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Bob Higgs, over at his indispensable Facebook page, offers a hypothetical the logic of which annihilates the bases on which politicians and pundits of all stripes stand to express their idiotic fears of bilateral trade deficits [2].  Here it is:

Suppose we all awakened to discover that overnight an agreement had been concluded to join China and the USA into a single nation — let’s call it Chimerica. Otherwise everything remained the same. The same people who had been producing goods in China and exporting them to buyers in the USA were now doing exactly what they had been doing before; and likewise throughout the entire structure of production and related trading relationships between former Chinese and former Americans — now all become Chimericans by virtue of nocturnal diplomacy.

In this case, would all of the Trumposos, Sandersistas, and assorted economic nincompoops under the spell of mercantilist nonsense get over their twisted knickers in regard to the “imbalance of bilateral trade between China and the USA,” an alleged problem from which they had sought unwarranted relief (of their own inability to compete openly) by means of protectionism and other state privileges?

Jeff Jacoby rightly worries about the bizarre and dangerous gun culture that has taken hold of U.S. government bureaucracies [3].

Speaking of guns, Steve Landsburg has a good question for “Progressives” who support gun control [4].

Tim Worstall reveals some of the bureaucratic, ‘man-of-system’ foolishness that characterizes the European Union [5].

My brilliant colleague Bryan Caplan lets us in on his next project [6].

Today’s “Notable & Quotable” in the Wall Street Journal is a superb line from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 speech accepting the G.O.P.’s nomination as its presidential candidate [7]:

Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

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