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Bryan Riley addresses some of the fallacies in Arthur Herman’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed on repatriating “supply chains.” [2] A slice:

According to Mr. Herman, 97 percent of antibiotics used in America are sourced from China. It’s not clear where that statistic comes from. According to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission, about 2.4 percent of U.S. antibiotic imports came from China in 2019.

Perhaps he is referring to “Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients” (APIs) imported from China.

According to March 2019 testimony [3] from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “we cannot determine with any precision the volume of API that China is actually producing, or the volume of APIs manufactured in China that is entering the U.S. market.” In June 2020, an FDA spokesman reiterated [4] this: “Data available to FDA do not enable us to calculate the volume of API being used for U.S.-marketed drugs from China or India, and what percentage of U.S. drug consumption this represents.”

James Pethokoukis talks with the great trade economist Douglas Irwin about globalization in the wake of the covid crisis [5].

Arnold Kling rightly bemoans the knee-jerk fondness for Keynesian “remedies. [6]

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy wisely advises looking before leaping [7].

Craig Lerner, a colleague over in GMU’s Scalia School of Law, asks who is being mature about covid risks [8]. A slice:

A peculiar aspect of our nation’s lockdowns and mandatory safety precautions is that they have been imposed on everyone, irrespective of age. To make this plausible, the media scours the nation for evidence of young people taking ill from covid-19, and of course in a nation as large as ours, there will be unfortunate cases. But the dominant reality as it is experienced by young people today is that covid-19 is, as one teenager told me, “an old person’s disease.” To judge from my own children and their friends, most teenagers have been socializing with others of their age cohort, sans masks and social distancing, and none has taken ill. Many more young people are said to be “contracting” coronavirus in recent weeks, but this is likely a function of more widely conducted testing.

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger laments the “Progressive” sacking of American cities [9]. A slice: [9]

Outside wartime, with bombardments turning blocks into rubble, I’m hard put to think of any precedent for what is happening to these U.S. cities now. The enforced pandemic closures and isolation were bad enough. But the endless protests—with their instinct to violence and atmosphere of dread—have broken the spirit of many cities.

Steve Davies asks if capitalism is modern [10]. A slice:

Capitalism in the sense of a dynamic system of innovation, that grows out of private ownership and exchange relations, and involves the use of credit, capital markets, and large-scale commercial organisation, is a recurrent phenomenon in human history. For it to happen, the forces that normally constrain widespread experimentation have to be weakened. It leads to accelerated innovation, growth and a rise in wealth.

However, once established, it attracts predators and leads those who have succeeded to look to convert their success in the whirlwind of competitive innovation into something more permanent by cutting deals with the predators. This in turn produces what we would now call ‘crony capitalism’ which is still very dynamic but increasingly diverts productive activity into a series of rent-seeking scams or speculative booms.