Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on March 16, 2023

in Books, Budget Issues, Crony Capitalism, Media, Regulation, Risk and Safety, Science, Social Security, Taxes

George Will is appropriately harsh in his condemnation of the uncivilized, hateful, brutish Stanford Law School students who, with the help of that School’s “diversity” dean, shouted down a speaker. Two slices:

Before reading this, watch the nine-minute video, widely available online, of last week’s mob victory at Stanford Law School. Note especially Tirien Steinbach, who, you should not be shocked to learn, is the law school’s associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Pseudo-intellectual smugness and moral cowardice apparently are necessary and sufficient prerequisites for DEI careers — there are many thousands of them — enforcing campus orthodoxies.


Larded with unstinting parental praise and garlanded with unearned laurels, these cosseted children arrive at college thinking highly of themselves and expecting others to ratify their complacent self-assessment. Surely it was as undergraduates that Stanford’s law school silencers became what they are: expensively credentialed but negligibly educated brats.

Stanford’s president and the law school’s dean jointly say they are sorry about the unpleasantness. Not, however, so sorry, as of this writing, that they have fired Steinbach — although they say she refused to do her job: “Staff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.” The depth of that commitment can be gauged by this tepid rebuke, in bureaucracy-speak, of Steinbach for being improperly “aligned.” As this is written, many of Stanford’s future lawyers are demanding that the dean apologize for apologizing.

Stanford has not expelled any of the imperfectly “aligned” disruptors. The school might be improved by the departure ofthe student whose idea of intellect in the service of social justice was to shout sexual boastings and scabrous insults. Readers can find in the Washington Free Beacon the insulter’s unintended proof that there is indecent exposure of the mind as well as the body.

Todd Henderson proposes a “capitalist way to fix Social Security.” Here’s his conclusion:

The upshot of investing Americans’ futures in the stock market is not only that it would yield better returns, but that it would also alleviate Democrats’ concerns about the alleged wedge between capital and labor. If more Americans are invested in stocks—through a no-fee market index fund—they would be the beneficiaries of stock buybacks, dividends, and rising corporate profits. Instead of stoking class envy, let’s turn workers into capitalists.

GMU Econ alum Nikolai Wenzel describes Biden’s proposed budget as “smoke, mirrors, and class warfare.”

My former Mercatus Center colleague Jack Salmon reports on “the return of the wealth tax debate.” A slice:

In 2017, France eliminated its wealth tax after the prime minister acknowledged it was prompting the departure of 10,000 to 12,000 millionaires each year. This tax impeded economic growth and contributed to just over 1% of overall tax revenue, which is an inadequate return for the cost.

Sweden, which is often cited as a progressive policy model, had a wealth tax for almost 100 years before abandoning it in 2007. The tax had virtually no effect on government finances while being blamed for significant capital flight. Germany also had a wealth tax, but it was deemed unconstitutional and abolished in 1996. Wealth taxes have not proven successful worldwide, and it remains uncertain whether the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the authority to impose such a tax.

“Get your new washing machine before Biden makes them illegal” – and get also your new gas stove.

John Stossel identifies a major reason for U.S. flight delays. A slice:

Air traffic control is still a lot like it was in the 1960s. Controllers use paper strips to track flights. Instead of using computers, they move paper around manually.

Vinay Prasad defends the Cochrane study on masking from covidian ideologues. A slice:

[Zeynep] Tufecki went on to cite a bunch of low credibility studies to support masks, but this is embarrassing. It is like citing mouse model research that a drug should work after the pooled analysis of randomized, phase 3 trials is negative.

Paul Thacker unmasks Zeynep Tufekci.

Sue Julians tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Blimey. It ain’t over yet.
If pressure was put on Cochrane to change the plain language summary by people who pushed for mask mandates, and Cochrane capitulated without consulting the authors, it’s not just the CDC who needs their processes checked for resilience and objectivity.

Fred Skulthorp reviews Toby Green’s and Thomas Fazi’s The Lockdown Consensus. A slice:

Beyond debating the efficacy of lockdowns (academic studies arguing both for and against now number in the hundreds) at times the Covid Consensus relies on a sense of moral outrage. This is most effectively conveyed when detailing the suffering of children in some of the world’s poorest countries. A March 2020 UNESCO report warned of the devastating impact on children’s wellbeing and health brought about by pursuing lockdown policies. Despite this, the policy prevailed in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries. In the Philippines, for example, children were not allowed out of their homes for twenty months, and in Angola not for seven months. Education inequality, mental health problems and child sexual abuse soared. Perhaps the biggest failure of the pandemic was the imposition of a “one size fits all” policy that led to120 million people being pushed into the most extreme form of poverty around the world, much of which Green and Fazi argue was accountable not to the virus but to the policies pushed by a global health establishment.

Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: