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Stephen Miller reports on the findings of Andrew Atkeson’s, Karen Kopecky’s, and Tao Zha’s new NBER paper, “Four Stylized Facts About Covid-19. [2]” A slice:

The paper’s conclusion is that the data trends observed above likely indicate that nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) – such as lockdowns, closures, travel restrictions, stay-home orders, event bans, quarantines, curfews, and mask mandates – do not seem to affect virus transmission rates overall.

Colin Grabow debunks myths about the cronyist Jones Act [3].

My Mercatus Center colleague Jayme Lemke admires Holly Golightly [4].

GMU econ PhD candidate Jon Murphy makes the case for Smithian sympathy in public policy [5].

I’m eager to read Marian Tupy’s new book, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting. [6]

James Grant reviews, in the Wall Street Journal, Gregory Collins’s new book, Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke’s Political Economy [7]. A slice from Grant’s review:

Liberty was the touchstone of English monetary arrangements, Burke’s argument ran. “Cash,” as gold was known, was the one and only legal tender. Of course, bank notes were handier than ingots, but nobody had to accept such IOUs (not even the Bank of England’s) in lieu of gold itself. Weighing the soundness of the issuing bank, an Englishman could choose one or the other.

Not so the Frenchman. The pure paper assignat was money by law. Modern readers will scarcely take exception to such a system, as they know no other. “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private” is the legend stamped on every dollar bill.

To Burke, however, it was the very absence of coercion that crowned the English monetary regime. “They forget,” he wrote of the revolting French, “that, in England, not one shilling of paper money of any description is received but of choice; that the whole has had its origin in cash actually deposited; and that it is convertible at pleasure, in an instant and without the smallest loss, into cash again. Our paper is of value in commerce, because in law it is of none.”

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