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Some Non-Covid Links

Rachel Ferguson and Marcus Witcher explain that markets are a powerful disinfectant against racial discrimination. Two slices:

In Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America, we collect classical liberal insights on Black American history as well as recommendations to increase Black flourishing today. We felt deeply the misfortune that the political philosophy which has done the most to increase the material well-being of impoverished people across the globe is not associated in the minds of most Americans with liberation for marginalized groups. From William Lloyd Garrison and his band of free market abolitionists; to Frederick Douglass’s challenge that America “live up to the Constitution;” to Moorfield Storey and Oswald Garrison Villard helping to found the NAACP; to Rose Wilder Lane’s libertarian arguments for Black rights in the Pittsburgh Courier; to Zora Neale Hurston’s passionate individualism, there is a clear line of pro-Black classical liberal thinkers pointing to the unrealized promise of America’s excellent Founding ideals when it came to its Black population.


But the end of Jim Crow only meant the invention of new ways to abrogate Black rights, and this time with the far bigger weapon of massive federal projects. Progressive social engineering reared its ugly head through the Federal Housing Administration’s red-lining policy, but graduated to the construction of the Federal Highway System, and so-called ‘urban renewal,’ Orwellian new-speak for eminent domain abuse, referred to popularly as ‘Negro removal.’

The addition of terrible economic policies and a welfare state arranged according to deeply perverse incentives added to the perfect storm of central planning disasters, grinding decades of astounding Black economic growth to a halt in the early 1970s. After the precipitous drop from 89 percent below the poverty rate in 1940 to 30 percent by 1970, we’ve eked out only another 10 percent drop in the last 50 years, leaving Black Americans at double the proportion in poverty when compared to the white population.

Classical liberals and libertarians have been especially sensitive to issues that disparately affect Black Americans, such as the drug war and the mass incarceration crisis. They’ve been correct, though, to argue for these as American crises, not simply Black ones. To bring down our incarceration numbers, prosecutors don’t need diversity training; they need accountability, non-perverse incentives, and far less arbitrary power.

Tarnell Brown reviews Rachel Ferguson’s and Marcus Witcher’s Black Liberation Through the Marketplace. A slice:

A vibrant marketplace requires that the minority rights be protected against majoritarian whims, and this guarantee is one of the most basic tenets of classical liberalism. Despite the guiding framework of the American Constitution, the history of the United States is replete with state failures to properly police the rights of subgroups within its purview. Ferguson and Witcher provide several examples of these tragic derelictions of duty, warning the reader that the recounting of these instances is graphic and disturbing. One such case, the Colfax Massacre of Easter Sunday, 1873, saw a disagreement over the results of the Louisiana gubernatorial race turn deadly, resulting in over 100 Black fatalities.

Glenn Loury is wise. A slice:

I take no pleasure in doing so but feel obliged to report this reality: equality of dignity, equality of standing, of honor, of security in one’s position within society, an equal ability to command the respect of others—such things cannot simply be handed over. Nor will they be the fruit of insurrection, violent uprising, or rebellion. Equality of this sort is something we must wrest with our bare hands from a cruel and indifferent world by means of our own effort, inspired by the example of our enslaved and newly freed ancestors. We must make ourselves equal. No one can do that for us. My fear is that, until we recognize and accept this unlovely but inexorable fact about the human condition—until we disdain the rhetoric and embrace the realities about race in our country—the disparities that have so troubled our politics and so threatened our domestic tranquility will continue to persist.

Here’s David Henderson on Paul Joskow on the late, great Harold Demsetz.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board warns of the rolling blackouts that – because of ‘green-energy’ initiatives – await millions of Americans this summer. A slice:

Summer is around the corner, and we suggest you prepare by buying an emergency generator, if you can find one in stock. Last week the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned that two-thirds of the U.S. could experience blackouts this summer. Welcome to the “green energy transition.”

We’ve been warning for years that climate policies would make the grid more vulnerable to vacillations in supply and demand. And here we are. Some of the mainstream press are belatedly catching on that blackouts are coming, but they still don’t grasp the real problem: The forced transition to green energy is distorting energy markets and destabilizing the grid.


One problem is that subsidies enable wind and solar generators to turn a profit even when the supply of electricity exceeds demand. Coal and nuclear plants, on the other hand, can’t make money running only some of the time, so many have shut down. Natural-gas-fired plants can help pick up the slack, but there aren’t enough of them to back up all of the renewables coming onto the grid.

John Tierney writes wisely about school shootings. A slice:

There are legitimate issues to debate about criminal violence in America, which has indeed been increasing, but we’re not going to identify the causes or remedies by focusing on a few isolated crimes and traumatizing Americans in the process. Surveys show that half of Americans worry about being the victim of a mass shooting, and a third of them avoid going to certain places and events because of this fear. More than 60 percent of parents worry that their child will be killed in a mass shooting at school.

Children do need to be better protected from criminals, and there might be ways to make schools safer, but students don’t need the active-shooter drills now conducted in over 95 percent of the nation’s schools, and which are associated with higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety. Nor do children and parents need to hear the deceptive statistics promoted by the press and the White House’s fearmonger-in-chief.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Randy Simmons about public choice.

Nick Gillespie argues that Tucker Carlson’s “great replacement theory” is “spectacularly wrong.”

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