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Malheureusement, il est vrai.

Greg Mankiw pushes back against Paul Krugman’s partisan characterization of free traders.  (On this matter I can personally back Mankiw’s argument.  The one time that I met and spoke to a U.S. president was in November 2002, soon after the announcement that my then-colleague Vernon Smith would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Vernon invited several colleagues, including me, to accompany him and Candace to a White House reception for America’s 2002 Nobel laureates.  During that reception, Vernon gently but firmly scolded Bush for imposing the steel tariffs.  Bush replied that he agreed that the tariffs are in themselves harmful but that they were needed to pave the way for him to get trade-promotion authority in order to be better able in the future to make trade freer.  One can dispute the wisdom of this particular political compromise, but given the setting – Pennsylvania Ave. and Gucci Gulch – one cannot conclude with any certainty that Bush’s political calculation, at the time that it was made, was not a reasonable tactical move to make trade freer over time.  [Far better, of course, for government to have no power to restrict trade in the first place.])

Bart Hinkle is unimpressed with Merrick Garland.  (HT David Boaz)  Bart’s essay reminds me of the press’s characterization of Hillary Clinton.  She’s frequently characterized as “moderate” or “middle-of-the-road.”  But when you examine the alleged justification for this characterization, you find that it springs from Clinton typically siding with Democrats on questions of government’s role in the economy and often siding with Republicans on government’s role in foreign affairs.  In short, H. Clinton is no true moderate; she’s consistently an immoderate statist.

I’m proud that Bryan Caplan is one of my colleagues.

John Tamny defends tax havens.

What’s the real ratio of CEO pay to average-worker pay?

My student Mark Lutter has a suggestion for how to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.