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Art Carden draws important lessons from Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion about the realities of economic growth. Here’s his conclusion:

Allegedly, American officials wanted Soviet officials to see Graceland because it showed how this is the land of opportunity. Even a poor kid from Tupelo, Mississippi could make it big in the Land of Opportunity. The real “capitalist achievement,” however, isn’t Graceland. It’s the fact that compared to the stuff of the average person’s day-to-day life in 2023, Graceland just isn’t that impressive.

David Henderson ably defends himself – and the late Robert Lucas – from John Tamny’s misunderstandings.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Phil Gramm and Mike Solon identify the core of what’s at stake in the fight over the debt ceiling. A slice:

Before the pandemic, the Congressional Budget Office in January 2020 projected that total discretionary outlays in fiscal 2024 would grow to $1.549 trillion—which, adjusted for higher inflation, amounted to $1.694 trillion. The most recent CBO estimate projects that fiscal 2024 discretionary spending will clock in at $1.864 trillion—a 10% real increase from the pre-pandemic estimate. Nondefense outlays have risen 18.8% over the same period, while defense outlays have fallen 0.28% in after-inflation dollars.

Chris Edwards warns of the collateral damage of increased ‘enforcement’ by the IRS.

Mike Munger explains that all housing is indeed still affordable. A slice:

But consider the unseen. Suppose that we do not allow new construction, and we use rent-control to keep costs “fair” for the existing residents. Then the prices of what few homes and apartments come on the market will skyrocket, and the market will collapse into a system of “know-who,” where flats are not advertised but allocated by connections and bribery.

Also from Mike Munger is this lovely remembrance of the late Geoff Brennan.

This letter in the Wall Street Journal by Dan Thornton is spot-on:

Dan Katz and Stephen Miran are right to note that recent government actions have heightened risk (“The FDIC Guarantees Instability,” op-ed, May 11), but they fail to note the fundamental problem: Transferring the cost of failure from the risk-takers to others increases overall market risk.

Investors try to get the highest return on investments by maximizing the difference between the expected return from success and the expected cost of failure. When the government steps in and transfers the cost of failure to taxpayers, present and future, or others, such as well-managed banks, the expected cost of failure decreases and risk-taking increases. This is what the government has been doing since 2007 in a misguided attempt to stabilize financial markets. It hasn’t worked. It never will.

Dan Thornton
Des Peres, Mo.

Tom Slater – with inspiration from the great Zora Neale Hurston – exposes “the dangerous nonsense of white guilt.” A slice:

One of the reasons that woke identitarianism is so dangerous is that it risks reviving white identitarianism. The far right has for years been latching on to the new racial victim politics to present white people as the truly put-upon group.

Eugyppius shares news that’s scary but predictable:

German government report names the pandemic as a precedent for environmental policy, says lockdowns show that behavioural restrictions are possible & can win majority support with the right messaging.

Scott Atlas delivered this year’s graduation speech at the New College of Florida (to an audience populated with uncivilized brutes).

Let_Oregon_Learn tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

For those of you living in Blue states in 2020, when did you realize we were hosed? For me it was when Kate Brown shut down State Parks and hiking trails. It was so ludicrous and pointless that I knew all science and actual reasoning was thrown out the window… When did you know?