The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does a poor job of dealing with moral hazard. The problem arises in part from the fact that its employees have no skin in the game; they get paid regardless of whether the FDIC manages the banking system well. SVB’s failure did not lead to the firing of a single FDIC employee, even though the event was widely viewed as a regulatory debacle. Instead, the costs of the FDIC’s missteps passed to bank shareholders in the form of higher assessments, which will be used to refill the FDIC’s insurance fund.
[Clarence] Thomas’s antipathy toward any form of discrimination by race is rooted in his own life story.
The future Supreme Court justice was born in the segregated Deep South and knew the stinging bigotry of Jim Crow at first hand. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, which recruited him as part of a program to attract black men as undergraduates. In 1971, when Thomas entered Yale to study law, the school’s stated goal was for 10 percent of incoming students to be nonwhite. Though Thomas initially reveled in his admission to Yale, he soon felt the stigma of being there because of his race.
“I learned the hard way that a law degree from Yale meant one thing for white graduates and another for blacks,” he later wrote in his poignant autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son.” He had done well at Yale, but the law firms he subsequently interviewed with made it plain that they applied an affirmative action discount to his Ivy League credentials and assumed he wasn’t really as smart as his grades indicated.
Conventional wisdom read the outpouring of protest against Mr. [Sebastian] Piñera’s center-right government as the end of the free-market model that made Chile the envy of the developing world.
“They thought the traditional right was dead,” says José Antonio Kast, founder of Chile’s Republican Party, which was established that same year. “We didn’t believe it,” the 57-year-old former congressman and presidential candidate told me in an interview at the offices of the party’s think tank here on Rapallo Street.
Mr. Kast and his Republican cohorts instead read the protests as an expression of widespread frustration caused by the stagnation of economic growth and wages over a decade, crony capitalism, and impunity for political elites. With that in mind the Republican Party, consisting of many disappointed refugees from other center-right parties, went to work at the grass roots. Their goal was to revive political support for the economic liberalism that had been ditched by Socialist President Michelle Bachelet and that Mr. Piñera failed to defend.
Chileans have come to expect mobility and opportunity, Mr. Kast says. But to get there they need choice in education, pensions and healthcare; flexible labor markets; property rights; and a smaller and more accountable state.
The most important intellectual discovery of my life came 20 years ago in the pages of Slitz, a sadly defunct lad’s magazine which wasn’t quite as risqué as it sounds. I was trying to learn Swedish and the few words that it printed were about my level. So I’d sit in a cafe with a dictionary and notebook, seeking to learn. Under such circumstances I came across an interview with Johan Norberg, an economist then in his twenties, entitled “Kapitalist? Javisst!” – (“Capitalist? Yes, sure!”). I tracked down his book, and my world changed.
I’ve since been told by far more erudite friends that Norberg’s work is nothing new, just a restatement of arguments made by Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Karl Popper. But they were writing about theory: Norberg had it all backed up with contemporary evidence. The collapse of communism had started a new experiment: what happens when the free market really does go global? The results were coming in by 2001 and Norberg collated them. Every day in every way, things were getting much better. We were – and still are – living in a golden age.
Since then, this thesis has been proved a thousand times over, but something strange has happened. As capitalism’s achievements piled higher, the more unpopular it seemed to become. Its wins have been taken for granted, its defects magnified as never before. The big charities, which witnessed free trade cutting poverty faster than any scheme of handouts, seemed to hate it the most. A generation has since grown up marinated in capitalism’s success, yet convinced of its failure. What’s going on?
In Britain, too, capitalism remains our best hope. The free market has doubled household income in my lifetime, even after inflation, even after current woes. The young have seen post-crash incomes stagnate and Bank of England money-printing distort the economy by pushing house prices out of reach – but this was not the free market. Nor was the hundreds of billions printed to finance lockdowns.
Why is inflation so high? Because banks printed so much money to bankroll lockdowns: a result of distorting capitalism.
Science is a process for accumulating, organizing, and testing knowledge—not a recipe book for controlling what is under observation. Meteorologists cannot control the weather, and yet meteorology is undeniably science. Virologists, even those empowered to micromanage civic life, could not will COVID to depart our shores; and yet, virology is undoubtedly science.
Yet it wasn’t Mr. Kennedy’s well-worn criticisms of vaccines or his calling pharmaceutical companies a “criminal enterprise” that racked up clicks. It was his claim that chemicals in the water supply—specifically the herbicide atrazine—are driving an increase in “sexual dysphoria” that is causing boys to believe they are girls. “They’re swimming through a soup of toxic chemicals today, and many of those are endocrine disruptors,” Mr. Kennedy claimed.
Journalists were quick to “fact check” him, noting that the frog study he cited as evidence wasn’t directly applicable to humans. That’s correct—but it was unusual to see the press shower a dubious environmental claim with appropriate skepticism. All too often they parrot such questionable assertions, including the notion that chemicals disrupt hormones.
Liberals deride Mr. Kennedy for his antivaccine activism, but it flows from the same fanatical font as the environmental zealotry they too have embraced. No doubt the mainstream press would deny the similarity, but Mr. Kennedy affirms it. In interviews he has traced his vaccine activism to his work on mercury pollution from coal plants, which he claims based on thin evidence cause brain damage and cancer. He also claims a tenuous link between thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines, and childhood autism.
Most of his claims about vaccine dangers aren’t any kookier than those that he and his green allies have made about fossil fuels.
Mike Munger is correct: “It’s actually antitrust policy itself that blocks innovation and puts up a big ‘open for business’ sign in the courts for special pleadings by rent-seeking entities in the society.” Two slices:
As I have argued in a number of forums, the idea of “price-gouging” as an abuse of monopoly power is not just wrong, but actively harmful. It’s true that sellers may make excess profits in a period of shortage or emergency, but the profit signals that come from “high prices” are by far the best means of ending the shortage quickly.
There is a strong movement in Washington, among progressive legislators and regulators, to reverse the presumption in cases of antitrust enforcement. What that means is that instead of innocent until proven guilty, any firm would be required to prove that its pricing and production decisions were not monopolistic. This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t,” position in which it puts large firms. If they charge high prices, they are monopolies, if they compete on price they are colluding, and if they charge low prices they are predating. If this perspective wins the day, I see dead policies.
WOW 🇸🇪: No lockdowns, No mask mandates, No school closures, hotels, shops, restaurants, bars, sports facilities always open.
Result: Lowest excess mortality in Europe. Source: BBC !!!
➡️ Covid restrictions will go down in history as a public health disaster.