- Cafe Hayek - https://cafehayek.com -

Some Links

Tweet [1]

George Will has yet more questions for Brett Kavanaugh [2]. A slice:

Finally, University of Chicago and New York University professor Richard Epstein [3] says the Constitution’s architecture — separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, guarantees of individual rights — implies [4] a “presumption of error”: The architecture intentionally slows the political process because government interventions in society’s spontaneous order are presumptively of dubious legitimacy because government is presumed to be not disinterested but serving factional interests, or its own. Discuss.

David Henderson remembers James Mirrlees [5].

My GMU Econ and Mercatus Center colleague Pete Boettke explains that the fruit of bad government policy is often tyranny [6].

James Pethokoukis wisely warns conservatives to avoid falling for Trump & Co.’s hostility toward – and veiled threats aimed at – Google [7]. A slice:

Conservatives should also consider why there already aren’t search competitors marketing themselves as providing supposedly more balanced results to the pro-Trump half (or 40 percent) of the country. Where is the Fox News of search engines? Maybe the market is sending a signal that there really isn’t much demand for a non-problem.

Also speaking out against antitrust and other government regulations of the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon is GMU Econ alum Wayne Crews [8].

The Dialectics of Liberty will be soon be published [9]. (HT Walter Grinder)

Livio Di Matteo is right that it’s wrong to use 19th-century protectionist policies in the 21st century [10]. (Actually, it was wrong to use these policies even in the 19th century!). A slice:

Anyone trying to understand or explain the Trump administration’s international trade policy is often forced to conclude that his focus on trade deficits and domestic production is really an expression of mercantilism—a trade philosophy that aimed to maximize exports and minimize imports.

Did tariffs make America great? The great trade economist and economic historian Doug Irwin says no [11]. A slice:

A lot of people will say, you know, we grew very rapidly in the late 19th century. We industrialized as a country and we had high tariffs and ergo the tariffs are responsible for those good times and therefore we should go back to that. You hear that from Pat Buchanan and probably Steve Bannon and maybe even the president himself. But when you look at that era actually in the late 19th century the US was very open. We were open for immigration and we indeed had massive immigration. We were open to capital from the rest of the world and were able to borrow and purchase a lot of technology. So it’s not as though we were an isolationist country with big barriers. Yes, we did have fairly stiff tariffs on imported manufactured goods, but otherwise we were very open to what was going on in the world economy….

In addition, it’s become very hard actually to attribute US economic growth in the late 19th century to those higher tariffs. A lot of the key improvements in technology and a lot of the growth was in the service sector: telecommunications, railroads, and things of that sort. Manufacturing really didn’t grow much as a share of GDP in the late 19th century.