It is bad enough that administrative agencies do most lawmaking in America pursuant to sweeping delegations of rulemaking authority from Congress. Such delegations are not blank checks but depend on intelligible limiting principles. Yet in Chevron and City of Arlington, the high court abandoned that requirement, letting adventurous agencies invent self-serving interpretations to justify using their delegated authority in ways far removed from what Congress intended.
Agencies aren’t impartial participants in these cases but have an interest in interpreting the law in ways that expand their powers. Last week Justice Gorsuch sounded exasperated by yet another example of the “government’s seeking deference for a rule that advantages it.” He seemed sympathetic to Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s observation that AHA presented a “classical problem of statutory interpretation that a court should resolve” without judicial deference. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito both bluntly asked if Chevron should be overruled.
Chipping away at Chevron won’t by itself solve the larger problem in the rise of the administrative state, which as James Madison warned, is that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” But curbing abuses in agency rulemaking by returning to the Administrative Procedure Act would be a good start.
Even when it affords some protection to faculty speech, tenure also creates a barrier to faculty hiring and promotion. It raises the stakes of new faculty hiring and introduces multiple opportunities for other faculty to veto or obstruct a potential candidate’s progress through an academic career. Ideological bias and discrimination are well-documented features of the higher education job market, particularly as academia has shifted sharply to the political left in the last 15 years. In these circumstances, tenure can also become a weaponized tool for excluding minority political perspectives from the hiring and promotion process.
The latest manifestation of Indoctrinology is a 54-page document from the American Medical Association called Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts. The guide condemns several “dominant narratives” in medicine. One is the “narrative of individualism,” and its misbegotten corollary, the notion that health is a personal responsibility. A more “equitable narrative,” the guide instructs, would “expose the political roots underlying apparently ‘natural’ economic arrangements, such as property rights, market conditions, gentrification, oligopolies and low wage rates.” The dominant narratives, says the AMA, “create harm, undermining public health and the advancement of health equity; they must be named, disrupted, and corrected.”
One form of correction that the AMA recommends is “equity explicit” language. Instead of “individuals,” doctors should say “survivors”; instead of “marginalized communities,” they should say, “groups that are struggling against economic marginalization.” We must also be clear that “people are not vulnerable, they are made vulnerable.” Accordingly, we should replace the statement, “Low-income people have the highest level of coronary artery disease,” with “People underpaid and forced into poverty as a result of banking policies, real estate developers gentrifying neighborhoods, and corporations weakening the power of labor movements, among others, have the highest level of coronary artery disease.”
A silver lining around the black-hole-dark Covid cloud is that the hysterical overreaction to the disease gave parents a glimpse into what goes on in K-12 schools (so-called). Fortunately, most K-12 government-school educucrats are a singularly myopic and unintelligent bunch, so – as J.D. Tuccille reports – they are, fortunately, “causing irreparable harm to themselves” (and, hence, unintentionally providing a happy escape for children). A slice:
Such social-justice-y pissiness was difficult to sustain when it turned out that the most enthusiastic converts to homeschooling were African-Americans, among whom DIY education went from 3.3 percent of students pre-COVID to 16.1 percent in the fall of 2020. Nevertheless, teachers unions, control-freak politicians, and their allies continue to insist that anybody who wants to let families guide their kids’ education instead of forcing them to subsidize government institutions is hell-bent on ending public schools.
That narrative also becomes difficult to sustain, or maybe just irrelevant, when public schools set about ending themselves. But instead of having the good grace to exit the scene in a planned way, they self-immolate in abrupt increments (one day here, a few days there, one-fifth of the school week elsewhere) with little provision made for transitioning to something else.
That the failure of so many U.S. banks during the early 1930s should have prompted calls for some sort of major reform is hardly surprising. Not for the first time, many argued that U.S. banks should be given greater freedom to branch, like their Canadian counterparts. But as had happened on previous occasions, and would continue to be the case for some decades, their efforts were thwarted by established unit bankers, who instead lobbied for federal deposit insurance. To say that the FDIC was established at the start of 1934 to serve as a crutch for a crippled unit banking system to lean on would not be at all inaccurate.