≡ Menu

Some Links

The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto continues to expose the mix of errors and nothingness that constitute the attack on Justice Clarence Thomas. A slice:

So what’s the scandal here? It isn’t clear, and the lack of clarity is part of ProPublica’s technique, which is to imply a violation while evading the question of what standard is supposed to have been violated.

“Thomas did not report the tuition payments from Crow on his annual financial disclosures,” the troika report. That’s true, but the question is whether he was required to do so. The answer is unambiguously no: The relevant statute requires reporting gifts to a “dependent child,” a term whose definition is limited to “any individual who is a son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter.” The statute would have kicked in if the Thomases had adopted the boy, but they didn’t.

Even ProPublica co-founder Richard Tofel was able to figure this out. On Thursday morning he tweeted that “it’s all okay because while Thomas said he was raising the kid ‘as a son,’ and had himself appointed legal guardian, the young man is officially just a great-nephew.” Disregard Mr. Tofel’s smarmy, partisan tone, and he has provided what is missing from the troika’s report—a clear explanation of why no disclosure was required.

Also exposing the silliness of the accusations now hurled at Justice Thomas is National Review‘s Rich Lowry.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy, explains that Hilaire Belloc’s economic pronouncements do not justify any attempt to ‘realign’ capitalism with the ‘common good.’

Also from Veronique is this call for Biden to come to the debt-ceiling negotiating table.

Nick Gillespie explains that “Vivek Ramaswamy Is Wrong About the National Debt.”

Juliette Sellgren talks with Reason‘s Stephanie Slade about fusionism.

David Henderson likes my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein’s recent essay on David Hume and war.

Here’s the abstract of a new paper – titled “Minimum Wages and Poverty: New Evidence from Dynamic Difference-in-Differences Estimates” – by Richard Burkhauser, Drew McNichols, and Joseph Sabia:

Advocates of minimum wage increases have long touted their potential to reduce poverty. This study assesses this claim. Using data spanning nearly four decades from the March Current Population Survey, and a dynamic difference-in-differences approach, we find that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage is associated with a (statistically insignificant) 0.17 percent increase in the probability of longer-run poverty among all persons. With 95% confidence, we can rule out long-run poverty elasticities with respect to the minimum wage of less than -0.129, which includes central poverty elasticities reported by Dube (2019). Prior evidence suggesting large poverty-reducing effects of the minimum wage are (i) highly sensitive to researcher’s choice of macroeconomic controls, and (ii) driven by specifications that limit counterfactuals to geographically proximate states (“close controls”), which poorly match treatment states’ pre-treatment poverty trends. Moreover, an examination of the post-Great Recession era — which saw frequent, large increases in state minimum wages — failed to uncover poverty-reducing effects of the minimum wage across a wide set of specifications. Finally, we find that less than 10 percent of workers who would be affected by a newly proposed $15 federal minimum wage live in poor families.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

Rochelle Walensky’s legacy will be the shattered dreams of a generation of American kids, especially poor and minority kids, whose futures she marred by working to keep schools closed in 2021.