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Some Non-Covid Links

Scott Lincicome describes the lamentable return of green industrial policy. A slice:

Finally, there are the substantial costs—seen and unseen—associated with green industrial policies. Those projects cited in the Technology Pork Barrel, for example, uniformly exhibited “cost overruns” that far exceeded their budgets. Years later, DOE got busted for using—ahem—creative accounting to claim that its ARRA green energy lending programs were “making money” (they ignored borrowing costs, which—per Brookings’ Donald Marron—turned an alleged $810 million “profit” into a $780 million loss). In fact, DOE often loses money on a portfolio-wide or long-term basis. Today, for example, only one of the 10 carbon capture demonstration projects—a relatively small one in Texas—is still active, resulting in billions of losses overall. And cellulosic biofuels projects that DOE once celebrated are today on the ropes (or worse).

Well over a year ago, while still under lockdown, I was honored to be a guest of Keith Knight. (I just realized that I haven’t, until this moment, posted a link to our discussion.)

George Will rightly calls on Congress to do what’s right: let the Equal Rights Amendment languish. Here’s his conclusion:

ERA advocates argue that Congress has, and courts enforce, such a cramped notion of congressional power that the ERA is necessary to protect women. Actually, what the advocates want, aside from applause, is to disempower Congress. They hope to clutter the Constitution with vague language that courts will use to impose unspecified social policies (concerning “equal pay,” abortion and other matters) that Congress will not pass.

A Venn diagram probably would show an almost complete overlap of today’s victory-at-any-price ERA advocates and the most vociferous progressive critics of the previous president’s disdain for constitutional norms.

Arnold Kling recommends Bridget Phetasy’s podcast with Jonathan Haidt.

Richard Nixon’s “gold treachery” made Jim Bovard a cynic realist.

William Walker recalls Nixon’s calamitous wage-price freezes. A slice:

Then, on June 13, 1973, in a show of defiance as the Watergate hearings unfolded, Nixon decreed a second nationwide price freeze and follow-on control program. This time, the measures were deeply unpopular. The novelty had worn off for consumers, and farmers and business owners disliked the new round of bureaucratic rules. Then the economic fundamentals of the program were upended by two dramatic and unforeseen events. In October 1973, the Saudis doubled the price of crude-oil exports, leading to a rapid escalation of gasoline price. Then, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries declared an embargo on all shipments of oil to the U.S. and other Western nations. By the first quarter of 1974, imports dried up. American motorists endured long lines at the pump in the greatest supply disruption the nation has ever experienced.

Joakim Book writes wisely about civility.

“Work, not dependency, was what lifted many people up out of poverty” – so writes Reason‘s Peter Suderman.

Eric Boehm continues his excellent reporting on protectionism’s ugly reality.

Brad Thompson wants the Olympics to be made great again. A slice:

Worst of all, much of the bad at this year’s Games has come from American athletes, who have turned the Olympic Village into an American college campus, where (self-promoting) wokeness has replaced pride in competing for one’s country. After watching and listening to American soccer player Megan Rapinoe and shot putter Raven Saunders beclown themselves as they lectured the world about various forms of American oppression and tyranny, it was time to turn the TV channel and watch the people of Cuba get beaten by their government for their peaceful protests in the name of freedom.

Pierre Lemieux asks an important, but too-seldom-asked, question: Is ‘governing’ good for the governed?