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Bob Higgs exposes the suboptimality of the mainstream economist’s holy grail.  A slice:

Politicians are not philosopher kings, not dedicated social engineers selflessly focused on the public interest (itself an elusive concept). They know how to gain election or appointment to public office, and hardly anything else. They give no greater damn about making the world a better place than I seriously seek to invent a perpetual motion machine or to prepare myself to join the Olympic synchronized swimming team. Devising other-worldly systems of equations as a basis for advising these clown princes is a hopeless endeavor, and the mainstream economists/idiot savants would serve the general public better if they did nothing at all, because all too often their exercises serve only one purpose – the purpose of providing seemingly plausible excuses for the counterproductive and even destructive policies the politicians and their bureaucratic bird dogs implement.

Tom Grennes explains that the Jones Act is economically harmful to Americans.

Here are five big-picture thoughts from David Henderson on the current tax-reform.

Chris Edwards – and Veronique de Rugy – disagree with Ramesh Ponnuru on the effects of the tax reform.

On the politics of tax reform is Gary Galles.

George Will bemoans the shrilling effect of the Internet.  On a related theme is Jonathan Haidt.  (HT Arnold Kling)

Bruce Yandle is rightly critical of Trump and Trumpians on trade.  A slice:

Of course, Adam Smith and his tribe would hardly care about dumping at all. They celebrate when producers elsewhere happily sell goods to others at bargain prices. Even if producers want to simply give their products to us, who are we to say no? After all, who doesn’t like Santa Claus?

George Selgin writes that as far as Bill Niskanen “was concerned, the [Fed’s] dual mandate was one mandate too many.