In this new study, Brian Blank finds a positive relationship between import restrictions and the pay of corporate executives. Sadly, among the ‘talents’ now demanded of many CEOs is the ability to successfully seek rents.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is flabbergasted by the gullibility of many people who fall for the idiocies spewed by politicians. A slice:

What truly puzzles me is that while the math doesn’t add up at all — and the worlds they want to produce won’t see the light of day without serious pain for most Americans — they have hundreds of thousands of people cheering them along the way. This is crazy. Let’s be honest, the plans by Warren and Sanders almost sound like a 4-year-old’s wish list to improve the country (e.g., more candy, more unicorns, more desserts, cartoons throughout the day, all of which is to be paid for by the Wicked Witch of the West and Captain Hook).

George Will is understandably appalled by the “torrent of astonishing talk from Democratic presidential aspirants.”

James Pethokoukis isn’t buying the pop claim that the stock market makes corporate decision-makers myopic.

John O. McGinnis rightly fears the return of activist antitrust policy. Here’s his conclusion:

This sorry history of antitrust law progressivism may understate the dangers of its revival. We live in a world of great technological acceleration spurred by ever increasing power of computation. As a result, it is even less likely that monopolies will be able to entrench themselves. IBM was thought to have a monopoly before it ceded primacy to Microsoft, which in turn has lost its place to Google as the gateway to computation. And technological acceleration also makes it harder for governments to figure out what new business practices are exclusionary and what are not, let alone how best to break up companies in an ever-changing technological landscape. As a result, faith in bureaucratic judgement to replace the market is less justified than ever before. Progressive antitrust in the 21st century would thus be even more of a mistake than it was in the 20th.

Bruce Yandle explains to the likes of Elizabeth Warren that, to the extent that “the  system is rigged,” it’s rigged by the state.

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