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Scott Jason’s letter in today’s Wall Street Journal is excellent:

Jeb Hensarling’s op-ed “GOP Needs to Leave Trump Behind on Trade” (Oct. 3) could also have mentioned the Jones Act, an indirect tariff on domestic trade. The 100-year-old law has several elements, but its most archaic is the requirement for vessels moving goods between U.S. ports to be American ships with American crews.

Like most who promote protectionist tariffs, proponents of the Jones Act make claims of protecting domestic jobs and national security. Yet there are decades of evidence that show the exact opposite. The U.S. moves only a tiny percentage of its domestic tonnage by water—appalling (and costly) for a nation with our extensive coastline and river systems. Under this protectionist regime, our commercial shipbuilding has also been reduced to near zero and our military shipbuilding is plagued by cost overruns and a capacity shortage that hamstrings the existing fleet. For members of the Republican Party who think that tariffs and protectionist measures are a good idea, the Jones Act provides a case in point as to why they are not.

Scott Jason
Portland, Maine

I agree with Arnold Kling that the best feature of democracy is that it, better than other systems of choosing rulers, ensures that transfers of power are peaceful.

Brian Smith talks with AIER’s Samuel Gregg about markets in America.

Here’s another interview with Samuel Gregg.

Bryan Caplan: Song (re)writer!

Matt Welch isn’t impressed with Margaret Sullivan’s new book.

Will Jones reports on the new study by John Ioannidis, et al. A slice:

COVID-19 is much less deadly in the non-elderly population than previously thought, a major new study of antibody prevalence surveys has concluded.

The study was led by Dr. John Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Stanford University, who famously sounded an early warning on March 17th, 2020 with a widely-read article in Stat News, presciently arguing that “we are making decisions without reliable data” and “with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.”

In the new study, which is currently undergoing peer review, Prof. Ioannidis and colleagues found that across 31 national seroprevalence studies in the pre-vaccination era, the average (median) infection fatality rate of COVID-19 was estimated to be just 0.035% for people aged 0-59 years people and 0.095% for those aged 0-69 years.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

A Ministry of Truth is not less ominous just because it sometimes censors false ideas. More people now believe the vax is magnetic or some such nonsense because of government censorship efforts than if the government had not colluded with social media to suppress the idea.