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David Henderson appreciates my late, great colleague Walter Williams [2]. A slice:

Getting that degree changed his life. He failed his economic theory exam the first time around. That convinced him “that UCLA professors didn’t care anything about [his] race.” Through the rest of his life, Walter applied the same standards to his employers and his students. He told potential employers that if he learned that he was hired because he was black, he would resign immediately. He also held black students to the same standards as white students, and called out his colleagues when they held black students to lower standards. In Walter’s mind, they were racists. Not “reverse racists,” a term you can’t find in any of his writing, just racists.

Tom Hazlett remembers the late Peter Huber [3].

Gregory Conko remembers Jerry Ellig [4]. A slice:

As an economist, a researcher, and a regulatory reform advocate, Jerry was unrivaled. When he tackled an issue—whether it was net neutrality, broadcast licensing, e-commerce, or broadband pricing on the one hand or the economics of interstate wine shipping, judicial review of regulatory impact analysis, the regulation of funerals and casket sales, or the economics of baseball’s “reserve clause” and free agency on the other—he was almost always the best informed and most thoughtful person weighing in. When Jerry spoke, he had to be taken seriously. And, perhaps more importantly, he approached his work with an incomparable level of care and professionalism that could only come from his genuine desire to do good.

Unfortunately, John Kay’s review of Mariana Mazzucato’s latest book is behind a paywall. But Alberto Mingardi shares some of this review at EconLog [5].

For the Cato Institute’s Dan Ikenson, Inauguration Day 2021 felt like Groundhog Day for “Buy American. [6]” A slice:

Excepting a few brave Democratic voices [7], there is precious little evidence in the Biden administration and among congressional leadership of an appetite to confront and contest what has become an entrenched, bipartisan, protectionist, nationalist, defeatist set of trade policies. In my 20 years of analyzing trade at Cato, never have the scales been tipped this far in favor of protectionist, economic retrenchment. These political impulses are not only economically ruinous, but incompatible with the Biden administration’s ubiquitous rhetoric about internationalism, U.S. “leadership,” and reengagement with allies.

George Will rightly ranks immigration as “the sincerest form of flattery” – which America needs more of [8]. Here’s his conclusion:

Today, anti-immigration sentiment is disproportionately concentrated among recent Republican voters who are timid nationalists dismayed by the decoupling of the nation from their conceptions of it. Strangely, they fear that the United States cannot be itself if it is as welcoming to immigrants as it was when they were making the United States the success that it is.

Nick Gillespie talks with Glenn Greenwald [9]. A slice from Greenwald:

One of the things that really bothers and disturbs me the most is that, as we were talking about earlier, the intention of Facebook and Google and Twitter, and Silicon Valley in general, from the beginning was not to censor. They began to censor because journalists demanded they do so, in part because journalists are authoritarians who believe that the modes of information [should be] regulated by them and by others. That’s just unfortunately the modern-day mentality of the journalist. It used to be an anti-authoritarian mentality. Now they work for big corporations and become authoritarians.

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins describes Trump’s worst virus failure [10]. A slice:

Because of the political stakes, our every perception of Covid tends to be politicized. In the first days of the pandemic, the press coverage was alive with inquiry and discovery but soon was overtaken by talking points. Politics is why. And while much excellent reporting is still done, the recent summaries of our failures being ordered up by editors all read like exercises in learning nothing. They are compendiums [11] of wouldas and shouldas that long since went poof for any thinking person.

Top of the list is magic solution X, a national test and trace program. I won’t mince words. A 9-year-old could see the math didn’t work. Covid spreads more easily than the flu. An overwhelming share of cases are asymptomatic or indistinguishable from ailments that millions of Americans suffer every day. In a country as big, mobile and open as the U.S., there was zero chance of catching and isolating enough spreaders to matter.

Many experts said so at the time, but quietly. Anthony Fauci eventually said so, but quietly. All implicitly knew not to get between the media and its imperative that every big misfortune be played as a failure of inadequate government.

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