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José Ricon has read Mariana Mazzucato’s work.  He’s not impressed.  You can find English translations of his important series of essays on Mazzucato’s work here.  (Scroll down to “Innovation, Technology, and Science” and find under that heading the relevant posts.)  (HT Alberto Mingardi, whose own review of Mazzucato’s book is not to be missed.)

Writing in USA Today, Glenn Reynolds adds his eloquent voice to those who celebrate the enormous increase in the well-being of ordinary people over the past century.

George Will hopes that we’ve reached ‘peak Trump.’  A slice:

Trump, who fancies himself the blue-collar billionaire, promises a 45 percent increase in the price of the imports from China that help draw more than 100 million weekly shoppers to Walmart, America’s largest private-sector employer. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another aspiring savior of the proletariat, promises “socialism,” which he defines as a “revolution” that resembles the status quo — meddlesome economic regulation by a federal government whose budget is 66 percent income redistribution through transfer payments. Sanders is conducting a self-refuting campaign, the premise of which is that “the billionaire class” of (according to Forbes) 536 people buys elections. Last month, Sanders raised $42.7 million, Hillary Clinton raised $30 million, and the most prolific Republican fundraiser of this presidential cycle (Jeb Bush, $157.6 million) went home.

Here’s David Henderson on conservatives (and libertarians) in the modern academy – no place in which diversity of thought and opinion is much appreciated.

Peter van Doren highlights the unintended consequences of sex-offender registries.

Bob Higgs asks if the U.S. is going to the dogs.  A slice:

No decent person likes the building of a fortified wall to keep peaceful migrants from entering the Land of the Free freely, but at least we are not marching members of the Five Civilized Tribes hundreds of miles at gunpoint in the dead of winter to live and die in a remote wilderness. No decent person likes the way blacks are victimized by the drug war, the crooked cops and prosecutors, and the prison-industrial complex, but at least we no longer have chattel slavery where human beings are bought and sold like livestock at private auction. No decent person likes the demonization of Muslims, but at least we haven’t forced all of them into prison camps, as the West-coast people of Japanese ancestry were forced in 1942-45. And so forth.

The country has always been rotten, full of coercive busybodies eager to use state power to punish their neighbors whose conduct, creed, or ethnicity did not please them. The country has always been teeming with hotheads eager to go to war with practically anyone who seemed to them suitable for killing. The country has always been ruled by crooked politicians and scheming, would-be crony capitalists. Rotten, rotten, rotten to the core from the get-go.

Yet it was always rescued, redeemed, and pulled back from the abyss by the legions of basically decent people who left their neighbors alone, who worked hard and well to supply consumers with valued goods, who discovered better, more productive ways of producing and altogether new goods and means of production to delight people and make their lives better. Beyond the doors of the busybodies and the vicious racists lived the people who designed and built the sanitation systems that allowed great cities to escape the periodic epidemics that had always swept away large segments of their populations from time to time and to suppress the acute infectious diseases that plagued many people chronically and killed many infants and children. Beyond the precincts of racists and crony-capitalist swindlers lived the humane writers such as Melville, Twain, Bierce, Jeffers, Heller, and others who had not been taken in by the popular madness. Most of all, the many, many ordinary people who simply worked, worshiped, innovated, built, and kept out of other people’s business allowed the country to prosper and progress.