Moreover, we can only shake our heads in dismay that yet another state is willingly jumping in headfirst to provide a benefit that will impose a considerable tax hike. It will also reduce women’s employment and promotion opportunities as an unintended consequence. We can predict these unfortunate results because of the large number of studies that have been done on the issue. From Norway to France, Canada to Sweden, California to New York, economists have found that government-provided paid leave leads to lower wages for women, fewer prospects for advancement and overall reduced employment.
Finally, [J.D.] Vance misses an important part of the libertarian argument against political power by creating a false impression about how libertarians would respond to social problems. In several places, he lists various social outcomes he thinks are problematic and then puts in the mouths of libertarians the argument that they are just the “consequence of free choices” or the mistaken choices of parents, so we should not worry about them. What this overlooks is the way in which poor institutions and policies can change the incentives and knowledge facing individuals, leading them to make choices that, in the aggregate, lead to socially problematic outcomes. We see this in the US health care system, where bad policies have created incentives for over-spending, and in the financial system, where bad policies incentivized poor choices by both lenders and borrowers, contributing to the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession .
I don’t agree with [Chris] DeMuth that religion and nationalism are “institutional embodiments of human understanding and aspiration, of human excellence and folly. To oppose them is to oppose human nature”. Religion has been with us forever (though it is decaying), while nationalism is a 200 year old invention (though it seems to be on the rise).
George Will understandably asks if some Democratic candidates for the U.S. presidency are trying to lose . Here’s his conclusion:
Perhaps 2019 is 1919 with both parties being the White Sox, some of whom tried to lose that year’s World Series, and did. Unfortunately, in 2020, both parties cannot succeed at failing.