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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy rightly ridicules Trump’s assertion that punitive taxes on Americans who buy automobiles assembled outside of the United States are necessary to ensure America’s military might [2]. A slice:

Looking at the percentage of each vehicle’s parts and manufacturing that comes from either the United States or Canada as tracked by U.S. regulators, CNN Money reported that “the two most ‘American’ cars are both Hondas — the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup. Three-quarters of each vehicle’s components are made in the United States or Canada.”

George Will writes about Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Trump’s trashing of the Constitution, and GOP members of Congress enabling this trashing of the Constitution [3].

“The president’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border was an act of weakness, not strength.” – so begins this piece by Jonah Goldberg [4]. And here’s Goldberg’s concluding paragraph:

The fact that so many Republican members of Congress are fine with it is further evidence that both Congress and the Republican party have become a nest of capons — and even weaker than that strutting rooster in the Rose Garden.

Marian Tupy joins in the fun of exposing the many flaws in Jason Hickel’s argument that ordinary people before the industrial age really weren’t all that poor by today’s standards [5]. A slice:

Up to the 19th century, poor people wore woollen clothes and underclothes, which itch and do not wash easily. That practice or, to be more precise, necessity, exacerbated the across-the-board problem of poor hygiene. Lest we forget, most people lived and slept with their domestic animals, including chickens, cows and pigs (to guard the latter from thieves and predators). Eggs, milk and occasional meat enriched the usually bland diet of bread, and animal waste was needed to fertilise crops. The dangers inherent in using waste as fertiliser were compounded by the fact that people seldom washed their hands or clothes. That led to epidemics, and contributed to sky-high mortality rates among our ancestors.

And Marian has also this follow-up [6].

GMU Econ alum Nikolai Wenzel celebrates the economics of the late, great Paul Heyne [7].

Mark Perry recalls some insights offered in 1994 by Thomas Sowell [8].

Tyler Cowen is correct that Venezuela’s current miserable condition does indeed have something to do with Chavezian socialism [9].

Matthew Lau explains why (good) economists can’t endorse minimum-wage hikes [10].

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