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John Tamny rightly ridicules what he calls “the great conservative crack-up over China.” A slice:

Indeed, if Mr. Xi is truly shutting off Chinese markets, you wouldn’t know it from the growing sales of U.S. businesses in the “relentlessly” closed off country. Figure that Apple sells 1/5th of its iPhones in China, Boeing a quarter of its planes, GM sells more cars in China than it does in North America, China is the second largest market for Nike, McDonald’s, for the U.S. entertainment industry, and surely countless others. [Gordon] Chang yet again feels Mr. Xi has shut down access to the country’s markets, but U.S. businesses continue to expand their operations there. Starbucks, as mentioned previously, is set to double the number of stores there.

GMU Econ alum Nikolai Wenzel likes much about – but not everything about – Kimberly Clausing’s new book, Open.

From May 2014 is this essay by Neil Gilbert, in the Wall Street Journal, busting some myths about American middle-class stagnation. A slice:

The public often agrees with politicians who declare that the middle-class struggles to make ends meet. But this is a quest to satiate our desires for material consumption within our limited resources, not a struggle for survival. Americans have long accepted inequality as a necessary consequence of a system that rewards merit, productivity and, often, luck.

James Pethokoukis is justifiably alarmed by Elizabeth Warren’s – and the New York Times‘s – reckless, and often blinding, itch to soak the rich.

Speaking of soaking the rich, even some self-identified “Progressives” understand that a national wealth tax in the U.S. is unconstitutional and would likely be found by the courts to be so.

Emily Blanchard, Chad Bown, and Davin Chor have some bad news for Republican politicians who think that trade warring is good for their electoral prospects. (HT George Leef)

Jeffrey Tucker is correct: economics – when done correctly – is indeed the great reality checker.