Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on July 17, 2016

in Books, Environment, FDA, Housing, Subsidies, Trade

Shikha Dalmia explains that “the main casualty of global warming is the Democratic Party’s sanity.”  Here’s her closing:

But Trump is so busy threatening even worse First Amendment violations to settle his own personal vendettas – for example, by using antitrust grounds to go after Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post owner, for running “wrong” stories about him – that he has neither the interest nor the standing to expose the excesses of his political opponents.

Even if he loses, which, god willing, he will, this election will have been a huge missed opportunity to moderate the increasingly unhinged agenda of the left. As things are shaping up in this awful campaign, regardless of what happens in November, free speech rights are in for a fight of their life in this country.

David Friedman reflects on Brexit and the prospects for free trade in Britain.  A big slice:

[Popular understanding of trade] treats a free trade agreement as a deal where each country gives up something it values, its own trade restrictions, in exchange for the other country doing the same.

Much talk about trade views it that way. Politically speaking that view is correct, since trade restrictions are a way in which politicians can benefit well organized producer groups in exchange for their political support. Economically speaking, however, that view is false. The gain from protecting U.K. manufacturers from foreign competition comes at the cost of their customers and U.K. export industries.

Unilateral free trade, the policy of England in the 19th century and Hong Kong in the 20th, produces a net benefit for the inhabitants of the country that adopts it, quite aside from any benefits to their trading partners. From the standpoint of the welfare of the citizens rather than their rulers, the usual trade negotiation consists of each side offering to stop shooting itself in the foot in exchange for the other side doing the same. If governments engaged in trade negotiations were trying to maximize the welfare of their inhabitants, there would be no need for either tariffs or agreements on regulation, since there would be no incentive for the governments to use regulation to cheat on trade agreements.

Joey Clark explains that over-policing is rooted in excess politicization of society.

Gerry Nicholls wonders if Canadian Liberals are nationalists or internationalists.

Steven Greenhut documents how the government of the city of San Francisco obstructs innovation, progress, and sharing.

Beloit College economist – and GMU Econ alum – Laura Grube reviews John Singleton’s Economic and Natural Disasters since 1900: A Comparative History.  (HT Walter Grinder)

My Mercatus Center colleague Richard Williams asks if FDA funding increases drug and medical-device innovation.  He finds that it does not.

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