≡ Menu

Some Links

Whatever optimism George Will might have about the future of American politics springs from a pessimistic place. Here’s his conclusion:

John McCain’s mordant humor made him say that it is always darkest before it turns pitch black. However, it is possible that this acutely embarrassing moment in U.S. history actually is rock bottom, with a bounce coming.

I believe that I failed – until now – to share a link to Deirdre McCloskey’s September 2021 appearance on the Economic History Podcast.

Larry Reed tells the tale of FDR’s announcement, on April 5th, 1933, of his intent to seize steal Americans’ gold.

My Mercatus Center colleague Alden Abbott reports on another bad turn taken by E.U. antitrust enforcers.

GMU Econ alum Scott Drylie uses the life of Queen Elizabeth II to tell a truly great story. A slice:

Royal life was, indeed, short. From Henry II (born 1133) until George I (born 1660), monarchs’ average lifespan was fifty years. But when including childhood mortality of royals, average life expectancy was hardly better than that of commoners tilling fields in Sussex—the high 20s to low 30s—with little to no improvement over these years.

Royal life was also nasty. Death frequently came by dysentery, smallpox, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Add in conditions such as bleeding ulcers, syphilis, scurvy, and disorders of the skin, kidney, and mind. It is clear that royal living was always mixed with dying, pleasures with pains. The portrait of a graceful death by “natural causes” is a modern one.

Royal life was also brutish. Roughly 60 percent of royal children died before the age of five—a rate worse than their subjects! Royals tended to live in urban areas. Urbanity meant disease. By trying to overcome a solitary existence, they invited a brutish one. Unimaginable wealth still ended in entirely imaginable deaths.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, University of Chicago economist Tomas Philipson warns that drug-price controls are hazardous to our health.

The rationale for the price controls is to save taxpayers and seniors money. But the savings on existing drugs are minuscule in comparison to the loss in health resulting from a decrease in drug innovation, which is already taking place. The Congressional Budget Office finds the Inflation Reduction Act will cut drug spending by $238 billion by 2031. Meanwhile, a University of Chicago analysis (of which I am a co-author) predicts the cuts in innovation in new drugs will lead to health losses valued at $18 trillion during the same period.

Eric Boehm is correct: “Trump’s Indictment Illustrates How the Wackos Have Hijacked Politics.”

Arnold Kling decries the perverse incentives that adversely select ‘leaders.’

Thorsteinn Siglaugsson praises the Swedish government for bucking the 2020-2022 trend by not imprisoning its population.