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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will details a disgusting example of the extent to which campus irrationality and petty tyranny unleashed in the name of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” have grown. A slice:

What makes UIC worth noticing, however, are the punishments it imposed. At first, it said that Kilborn’s sensitivity training would be mandated only if four semesters of his recorded classes indicated a harassing classroom environment. Despite exemplary performance reviews, he was declared “ineligible” for an announced, across-the-board 2 percent pay raise. Then UIC said he would have to undergo sensitivity training after all. An eight-week diversity instruction regimen would involve 20 hours of course work, five “self-reflection” papers, weekly 90-minute sessions with a diversity “trainer” and supplemental molding by the trainer.

Could those who concocted this sentence ever recognize their kinship with the moral purifiers of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge? Or of Mao’s Cultural Revolution? Or the Stalinist interrogator Gletkin in Arthur Koestler’s 1940 novel “Darkness at Noon”? If so, would UIC’s unconscious emulators be discomfited by the resemblance? Unlikely.

Today, bureaucrats parasitic off academia’s scholarly mission outnumber actual scholars. These threat-discerners, diversity-planners, bias-detectors, sensitivity-promoters, sustainability-guarantors and other beneficiaries of today’s multibillion-dollar social justice industry are doing well during the nation’s supposed apocalypse.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns that many policies that in name are “pro-worker” are in actuality anti-worker. A slice:

People on the left have always been inclined to address poverty and other ills with government benefits, without much worry over their preferred programs’ notable, unintended consequences. From the push for higher minimum wages to the implementation of a federal paid-leave program, they often overlook the ways in which these policies generate potential losses of work hours (or even lost jobs), lower wages, and reduced prospects for promotion (especially for women). Lately, people on the political right have joined the same chorus to demand counterproductive proposals.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown explains that Facebook’s “monopoly” (so called) was never destined to last.

David Henderson reflects on a new poll of prominent economists who were asked about price controls.

Michael Derchin praises Justice Stephen Breyer for his efforts long ago to deregulated airlines. A slice:

Since deregulation, average domestic round-trip real airfares have plunged about 60%, to $302 from $695. Load factors—the percentage of seats filled on each flight—stood at 84% just before the pandemic, compared with 55% before deregulation. In the early 1970s, 49% of U.S. adults had flown. In 2020 the share was 87%.

“Seattle’s Soda Tax Has Been Great for…Beer Sales” – so reports Baylen Linnekin.

The Cincinnati Bengals will play against the Los Angeles Rams, in Los Angeles, in today’s Super Bowl – played in a very expensive stadium for which taxpayers paid not one cent. Here’s more from Eric Boehm:

But the most remarkable thing about the stadium, which opened in September 2020, isn’t its very-SoCal design elements or the packed schedule of high-profile events to be held there.

It’s that the billion-dollar stadium was built without public subsidies. In terms of public policy, SoFi Stadium might be one of the most important stadiums in American history—a venue that points toward a future where billionaires who love sports, rather than taxpayers, serve as patrons of professional athletics rather than rent-seekers.

Andrew Gutmann and Paul Rossi take us inside “the woke indoctrination machine” at work in some elite private schools. Here’s their conclusion:

No longer are private schools focused primarily on teaching critical thinking, fostering intellectual curiosity, and rewarding independent thought. Their new mission is to train a vanguard of activists to lead the charge in tearing down the foundations of society, reminiscent of Maoist China’s Red Guards.

The danger, however, goes far beyond private schools. The same framework called diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice has gained influence in public education, universities, corporate workplaces, the federal government and the military. For the sake of our children and our nation’s future, it must be dismantled.


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