≡ Menu

Some Links

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Deirdre McCloskey reviews Ian Morris’s latest book, Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels.  (gated)  A slice:

He could have used the advice, for example, of a competent economist at many points, as in his bizarre argument that there was a “need” for slavery; his persistent use of the progressive trope that we need a middle class in order to buy all the rubbish we produce, to keep jobs for that very middle class; or even his casual assertion that a complicated modern society needs, of course, increasingly complicated governmental regulation.

Speaking of new books, I enjoyed George Packer’s review – in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review – of Charles Murray’s By the People.

Here’s the always-wise Jerry Jordan, writing in Forbes, on the economic basket-case that is current-day Greece.  A slice:

Over 40 years ago, the leader of the Soviet Union complained that “the fundamental problem we face is that we can distribute and consume only what is produced.” Apparently, that doesn’t translate into Greek.

Tyler Cowen on Greece.  A slice:

That said, the Greek government has handled the last few months so badly it really is incumbent on them to show they will do better.  I don’t see many signs in that direction, quite the contrary, and any reasonable democratic government will ask for Greek institutional progress before putting up much more in the way of money.  The entire handling of Greferendum should alert the progressives that they have been egging on the wrong horse; the heroic Hugo Dixon nails it.

I take the progressive “clustering out on a limb” here as a sign that, for better or worse, progressivism as an ideology has reached and indeed gone beyond its high water mark.  The progressives are siding with a corrupt, clientist state, which won’t cut its defense spending down to Nato norms, against some admittedly imperfect social democracies, thereby sustaining the meme of powerful aggressor vs. victim.

And here’s Salim Furth on Puerto Rico.

Dwight Lee asks – in the latest issue of Regulation – if freedom requires self-interested ‘bootleggers’ for its maintenance.  A slice:

Politicians clearly prefer praising freedom to protecting it.