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Some Links

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Amelia Janaskie and Micha Gartz survey what was said prior to 2020 about using lockdowns in response to a lethal and contagious pathogen [2].

George Will exposes the appalling lust for power and laughable-if-it-weren’t-so-lethal economic ignorance of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) [3]. A slice:

If Hawley, Rubio and Graham squint, they can see a silver lining on the dark cloud of Democratic control of the Senate: Majority Leader Schumer will soon give them [4] an opportunity to vote for $2,000 disbursements. The national debt has increased almost 40 percent [5] in the past four years. But when congressional Republicans rediscover (the rhetoric of) frugality, as surely they will at noon Jan. 20, Biden can cite Hawley’s assurance that there “obviously” is “plenty” of money.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy reminds us that changing the people who hold political power isn’t as important as changing the incentives and constraints facing the people who hold political power [6]. A slice:

For evidence, consider President George W. Bush’s presidency, when, for a time, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. During that time, we saw the creation of a new department (Homeland Security) and of a new entitlement (Medicare Part D), and spending exploded. We didn’t see any restraint during the two years when Republicans were fully in control under Trump, either. Further data confirm that unified government does not keep government restrained, even if the controlling party is supposedly the enemy of big government.

I’m always pleased and honored to be a guest on Ross Kaminsky’s radio program in Denver. A couple of days ago Ross and I spoke about how tech companies ought to be treated by the law and by government [7].

George Selgin continues to write informatively about the New Deal [8].

David Beito looks at the scary history of trials for sedition [9].

John Stossel wisely recommends that “teachers'” unions be ignored and that schools be reopened [10].

I wish that Arnold Kling were in charge of content moderation at a major social-media company [11].

Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy reflects on President Trump’s behavior [12].

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