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George Will, finding much deserved merit in Michael Strain’s new book, is rightly critical of what he (Will) calls the “Cassandra caucus” – that large group of people from left to right – from Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich to Oren Cass and Josh Hawley – who insist, against all credible evidence, that ordinary Americans have stagnated economically for decades. A slice:

The argument that the typical household’s and individual’s quality of life has not improved for decades, says Strain, “borders on the absurd.” Leave aside the vast but difficult-to-quantify product quality improvements (e.g., cellphones before and after smartphones; automobiles in 1990 and 2020). Between 1983 and 2016, the median net worth for a family increased from approximately $52,000 to $97,300.

Speaking of Michael Strain and his excellent new book, here’s a podcast on it.

And speaking of the very real improvements that ordinary Americans have experienced in their standard of living, Bret Swanson points us to more evidence of this improvement.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy isn’t enthusiastic about schemes to protect the economy with fiscal stimulus. A slice:

Equally pointless would be tax relief – or subsidized loans – to employers. Yes, during the crisis many fundamentally healthy firms might encounter liquidity challenges. Such firms, however, would have no trouble borrowing the necessary liquidity from banks and other capital-market sources. Supplying such liquidity is among the core functions of capital markets. Nothing about the coronavirus crisis renders capital markets unable to perform this worthwhile function.

Another of my Mercatus Center colleagues – Adam Thierer – explains how governments in the U.S. botched testing for coronavirus.

John O. McGinnis is correct: Elizabeth Warren’s appeal is greatest in faculty lounges. A slice:

But being a central planner does not get you much traction outside the faculty lounge. Technocracy does not stir people’s souls. And being a planner can trip you up as a politician. Warren faded when she could not successfully cost out the enormously expensive government takeover of health care. For a planner not to have a plan about costs is fatal. But revealing the full costs and taxes realistically needed to pay for that plan would have been equally fatal.

Here’s wisdom from David Harsanyi.