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Charles Lane – linking to research done by my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy – correctly argues that the evidence reveals that American exporters do just fine without the assistance of that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank. A slice:

Congratulations, Boeing! You have created jobs for workers and value for shareholders. The only losers might be your Washington lobbyists. Their argument that Boeing and other U.S. makers of big-ticket manufactured products cannot compete internationally without taxpayer help, in the form of government-guaranteed credit from the Export-Import Bank has been badly undercut.

For the past 3½ years, Ex-Im, as the trade-finance agency is known, has been essentially paralyzed, yet Boeing has gone from strength to strength.

Alberto Mingardi remembers the late Anthony de Jasay. A slice:

His case for liberalism was established upon a “presumption of liberty”: “any act a person wishes to perform is deemed to be permissible—not to be interfered with, regulated, taxed, or punished—unless sufficient reason is shown why it should not be permissible”. The burden of proof should be on those claiming an act should not be permissible, rather than the other way around.

Steve Davies is predicting big changes, especially in agriculture. A slice:

Most people, if asked which human activity has the greatest environmental impact, would say industry or manufacturing. Some might mention mining, while many would choose travel (particularly air travel).

However the activity with by far the most extensive impact is actually one of the oldest and most established: agriculture. Farming, in both its arable and livestock forms, has a massive environmental effect and one that is increasingly damaging. Phenomena such as species loss, habitat destruction, the disappearance of insect and bird life from much of Europe and North America, and even (possibly) declining male fertility can all be blamed on modern intensive farming.

Fareed Zakaria celebrates the enormous improvement in the state of humanity over the past few decades.

Kai Weiss rightly laments the politicization of everything.

Pierre Lemieux is spot-on: protectionism is indeed for dummies.

Hayekian Liberalism Expressed in Speech Made Us Rich and Free” – that’s the title of a forthcoming article by Deirdre McCloskey. A slice (footnotes deleted):

It is the opposite of the various hierarchies of compulsion which, alas, we are remaking daily in the 80,000 pages of new compelled regulations issued each year in The Federal Register. As New York University’s Richard Epstein, wrote in 2009, liberalism “can be neatly summarized in four words: aggression no, exchange yes.” As David Boaz puts it at the outset of The Libertarian Mind, “In a sense, there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power.” A book for Yale, in press, collecting essays of mine on the theme is called Why Liberalism? Why indeed. It is the old stuff of liberalism, as old as the 18th century in which it was invented. So original am I. Our friends on the left, by contrast, are not “liberals” but Rousseau-esque statists, devoted to pushing people around according to the general will and The Federal Register.