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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy appeared with Charles Payne to discuss U.S.-China trade [2].

David Von Drehle – inspired by Gale Pooley’s and Marian Tupy’s new Simon Abundance Index – wisely warns against the super-abundant gloom’n’doom Malthusian predictions [3]. A slice:

Measured by global average hourly income, the price of a representative basket of 50 key commodities — food, energy, minerals and so forth — fell by nearly two-thirds between when the bet was made and 2017. Measured by the time it takes to buy the basket, the Earth’s resources have become 380 percent more abundant as the human population grew by 69 percent [4].

Dan Ikenson ponders the trade agenda for 2019 [5].

Patrick Oetting wants to revive the spirit of free trade [6]. A slice:

Tariffs hurt the average person. They hurt you and me, decreasing our quality of life and the value of our dollars. In a 2016 article released by the World Trade Organization (WTO) [7], Maurice Obstfeld said, “those who promote ‘getting tough’ with foreign trade partners through punitive tariffs should think carefully. It may be emotionally gratifying; it may boost specific industries; the threat may even frighten trade partners into changing their policies; but, ultimately, if carried out, such policies cause wider economic damage at home.”

Alex Nowrasteh reports that crime in the United States along the border with Mexico is lower than in most of the rest of the U.S. [8]

Jeffrey Tucker argues powerfully against the delusions of those who endorse 70-percent tax rates [9].

Ryan Bourne brilliantly exposes the fallacies that lead the likes of Paul Krugman, Matt Yglesias, and Noah Smith to endorse very high marginal tax rates on income [10].

Pete Boettke remembers the late, great Harold Demsetz [11]. A slice:

Harold Demsetz was a practitioner of UCLA price theory par excellence. He challenged the prevailing orthodoxy in microeconomic analysis and public policy that was emerging in the wake of the Samuelsonian revolution in economics. He developed a dynamic understanding of market competition, putting emphasis on conditions of entry and exit rather than on market structure. In addition, his work constantly drew attention to the creative adaptations and adjustments that economic actors engage in throughout a competitive economy, the multiple margins of adjustment that individuals, as buyers and sellers, engage in through the market, and how alternative institutional arrangements impact competitive behavior.

Demsetz was named the Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2013.  But I personally believe he should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science, along with Alchian, many years before that.

Also remembering Demsetz are Jonathan Adler [12] and Frederic Sautet [13].

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