Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on August 14, 2016

in Books, Economics, Politics, Seen and Unseen, Trade

Ross Kaminsky marshals logic and facts to rightly expose as baloney the protectionist arguments made by Clump.  A slice:

And nobody talks about what should be your fundamental right to buy what you want from whom you want without pandering politicians telling you to pay one-third more because they’re trying to scrounge up some votes in Ohio.

Bill Watson further explains why one particular half of Clump is clueless about trade.

Tyler Cowen rightly recommends the new edition of Jim Gwartney’s, Rick Stroup’s, Dwight Lee’s, Tawni Ferrarini’s, and Joe Calhoun’s Common Sense Economics.  A slice from Tyler’s post:

[T]this is a very good introduction to economics for say a smart high school student who reads books.  Sadly, more and more politicians and indeed professional Ph.d. economists need this wisdom too.

(Indeed.  Possessing a PhD in economics – even one from a highly ranked university – is not necessarily to possess economic understanding.)

Gary Galles warns against committing the fallacy of decomposition.

In this essay in National Affairs, George Will ponders the limits of majority rule.  A slice:

There are those, and they might be an American majority, who believe that majority rule is the sovereign American value that trumps all others. They believe that the degree of America’s goodness is defined by the extent to which majorities are able to have their way. Such people are bound to believe that it is the job of the judicial branch of government to facilitate this by adopting a modest, deferential stance regarding what legislatures do.

Many also implicitly believe that such an attitude should shape the attitude of courts toward what executive branch officials and agencies do. Here, judicial deference is said to be dictated by the plebiscitary nature of the modern presidency. This began with the presidency of Andrew Jackson, but did not fully flower until modern communications technologies — especially radio and then television — changed the nature of the American regime by changing the nature of political campaigns and of governance. Many have argued that, because presidents alone are elected by a national constituency, they are unique embodiments of the national will, and hence should enjoy the maximum feasible untrammeled latitude to translate that will into policies.

The two-fold problem with such an attitude of deference, however, is that majorities can be abusive, and that some questions are not properly submitted to disposition by majority rule because there are some — actually, there are many — closed questions even in an open society.


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