Understandably disturbed by the FDA’s attempt to shut-down Juul, my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns of the dangers of the administrative state as she reminds us of the benefits of vaping relative to smoking conventional cigarettes. A slice:
The FDA has forgotten why it entered the battlefield in the first place. Every year in the United States, 480,000 people die due to cigarette smoking. They die of illnesses caused by the repeated inhaling of tar, an especially dangerous product of combustion. And here’s the key point: They may be smoking for the buzz of nicotine, but they don’t die from nicotine. This simple fact explains why e-cigarettes came to be. The importance of the innovation lays precisely in its ability to deliver nicotine without the combustion and tar.
The debate has centered on how debt forgiveness will play politically because no other justification exists. The average student loan borrower leaves college with a debt of $28,400. What do students get for that debt? Over the course of their earning lives, those with only some college gained a lifetime earnings increase relative to someone who only completed high school that is 10 times the average debt incurred. On average a graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns 40 times as much; a graduate with a master’s earns 53 times; and a doctoral graduate earns 80 times as much as the debt. Law and medical degree holders earn almost 100 times as much. Even as the share of the population with a college degree has tripled to 30.7% from 10.5% in 1967, the value of that degree has grown. The wage premium for having a college degree has grown to 96.2% today from 55.9% in 1967.
If Mr. Biden forgives $10,000 of debt for some 45 million borrowers, it would almost certainly be the largest gift to such a large number of voters in American history.
Mark Jamison describes the war on Big Tech as incoherent. Here’s his conclusion:
These contradictions in the attacks on Big Tech should cause the attackers cognitive dissonance. As best I can tell, this does not seem to be occurring. This is just as distressing as the poor policies the critics advocate, because their propensity to believe contradictory arguments must be affecting their other policy and regulatory decisions.
We found that immigration reduced union density by 5.7 percentage points between 1980 and 2020, which accounted for 29.7 percent of the overall decline in union density during that period. This effect was concentrated in the private sector and for male workers with a smaller effect for female workers and no effect on public sector unionization. We found this happens because immigrants have a lower preference for unionization and because immigrants increase diversity in the workforce that, in turn, decreases solidarity among workers and raises the transaction costs of forming unions.