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Some Non-Covid Links

Eric Boehm reports that “American consumers are bearing nearly 93 percent of the costs of the tariffs applied to Chinese goods, according to Moody’s Investors Service.” A slice:

Prior to 2018, the average American tariff on imports from China was just 3.1 percent, according to data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. But after Trump hiked tariffs on a wide range of imports covering everything from industrial goods to toys, the average tariff on imports from China is now 19.3 percent. Retaliatory tariffs imposed by China hiked its duties on American-made goods from 8 percent to 20.7 percent.

So what does the Biden administration do in the face of soaring prices for lumber? Why, make lumber even more scarce in order to drive prices up even further. (HT Phil Magness)

Richard Ebeling warns of the officious instincts of central planners. A slice:

What really may be behind such a “wanting” for political office is never stated directly or openly. That being: arrogance and power-lusting, with a wish to privilege some (those who have supplied the campaign contributions and votes that have won that politician the election) and to plunder others (those who will provide the taxed funds and bear the regulatory burdens to supply those special benefits). How many of us want to be told to our face that the candidate wants to play many of us for suckers so he can have the political position he craves, and to bestow those special favors and redistributed gains to his supporters through the fiscal and interventionist policy tools of government? Instead, it invariably gets candy-coated with amorphous rhetoric about the “common good,” the “general welfare” or the “national interest.”

David Boaz has evidence to support Ebeling’s warning.

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan reminds us to remain realistic about politics and politicians.

Thank goodness we have the Fed! – Not.

Insight from Steve Landsburg:

The next time somebody encourages you to “buy local” so you can “keep the money in the community”, try asking how they feel about the federal income tax, which is designed to facilitate the largest geographic redistribution of income ever conceived.

My GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein discusses Tocqueville’s “gumptious American.”

Colin Grabow thoughtfully examines the case for subsidizing shipbuilding.

Here’s George Leef on Gail Heriot’s and Maimon Schwarzschild’s new edited volume titled A Dubious Expediency: How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education.

Chris Edwards summarizes some myth-busting about R&D.

GMU Econ alum – and my Mercatus Center colleague – Liya Palagashvili busts four myths about the so-called ‘gig economy.‘ A slice:

Second, the majority of workers using online labor platforms are using it as a supplemental, not a primary job. Collins’s tax study concludes, “we find that the exponential growth in labor [online platform economy] work is driven by individuals whose primary annual income derives from traditional jobs and who supplement that income with platform-mediated work.” This is corroborated by several other studies, including one by the Economic Policy Institute.