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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns us to beware of the Trump administration’s recent ethanol rule change [2]. Here’s her conclusion:

Were it not for the president’s need to placate a constituency feeling the pain of his trade war, the administration might have approached energy policy reform in a more comprehensive way, and with a real focus on market-based solutions that avoid picking winners and losers as the RFS mandate does. Instead, we’re seeing how his protectionism is not just making the economy worse but also hindering efforts to fulfill his oft-stated goal of draining the swamp.

In my most recent column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I expand a bit on an earlier blog post regarding the claim that Trump’s tariffs on imports from China are meant chiefly to prevent Chinese IP theft [3]. A slice:

Second, it’s nearly impossible for ordinary Americans to know exactly how much IP theft occurs in China. And so a protectionist administration, such as Trump’s, has powerful incentives to overstate the extent of such theft in order to amplify popular support for tariffs that are said to be imposed in retaliation.

So far at least, when reckoned globally the 21st century has been economically awesome [4].

John Yoo makes the case both that birthright citizenship is ensured by the United States Constitution and that it is good for America [5]. A slice:

Birthright citizenship is one of those rules that indeed makes America different from Europe – not, as President Trump believes, to the bad – but all to the good.

Arnold Kling correctly rejects the analogy – beloved by anti-immigrationists – between a piece of private real estate and the nation [6]. (As I argue here, a nation is not a house [7].)

Max Gulker challenges Jerry Taylor’s recent criticism of those of us who hold fast to libertarian or classical-liberal principles [8]. A slice:

The fact that human actions have caused environmental risks doesn’t cause me to reject my view of economics and politics. Rather, I’m concerned about how governments would implement sweeping regulations, what the benefits would be, and what kind of power the resulting regulatory apparatus would have. Taylor doesn’t seem to make this connection, though many who haven’t “abandoned the libertarian project” don’t seem to either.

Eric Boehm reports the sad but unsurprising news that Elizabeth Warren is even more protectionist that Trump [9].

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