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Some Links

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Sarah Skwire reflects on Playboy‘s decision to stop featuring in its pages photos of models who are fully nude [2].  By the way, this decision makes no difference to me as I have never – even as a teenager – picked up a copy of Playboy for any reason other than to read its articles.  And that’s the naked truth. 😉

In light of too many e-mails that I’ve received over the past couple of days regarding Milton Friedman and the question of immigration, I link here again to a 2010 essay of mine on this matter [3].  (For what it’s worth, Friedman told me by e-mail, not long before he died, that if the U.S. had no welfare state he would support immigration at least as open as it was in America in the 19th century.)

From this past January is Howie Baetjer’s superb essay on regulation by markets [4].  A slice:

So we have a paradox: the less a market is regulated — no, that’s not the right word; the less a market is restricted — by government, the more it is regulated by market forces. Conversely, the more government restriction, the less regulation by market forces. There is a direct trade-off between the two.

Over at Cato Unbound, my student Mark Lutter ponders Ed Stringham’s new book, Private Governance. [5]

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby explains that the power to regulate, no less than the power to tax, is the power to destroy [6].

My Mercatus Center colleague Matt Mitchell (whose PhD in Econ is, I boast, from GMU) draws important lessons from our real-world experience with that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank [7].  A slice:

If you listen to the agency’s staff and its boosters (which include the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers), you’d think the Ex-Im Bank is all upside and no downside. Clearly, manufacturers like Boeing benefit from its programs. So do big banks like JP Morgan. Foreign buyers also benefit, unless the Ex-Im Bank’s subsidies lure them into deals they can ill afford, as happened [8] to Air Nauru a few years back.

But as any student of economics will tell you, there is no such thing as a free lunch. These benefits to manufacturers, buyers, and financiers are paid for by others. Namely: taxpayers, consumers, and other borrowers.

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