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Some Non-Covid Links

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Northwestern University law professor John McGinnis rightfully criticizes the combination of detachment-from-reality and hypocrisy of those who support minimum-wage legislation legislation that steals from low-skilled workers an important bargaining chip for use in competing for employment [2]. Here’s his conclusion:

In her testimony to become Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen stated that that the minimum wage hike would have a minimal effect on jobs. But that is not what the economic literature says, even for wage hikes far less radical than this one. Yellen herself said something different [3] before she became a saleswoman for Biden. And the chief salesman for the Biden administration—Biden himself—claimed that “all economics” shows that the economy will grow because of the minimum wage [4]. In fact, almost no economist believes it will boost output.

Science cannot dictate policy. But it is unacceptable as a matter of science or morality to deny this brutal fact, and it does no favors for those who will be left unemployed by this minimum wage hike. It is sad that a media that gleefully exposed any false claims of the former President is almost entirely silent when our current President proclaims a version of economics that is a politically driven fantasy.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy decries the cronyism and protectionism that infect Biden’s “Build Back Better” scheme [5]. A slice:

If this sounds like a good old industrial policy, that’s because it is. This idea isn’t new; it has been on every left-wing politician’s platform for decades. What is actually a bit unique is that support for industrial policy is also coming from many conservatives this time around. They may not care so much about building green cars, but they share in the goal of reviving American manufacturing by constraining globalization and subsidizing favored industries.

Here’s the rub: American manufacturing is generally healthy, especially prior to the trade wars and the pandemic. A data- and chart-rich new paper [6] by the Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome about a “Manufactured Crisis: ‘Deindustrialization,’ Free Markets, and National Security” documents American manufacturing’s excellent health. It disproves the alleged justification for industrial policy and debunks all the national security arguments trotted out to justify protectionism. And Lincicome’s analysis and data also apply nicely to Biden’s case for industrial policy.

Art Carden asks if we really do need all of those barbecue restaurants [7].

Scott Lincicome busts the myth that the global shortage of chips requires supply-chain nationalism [8].

I agree with James Pethokoukis – and against the counsel of some of my colleagues – that we should indeed be worried about the return of significant inflation [9].

James Pethokoukis talks with my GMU colleague Joshua Wright about antitrust [10].

In her latest podcast, Juliette Sellgren talks with my GMU colleague Todd Zywicki about law and economics [11].

Steven Greenhut bemoans Americans’ lust to cancel one another [12].

George Leef shares a study that exposes the fictional ‘history’ pushed by those who write the College Board exams [13]. A slice:

He shows that the exams slant the teaching of history by focusing on facts that suggest to students the need for government control, while they leave out evidence that liberty, capitalism, and Western civilization had anything to do with progress and prosperity. Evidence of the horrors inflicted by leftist movements is downplayed or omitted.

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