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Max Gulker respectfully – and, I believe, compellingly – disagrees with Tyler Cowen’s notion of “state-capacity libertarianism.” A slice:

And that’s where Cowen’s State Capacity Libertarianism completely drops the ball. I don’t think climate change, education, and infrastructure aren’t important. They’re so important, in fact, that we can’t leave them up to a lumbering organization plagued by political incentives and lacking the information to implement anything all that helpful. [Ed] Stringham shows that private governance develops all around us. I think we have to make its study a more prominent research agenda in economics.

Chris Preble describes as “dangerous” Trump’s escalation of belligerence with  the Iranian state.

Jeff Jacoby wonders why so many Americans continue, despite themselves, to trust government officials with more power. A slice:

Atheists sometimes scorn religious believers as irrational for having faith in an omniscient God. But while God’s existence can be neither proved nor disproved, every day’s news brings fresh evidence of incompetence, fraud, waste, and dishonesty in government: Presidential impeachments. Police brutality. City Hall shakedowns. Campaign-finance chicanery. Men and women who work for the state may not be more prone to venality, bias, or screwing up than other people. But surely they are no less so.

Here’s Alberto Mingardi on Yuval Levin on the late Gertrude Himmelfarb. A slice from Alberto:

I suspect that libertarians have gone above the illusion of using sovereign power as a liberating factor, without paying a price for it. I would be interested in seeing how the anti-libertarian right can square the circle between its appreciation of “traditional” institution, and its love affair with a strong nation state.

When we retreat from progress: Nuclear power edition

Good for Ricky Gervais!