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Some Non-Covid Links

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GMU Econ grad student Dominic Pino, writing at National Review, accurately describes Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) new supply-chain web bill as “unserious. [2]” A slice:

Two things stand out. First, measuring goods by percentage of value doesn’t make very much sense. The value of a manufactured good is as a completed product, and it’s not just the sum of its parts. For example, if a pair of shoes costs $60, you wouldn’t pay $30 for only one of them. The shoes are only valuable to you as a pair; nobody walks around with one shoe. Producers face a similar dynamic. If it’s prohibitively expensive to make half of a manufactured good, there’s often no use making the good at all.

Second, for a senator who is skeptical [3] of “the deep state,” Hawley seems to put great trust in the career bureaucrats at the Department of Commerce and the Department of Defense. He apparently believes they have the knowledge and authority to decide for everyone which goods and inputs are essential and which ones are not.

Arnold Kling reviews Bret Weinstein’s and Heather Heying’s new book [4].

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is unimpressed with Meghan Markle’s attempt to defend state-mandated paid leave [5]. Here’s Vero’s conclusion:

I would love the duchess to call me (she shouldn’t have a hard time finding my number, since she can find the private number of a U.S. senator). If she calls, I will explain why some of us fervently oppose a federal paid-leave program. The reason isn’t that we don’t understand the benefit of paid leave. It has to do with 1) the unintended consequences of the federal provision on its beneficiaries, and, 2) the inability of government programs to deliver the benefit to those who do not have it currently.

Also from Vero is this criticism of the global tax cartel [6]. A slice:

Corporations may not be popular, but if we squeeze them too hard, how many raises can we expect them to hand out to American workers? What happens to the prices we pay for their products? Even corporations need accountable government, and that means having options in case taxes become too punishing.

I’m glad that someone – in this case, Charles Cooke – is pushing back against the absurd assertion that the reason for the Democrats’ terrible performance in Tuesday’s elections is that the Democrats on Capitol Hill haven’t yet succeeded in enacting all the hyper-Progressive legislation supported by Biden [7].

For more insight about Tuesday’s election read Reason‘s Matt Welch [8].

Tim Carney exposes the mainstream-media’s error in asserting that parental furor at public “schools” was largely a right-wing hoax [9]. A slice:

Having the news media as a yes man is dangerous.

I’m old enough to remember when the Washington Post decided that the main story in the 2009 gubernatorial election was that Bob McDonnell had written a master’s thesis about how women leaving the home for work might affect family life. The Post was literally obsessed [10]with this and covered this as the central campaign issue for two months.

The Post convinced Creigh Deeds to start campaigning on the issue, [11]which of course did him no good.

Having the whole news media on your side is often helpful — such as when Joe Biden [12] enjoyed a media blackout on his son’s influence-peddling. But when it convinces you that issues matter that don’t, or that issues don’t matter that do, it’s a handicap.

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Bjorn Lomborg argues persuasively that “we’re safer from climate disasters than ever before. [13]” A slice:

As the world has gotten richer and its population has grown, the number and quality of structures in the path of floods, fires, and hurricanes have risen. If you remove this variable by looking at damage as a percent of gross domestic product, it actually paints an optimistic picture. The trend of weather-related damages from 1990 to 2020 declined from 0.26% of global GDP to 0.18%. A landmark study [14] shows this has been the trend for poor and rich countries alike, regardless of the types of disaster. Economic growth and innovation have insulated all sorts of people from floods, droughts, wind, heat and cold.