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Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby reminds us of what Frederick Douglass “really said in his great Independence Day speech,” delivered on July 5th, 1852. Here’s Jacoby’s conclusion:

He spoke on the Fifth of July, but he nevertheless exalted the date atop the Declaration of Independence. “The Fourth of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history — the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny,” Douglass told his listeners. “Cling to this day — cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.” The great abolitionist rejected the counsels of despair and contempt. The American founding, he knew, was as relevant as ever, holding out the promise of greater, better days to come. It was so in 1852. It remains so today.

GMU Econ alum Byron Carson explains the happy economic reality of substitutability.

My GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein writes in Reason about Adam Smith and the American Revolution.

Arnold Kling is willing to accept that today’s economy really is – because specialization and trade are increasing – doing better than most people expected.

Richard Fulmer asks if AI can fact check AI. A slice:

The claim that women are paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same jobs requires that millions of employers ignore their own self-interest.  Why would they leave so much money on the table? Why not hire an entirely female workforce, pay them (say) 80 cents on the dollar, and wipe out the competition?

Does the alleged fact require that countless people are colluding? Consider, for example, the claim that inflation is caused by corporate greed. Really? Hundreds of thousands of firms simultaneously raise their prices and not one of them sees an opportunity to grab market share by underselling the competition?

Here from my GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan are some one-paragraph book reviews.

From last October, Andrew Ferguson reviews Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner’s autobiography. (HT Craig Newmark) Two slices:

Over the last 50 years, roughly the lifespan of Rolling Stone, the defection of the white (and now, increasingly, the Hispanic) working class from the Democratic Party left limousine liberals a lot of room for redecoration. They turned the party into a kind of performance space, a stage for striking moral poses and issuing political mandates that always seem to require more from their fellow citizens than from themselves. The well-to-do activists of the Democratic Party, lucky them, get to have their Ben and Jerry’s Groovy Tie Dye Ice Cream Cake and eat it too. The meat-and-potatoes liberalism that shaped the party of Wenner’s youth seems a distant dream. It’s hard to imagine Eleanor Roosevelt posing in a backless number at the Met Gala or George Meany canvassing Martha’s Vineyard for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as Wenner and his pal Larry David did in 2004.


The same obliviousness holds true in his political excursions. Manmade climate change is evidently unaffected by the long flights on his personal jet. He is, who would’ve guessed, a passionate advocate of gun control and the confiscation of private firearms; one chapter is even titled “Fuck the NRA.” But—boy!—was he ever glad his guide on a cross country motorcycle trip was packing heat to protect him from the rednecks that infest the land between the coasts. (In fairness, I should add that the guide didn’t have to shoot any of them.) He bravely condemned the “greed” unleashed by Ronald Reagan and other Republicans. Yet even as he tends an ever rising pile of money, fighting for every inch of market advantage, squeezing the best financing rates he can from Wall Street, and slashing payroll to juice profits, he never succumbs to greed himself. Greed is one of those terrible character flaws that only afflicts other people. Most of them, thank God, do not have summer compounds in Montauk.

Robby Soave joins Chris Snowdon and Tom Slater to talk about “the shameful suppression of the lab-leak theory.”

Kim Potter tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

My mom died bc of lockdowns.. no Covid in their area at the time. She had early onset Alzheimer’s. The gov closed facilities to family. My dad went daily to feed & walk w her. In his absence, she was strapped in a wheelchair & starved. Mar 12 – 135 lbs to Jun 20 – 85 lbs.