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David Boaz bemoans the deep confusion of Trumpians regarding trade and the economy – a confusion that would be comical if it did not come from people possessing political power [2]. Here’s David’s conclusion:

At this year’s virtual convention there was a lot of talk about “freedom” and “liberty.” And also a lot of talk about restricting Americans’ right to trade with people in other countries. The president once again insisted that “other countries take advantage of us on trade” and denounced agreements that would reduce trade barriers.

When you don’t even debate ideas, you can end up thinking that you support both less government involvement in our free enterprise system and increased barriers to peaceful trade among individuals.

Arnold Kling riffs informatively on Helen Pluckrose’s and James Lindsay’s Cynical Theories [3]. Here’s Arnold’s conclusion:

Liberalism seeks to deal with dissent by listening to it, debating it, and co-opting it. But [Critical] Theory does not have those mechanisms. Silencing dissent is its modus operandi, one might even say its mission. Regular readers know that I describe it as the religion that persecutes heretics. Left-leaning liberals have a hard time processing the threat that this represents. They would much rather focus on the threat that they perceive comes from Donald Trump.

Wall Street Journal columnist Joseph Sternberg warns of the dangers posed by technocracy, which is an inevitable result of the administrative state [4].

I’m sorry to learn that Assar Lindbeck has died [5]. (HT Tyler Cowen)

Here’s Joakim Book, Christian Bjørnskov, and my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein on covid and Sweden [6]. A slice:

Delivering the verdict on Sweden’s response to the corona pandemic must take this into account: going into 2020, Sweden was already in a more vulnerable position than its neighbors.

Art Carden applauds the power of “no.” [7]

Juliette Sellgren’s podcast with Russ Roberts is wonderful [8]. (Note that the name of Juliette’s podcast has been changed to “The Great Antidote.” Adam Smith would be pleased! [9])

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