On the plus side, the president has taken a thoughtful approach to regulatory reform. He has appointed a strong team capable of acting on the best ideas to remove unnecessary regulations that undermine innovation, competition and opportunities for those who need them most. I also applaud the president’s selection of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. With a career of prioritizing the Constitution over political gamesmanship, the new justice will be a critical voice of properly applied constitutional law.
At the same time, I view some actions of this administration as counterproductive. These include broad travel bans, discouraging free trade and a tendency toward rhetoric that too easily divides Americans instead of uniting them.
Here’s a video of Deirdre McCloskey’s recent talk on Ludwig Lachmann and on what Bart Wilson has aptly named “humanomics.” (Deirdre’s paper on which her talk is based is here.)
I’m eager to read my colleague Pete Leeson’s forthcoming book, Wtf?! An Economic Tour of the Weird.
Here is the way that I think about it. Statism comes from the Fear Of Others’ Liberty. The statists are more than 90 percent wrong. As people, they represent a positive externality–they make me wealthier, and I enjoy being around them. But as FOOLs, they represent a negative externality–their wrong views lead to statist policies that are clumsy, ineffective, and based on delusional notions of the benevolence and wisdom that political leaders can possess.
You cannnot escape from the statists. But it is still worth trying to convince them not to be FOOLs.
You write, “Finally, raising wages is simply the right thing to do.” I’m not sure. Is it always the right thing to do? For everyone? No matter how high wages are? Where does it end? On what grounds would we say that wages are high enough? But let’s leave aside those questions and stipulate that raising wages is “right,” as you say. If so, then you advocate a wrong, because increasing the legal minimum wage as you advocate would not raise, but lower to zero, the wages received by those laid off or never hired.