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Wall Street Journal columnist Gerard Baker is correct in writing this:

If I had to pick the most worrying characteristic of our current dystopia, I would choose the unsettling disconnect between the seriousness of the challenges we face and the public discourse that is supposed to be addressing them.


We are used to politicians bending facts and logic to fit their aims, but the problem goes well beyond political rhetoric. Our larger discourse is dominated by cultural authorities who want us to believe things that the human mind rebels against—that there is no such thing as biological sex, that the way to fight past discrimination is with present discrimination, that not punishing crime is the way to prevent crime, that words can mean whatever they tell us they mean. These are the nostrums of the dominant progressives in our culture, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves that conservatives aren’t also susceptible to impossible ideas and implausible theories.

Arnold Kling wonders if the U.S. economy will soon come to a screeching halt.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy reports that not all methods of deregulation are equal.

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan writes insightfully about student-loan repayment and ‘forgiveness.’ Here’s Bryan’s conclusion:

What is to be done? Let me start by unhelpfully pointing out that the student loan suspension was outrageous from the get-go. The federal government was handing out massive piles of free money to ensure that meeting your pre-Covid financial obligations was easy. Once the government does that, going on to declare that you don’t have to meet your pre-Covid financial obligations was a travesty from almost any point of view.

Yes yes, but what is to be done now?

First and foremost, this is a perfect time to end government-supported student loans forever. To say, “We thought we could avoid the slippery slope from subsidized loans to free college for all. We were utterly wrong, so we’re killing the program.” At minimum, this is a great time to drastically raise the interest rate to compensate taxpayers for much higher repayment risk going forward.

Second, we clearly need harsh enforcement, ideally backed by new draconian punishments. This won’t just directly encourage individuals to resume repayments. It will help us surmount the “safety in numbers” problem. Without some eye-bugging public examples of the consequences of default, innocent taxpayers will be left holding a bag with almost $2 trillion in student debt.

Unfair? Give me a break. Due to the suspension of all interest payments plus massive inflation, the real value of student debt has already fallen 13% since March. Borrowers have been getting an insanely great deal. It’s high time for this madness to stop.

Nick Gillespie talks with Corey DeAngelis about school reform.

Cato’s Chris Edwards explains why entrepreneurs are moving to Florida and Texas. A slice:

How can states attract interstate movers? IRS data suggest that tax burdens are one driver of migration. Of the 25 lowest‐​tax states, 20 enjoyed net in‐​migration from other states in 2020.

Top earners may be particularly responsive to interstate tax differences. Elon Musk apparently saved half a billion dollars when he moved from California, with its 13.3% top income tax rate, to Texas, with its zero rate. Numerous leaders in finance, such as Carl Icahn, have escaped from New York City and its 14.8% top income tax rate and settled in Florida, with its zero rate.

Jon Sanders isn’t impressed with Biden’s Orwellian-named Inflation Reduction Act.

Michael Shellenberger decries the detachment from reality about the climate of many on America’s political left.

Christina Maas reports on the dangerous ideas of the progressive authoritarian Jacinda Ardern – ideas, I fear, that increasing numbers of people on the left and the right find compelling.

Jeffrey Tucker reminds us that Trump supported covid lockdowns (at least until, fortunately, Scott Atlas showed up at the White House).

Jay Bhattacharya and Ramesh Thakur discuss, in this video, covid and covid authoritarianism, especially as these played out in Australia.