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Some Non-Covid Links

Tweet [1]

George Will proposes an excellent amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an amendment which would read: “No senator or former senator shall be eligible to be president.” [2] A slice:

Presidents who have never run anything larger than a Senate office. Who have confused striking poses — in the Capitol, on Twitter — with governing. Who have delegated legislative powers to the executive — for example, who have passed sentiment-affirmations masquerading as laws: Hurray for education and the environment; the executive branch shall fill in the details.

And who have been comfortable running the government on continuing resolutions (at existing funding levels) because Congress is incapable of budgeting. There have been 128 CRs [3] in the previous 25 fiscal years — 41 since 2012. Why look for presidents among senators, who have made irresponsibility routine?

Liz Wolfe reports on one of the hordes of progressives who are led by Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter into states of utter idiocy [4].

For more on Musk, here’s Robby Soave [5].

And here’s more from the Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board on the political-left’s wackadoodle reaction to Musk’s purchase of Twitter [6]. A slice:

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey tweeted that Congress [7] “must pass laws to protect privacy and promote algorithmic justice.” For the record, Mr. Musk says his plan [8] for Twitter includes “making the algorithms open source to increase trust.” He’s risking billions of his own money, so he hardly wants users and advertisers to flee. There’s no digital Berlin Wall keeping people trapped in the Twitterverse.

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady understands economics [9]. A slice:

When it comes to economic malpractice, it’s hard to beat Argentina, the breadbasket of the region. It recorded monthly inflation of 6.7% in March. Some analysts [10] now expect 2022 inflation to be near 60%, following 2021 inflation [11] of over 50%.

As always this inflation is a monetary phenomenon—to paraphrase Milton Friedman. President Alberto Fernández’s government, in long-standing Argentine tradition, has been deepening the country’s indebtedness to finance its deficit spending. According to Pablo Guidotti, a professor of economics at Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, since 2000 government expenditures, as a percentage of gross domestic product, have doubled to 40% from 20%. Government debt as percentage of GDP is now about 100%. To pay the bills, the central bank prints pesos with abandon, sending prices through the roof.

My Mercatus Center colleague Adam Thierer reviews the new book Questioning the Entrepreneurial State [12]. A slice:

The essays in Questioning the Entrepreneurial State offer a different perspective, rooted in the realities on the ground in Europe today. Taken together, the chapters tell a fairly consistent story: Despite the existence of many different industrial policy schemes at the continental and country level, Europe isn’t in very good shape on the tech and innovation front. The heavy-handed policies and volumes of regulations imposed by the European Union and its member states have played a role in that outcome. But these governments have simultaneously been pushing to promote innovation using a variety of technocratic policy levers and industrial policy schemes. Despite all those well-intentioned efforts, the EU has struggled to keep up with the US and China in most important modern tech sectors.

Inspired by Adam Smith, my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein – writing at City Journal – offers a better understanding of justice [13]. A slice:

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments [14], Smith distinguishes between commutative justice, or not messing with other people’s stuff; distributive justice, or making a becoming use of what is one’s own; and estimative justice, or estimating objects properly. When a claim not to have our possessions messed with is made against government, it is called liberty. Yet even classical liberals can sense that justice extends further. What, after all, justifies commutative justice or liberty but some larger principles?

George Leef asks if there’s any chance of restoring our lost freedom [15].

My friend Hans Eicholz suggests that I should open up a brick and mortar Cafe Hayek next door to the establishment reported on here. The contrast would be remarkable! [16]

Bryan Caplan writes here about BLM and collective guilt [17]. Here’s Bryan’s conclusion, that I believe to be right:

What’s the correct conclusion? I maintain: Strict blame for the violent crime of both police and rioters, tangential blame for associated police and protestors, and no blame for mere bystanders [18] – including, above all, “society.” I suspect this position will displease almost everyone, but how is it wrong?