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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy, writing in the New York Times, ponders the Trump administration’s inconsistent positions on taxation [2]. Here’s her conclusion:

The internet is global. It’s not going away. Governments everywhere want to increase their power to tax internet commerce out of a fear that some tax revenues will go the way of music CD sales and newspaper classified ads. Mr. Trump may think he’s changing the rules to increase Amazon’s tax bill and help states raise more revenues, but if he succeeds it will lead to many American technology companies writing much bigger tax checks to foreign governments for years to come.

Steve Horwitz explains that the supermarket is a sound indicator of American economic progress [3].

George Will is rightly appalled by Mike Pence [4].  A slice:

Between those two Cabinet meetings, Pence and his retinue flew to Indiana [5] for the purpose of walking out of an Indianapolis Colts football game, thereby demonstrating that football players kneeling during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence’s refined sense of right and wrong. Which brings us to his Arizona salute last week to Joe Arpaio, who was sheriff of Maricopa County until in 2016 voters wearied of his act [6].

Noting [7] that Arpaio was in his Tempe audience, Pence, oozing unctuousness from every pore, called Arpaio “another favorite,” professed himself “honored” by Arpaio’s presence, and praised [8] him as “a tireless champion of . . . the rule of law.” Arpaio, a grandstanding, camera-chasing bully and darling of the thuggish right, is also a criminal, convicted [9] of contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s order to desist from certain illegal law enforcement practices. Pence’s performance occurred eight miles from the home of Sen. John McCain, who could teach Pence — or perhaps not — something about honor.

Richard Epstein exposes the dangerous economic illiteracy of Seattle’s ‘leaders.’ [10]  A slice:

No highly technical empirical study is needed, however, to show the foolishness of any minimum wage, which reduces employment opportunities and raises administrative costs. The empirics only establish the magnitude of the loss; they cannot salvage minimum wage laws. Real world complications make it hard to isolate the effect of a change in the minimum wage law from other events that influence wage levels, like a local shift in supply or demand, or new taxes and ordinances that even the most skilled economic investigators could overlook.

Tirzah Duren decries the pseudoscience that drives much “Progressive” legislation and diktats [11].

The great Sheldon Richman offers a public-choice perspective on protectionism [12]. Here’s his conclusion:

David Hume said that in proposing government policy, we should assume that the people who will carry them out are “knaves.” That of course means trade policy too.

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