wins Earth Day award for 45th straight year! [2]

Here’s Roger Pilon’s Earth Day post [3].

And here are Steve Moore’s reflections on Earth Day [4].  A slice:

The rate of death and physical destruction from natural disasters or severe weather changes has plummeted over the last century. Loss of life from hurricanes, floods, hurricanes, heat, droughts, and so on is at or near record lows. This is because we have much better advance warning systems, our infrastructure is much more durable, and we have things like air conditioning, to adapt to weather changes. ‎We are constantly discovering new ways to harness and even tame nature.

Earth day should be a day of joy and celebration that life on this bountiful planet is better than anytime in human history. The state of the planet has never been in such fine shape by almost every objective measure. The Chicken Littles are as wrong today as they were 50 years ago. This is very good news for those who believe that one of our primary missions as human beings is to make life better over time and to leave our planet better off for future generations.

Larry Elder explains how, with their own actual incomes at stake, many aspiring Hollywood actors understand that mandated higher wages mean fewer job opportunities for workers [5].  (I’m in Los Angeles today to speak, for the Federalist Society at Southwestern Law School, on the minimum wage.  I’ll likely work Elder’s account into my talk.)

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Jonah Goldberg takes the economically ignorant Martin O’Malley to task for being, well, economically ignorant [6].  A slice:

The first minimum wage laws were advocated by progressive economists on the assumption that if you forced employers to pay a “white man’s wage,” they’d only hire white men. As the sociologist E.A. Ross put it in the context of Chinese immigrant workers, in the early 1900s, “the Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him.”

The Davis-Bacon Act, still cherished by Democrats and their labor union patrons, was passed in 1931 to prevent blacks and immigrants from competing with all-white unions for federal contracts during the Depression. And Jim Crow laws certainly locked millions of blacks out of the middle class.

Explicit racist justifications for regulations have disappeared, but the racial consequences of many regulations tragically endure.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Brian Wesbury reviews Joseph Stiglitz’s new book, The Great Divide [7].  (gated)  Wesbury isn’t impressed.  A slice (although I thoroughly dislike the “level playing field” metaphor here – and everywhere else that this inapt metaphor is used; and I also dislike using the term “liberals” to describe “statists”):

Mr. Stiglitz constantly refers to income inequality without adjusting for taxes and transfers. But this is misleading. A 2014 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study showed that the lowest quintile of income earners saw their market income grow just 16% between 1979 and 2011, while the highest quintile experienced a 77% increase. But after adjusting for taxes and transfers, the CBO found that the lowest quintile, which receives about a third of its income from transfers, saw an increase in income of 72%, while the top quintile had a gain of 87%. In other words, liberal policies of tax and redistribute have created a much more level playing field than liberals will admit.

Liberals are the like the dog that finally caught the car. Now what will they do? If Mr. Stiglitz is indicative, they will gripe about the wealthy, argue that their ideas of redistribution weren’t tried hard enough and blame self-interest for hampering real progress. Conservatives said that our current fiscal path would be bad for the economy; liberals insisted that it would be good. The fact that Mr. Stiglitz is still complaining would seem to be proof that liberals were wrong.

Tim Sandefur takes appropriate and accurate aim at so-called “Certificate of Need” mandates [8].

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