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Wall Street Journal columnist James Freeman isn’t buying Fauci’s latest irresponsible remarks, conveyed in the New York Times, about lockdowns. Two slices from Freeman:

To expose the falsity of Dr. Fauci’s attempt to avoid responsibility for the consequences of his actions and advice, one doesn’t even need to look beyond the pages of the New York Times. Not that the paper was holding him to account. He was often cast as a heroic figure as he pushed back against those who tried to warn of the great harms of closing society. Dr. Fauci wasn’t deferring to economic experts or even to medical experts who didn’t share his Covid prescription—he was using his powerful perch to forcefully rebut them. And he largely succeeded, to the great detriment of America’s children.

As for Dr. Fauci’s claim that he looked at things from “a purely public-health standpoint,” this too deserves great skepticism. One of the reasons his advice was so destructive is that it was based on a purely Covid standpoint—and with a particular approach that didn’t even yield exceptional Covid outcomes—rather than assessing other threats to health, such as mental illness and cancer, the treatment of which suffered during the shutdowns.


Shame on President Trump for not firing the destructive doctor in 2020, and shame on Dr. Fauci for trying to rewrite this history in 2023.

Mary Katharine Ham rightly criticizes the execrable Randi Weingarten. A slice:

Weingarten is a powerful political force in the Democratic Party. She and her allies in Democratic politics used their leverage to keep school doors closed to students for more than a year, with catastrophic results for the learning and mental health of those students.

The school closures were the longest in modern history, they were more draconian than the rest of the developed world, they were at odds with the proof all around this country in private schools and in red-state public schools that schools could indeed open safely.

Jennifer Sey tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

I was in Greeley, CO today interviewing a 16 year old for a documentary film about the impact of school closures.

At 13, she was left to care for 2 younger siblings.

She was stuck at home with an abuser.

She stopped attending classes.

At 15, she dropped out of high school.

She’s returned to school thanks to a dedicated, loving grandparent.

She’s one of the lucky ones – she had a guardian to step in and get her back on track.

She’s hoping to catch up and graduate next year. But it’s a struggle.

School closures altered the course of this child’s life.

Pray for her. She’s an amazing young woman who already faced tremendous challenges.

@rweingarten is responsible. Fauci is responsible. I won’t forget what they did. Neither should you.

Jeff Jacoby decries the Biden administration’s preposterous policy of forcing mortgage borrowers with good credit ratings to subsidize mortgage borrowers with bad credit ratings. Three slices:

You’ve done everything you were supposed to do, so this may come as an unwelcome surprise: Because your credit rating is so good and your down payment is so high, the Biden administration has decided to penalize you with a hefty new fee and a higher mortgage rate. As of May 1, mortgage costs for home buyers with risky credit backgrounds will be reduced, resulting in more favorable interest rates. In order to subsidize that discount for less creditworthy borrowers, someone has to pay more. That someone is you and buyers like you — those with credit scores higher than 680 and down payments of 15 percent or more.

The fees involved are called loan-level price adjustments, or LLPAs. These are charges paid upfront; they apply to all mortgages controlled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giant government-chartered finance firms that buy up most home mortgages. LLPA fees are determined by a borrower’s credit score and down payment size, and are commonly converted into percentage points that affect the buyer’s interest rate.

Lending to borrowers with lower credit scores is risky, since by definition they’re less likely to pay back what they borrow. To cover that risk, lenders have to charge them more for mortgages. That makes it harder for low-income borrowers, who are disproportionately Black, to qualify for loans, which exacerbates the racial gap in homeownership. Hence the Biden administration’s plan to “increase pricing support for purchase borrowers limited by income or by wealth,” to quote Sandra Thompson, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Borrowers with great credit scores will pay higher fees so that those with not-so-great scores can get a discount, thereby enabling more people with poor credit to buy homes.

The only thing wrong with that theory is — everything.


Second, it is not a kindness to qualify borrowers for mortgages they can’t afford. Doesn’t the White House remember the 2008 subprime loan crisis? Lenders went bankrupt, homes were foreclosed on, the housing market collapsed, and the credit of untold thousands of Americans was shredded, largely because of government policies that promoted lending to borrowers who weren’t creditworthy.


The way to expand homeownership is not to undermine credit scores. It is to get lower-income earners to do what you did — pay their bills faithfully, live within their means, and save for the future. You shouldn’t be punished for having done the right thing, and no one who didn’t should be getting a reward.

Scott Lincicome is always worth reading. Here’s a slice from his latest essay:

And, even when not being outright protectionist, various anti-China “friendshoring” initiatives and restrictions—such as the IRA subsidy requirement that EV battery minerals be sourced from “free trade agreement” countries—will likely exclude developing countries like Indonesia (which has a lot of those minerals but also does a lot of business with China).

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino talks with Robert Hetzel about his, Hetzel’s, new book, The Federal Reserve: A New History.

GMU Econ alums John Robinson and J. Robert Subrick look closely at (what is widely believed to be) Adam Smith’s labor theory of value. A slice:

We conjecture that Smith recognized the incoherence of a LTV and employed the language as a sort of noble lie to advance his liberal plan for society. We argue that Smith would have known of an alternative explanation for value, such as the role of scarcity and subjective desires in determining value, as outlined in LJ [Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence]. We also claim that Smith may have had good reason to shroud or otherwise deemphasize this alternative explanation of value in his magnum opus.

Roger Ream talks with Jason Clemens and Ted Tucker about the realities of socialism.