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Shikha Dalmia got the outcome that she wanted in last Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia [2].

From August 2016, here’s an excellent Forbes article, on creative destruction, by Chelsea Follett and my new Mercatus Center colleague Christine McDaniel [3].  A slice:

What might be more surprising is that Americans are also better off economically in many ways than their grandparents. The real cost of living in America has declined [4] for most material goods. The best way to measure the cost of something is in terms of a standard that doesn’t change—time at work [4], or real prices.

Yesterday I ordered Helen Dale’s new novel, Kingdom of the Wicked [5].  I’m eager to read it.

Scott Sumner writes insightfully about today’s tax-reform politicking in the United States [6].

Speaking of insightful writing about U.S. tax policy, here’s George Will [7].  A slice:

Already 62 percent [8] of American households pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. The bottom 50 percent of earners [9] supply less than 3 percent of income-tax revenues. Forty-five percent of American households [10] pay no income tax, either because they earn too little or because they qualify for enough exemptions and credits to erase their liability. Sixty percent [11] pay nothing or less than 5 percent of their income. Forty percent of earners [12] are net recipients from the income tax because they qualify for refundable tax credits. All this means that an already large – and, if the Republican bill passes, soon to be larger – American majority has a vanishingly small incentive to restrain the growth of a government that they are not paying for through its largest revenue source.

The great Bruce Yandle asks if tax reform can keep corporations at home [13].

My GMU colleague from over in the law school, Ilya Somin, asks if libertarian skepticism about majoritarian democracy is a cause of today’s political ills or part of a potential cure [14].  A slice:

The real sources libertarian concern about democracy are a combination of the knowledge limitations of government planners (Hayek), the susceptibility of democracy to “capture” by special interests and overbearing majorities (Buchanan and other early public choice theorists), and the perverse incentives democracy creates for widespread voter ignorance and bias [15] (Brennan, Caplan, and my own work, among others). As I have explained more fully here [16], there is a great deal of overlap between these libertarian concerns about democracy and standard left-liberal rationales for limiting the power of political majorities. The key difference is that libertarians extend them to cover the “economic” powers of government as well as “noneconomic” ones. But it’s hard to explain why the former should be any less subject to these pathologies than the latter.

You can now preorder my colleague Bryan Caplan’s new book, The Case Against Education [17].

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