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George Will reviews the high price of GOP protectionism [2]. A slice:

Not content with bossing around Americans, even unto telling them which washing machines [3] to buy, the administration’s protectionists have demanded that Mexico [4], as part of a renegotiated NAFTA, institute a $16 minimum wage for Mexican factory workers. So, a Republican administration purports to know more than Mexico’s labor market knows about the proper price of Mexican labor. But, then, the last know-it-all administration so aggressive about controlling wages and prices was Republican (Richard Nixon’s [5]).

Richard Ebeling is correct: protectionism is a form of economic central planning by government [6].

David Henderson understandably enjoyed a recent talk on trade by the great Doug Irwin [7].

Also on trade: John Tamny offers yet further evidence of Trump’s complete cluelessness about trade [8].

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy rightly scolds the FDA for its ‘regulation’ of vaping [9].

Here’s Alberto Mingardi on the late Richard Pipes [10].

Wow! This is unexpected! 😉 Hikes in minimum wages reduce non-wage forms of worker pay [11].

The Fraser Institute just released an important new study on demographics and entrepreneurship [12].

Sam Staley wonders if Duke University can survive Nancy MacLean’s penchant for passing off fictional tales as factual ones [13].  A slice:

First, despite its subtitle, MacLean’s book is stylistically and methodologically a polemic, not deep research or scholarly analysis. Or at least her book does not represent the research thresholds expected in social sciences. While she has a thesis and collects data, her methods are rhetorical, lack rigor, draw on popular journalism rather than academic analysis, and narrowly construct the data to support her thesis rather than test its validity. Economist Steve Horwitz and others have claimed that this is an example of “confirmation bias [14]the tendency for researchers to look for evidence that supports their thesis even when faced with contrary evidence. I think this conclusion is too charitable.

My reading of Democracy in Chains suggests she never seriously looked for contrary evidence. This lack of skepticism is a fundamental break from accepted, mainstream scientific methods.