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George Will decries government’s eagerness to stifle competition both foreign and domestic – and he applauds the Institute for Justice’s heroic efforts to do all that it can to prevent the domestic stifling of competition [2]. A slice:

There are three important lessons from North Carolina’s CON [“certificate of need”] mischief. First, domestic protectionism that burdens consumers for the benefit of entrenched economic interests (e.g., occupational licensing that restricts entry to professions for no reason related to public health and safety) is even more prevalent and costly than are tariffs and import quotas that interfere with international trade. Second, the sprawling, intrusive, interventionist administrative state — a.k.a. modern government — that recognizes no limits to its competence or jurisdiction is inevitably a defender of the entrenched and hence a mechanism for transferring wealth upward. Third, only courts can arrest the marauding of the political class when, with unseemly motives, it pretends to know more than markets do about society’s needs.

James Pethokoukis corrects Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s mistaken claim about America’s middle class [3].

Mike Munger explains that your ticket to capitalism is free [4].

David Henderson laments the perversity of government regulation of insurance [5].

Shikha Dalmia exposes Trump’s lawless and cruel efforts to harm immigrants [6].

Eric Boehm sets Donald Trump straight on U.S. tariff history [7].

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy – rightly appalled by both the left’s and the right’s towering ignorance of the economics of trade – wonders where true free traders will find a home [8]. A slice:

During the campaign, Trump said of Sanders, “He and I are similar on trade.” Trump was correct. Despite seemingly falling on different ends of the political spectrum, both men are populists who apparently believe that governments are better than markets at managing economic activity.

Roger Ream draws a lesson about trade from the world’s freest economy [9].