Finally, while it is possible that better taxes and regulations will increase manufacturing, they could also reduce it. We Americans overwhelmingly have a comparative advantage at producing services. Better taxes and regulations could result in more of that. That’s yet another good thing.
All that said, [Mike] Pence is right that we should pursue tax and regulatory reforms because they are good in and of themselves. They will bring about more abundance in the U.S., and not just in the energy sector. Supply abundance will bring about more growth, which not only produces more wealth but also reduces tribalism and intolerance and such.
What Summers is getting at is that industrial policy should be about using the government to achieve what arguably can’t be achieved through market forces. National security is one of those things. But national security will be best promoted if the goal is, well, national security. It will not be effectively promoted if it is used as a Trojan horse for achieving goals – such as job creation – other than national security. As soon as you start talking about job creation, you get distracted from what you claim you are trying to achieve.
Free-market advocates recognize that exceptions exist to a policy of free trade or the unhindered functioning of the market. National security is the main one that comes to mind. But it must be a real national-security reason, not a fabricated one like the Trump steel tariffs. We also recognize that if real market failures exist, and persist over time, they could justify government interventions. In this case too we must be clear about what market failure means. It certainly doesn’t mean more than merely that the outcome produced by the market happens to be permanently different than what a few people believe should be the appropriate outcome.
If wokeness survives Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s hourly onslaughts (which DeSantis might not survive; talking smack about Bud Light is unpresidential), a President Burgum would not regard fighting it as part of his job description. He would be a presidential rarity, acknowledging the 10th Amendment. (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution … are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”) Cultural issues are, he says, irrelevant to presidential duties.
Governors, too, should tread lightly. Burgum says that if there are offensive or age-inappropriate books in a library, people should talk to the librarian or the library board. Unleash a library police force, and you will soon have a shortage of librarians.
Among the revelations in the so-called Twitter files was that government officials pressured social-media companies to censor posts unfavorable to the Biden administration. The White House has denied this, insisting that companies like Meta and Twitter adopted content-moderation policies on their own. But internal documents newly released by the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government prove that government pressure led Meta to go beyond what it otherwise would have in censoring user speech.
Court-ordered discovery in Missouri v. Biden has already revealed that the White House strong-armed platforms into more censorship than they considered justified—prompting the judge to declare that the administration had made “arguably the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” The new documents go further, showing that the administration drove much of Meta’s censorship.
The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” Supreme Court doctrine makes clear that government can’t constitutionally evade the amendment by working through private companies. The newly released documents paint a clear picture of an administration running roughshod over these protections.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is poised to reconsider the injunctionagainst the government in Missouri v. Biden early next month. The government’s case relies to a significant degree on the claim that it isn’t clear the government caused the platforms’ censorship. And the Sixth Circuit will soon be re-evaluating the denial of discovery in a similar case, Changizi v. HHS.
The latest revelations underscore the need for the injunction in Missouri and for discovery, not dismissal, in Changizi. If the appellate courts fail to recognize the spurious nature of the government’s position, the First Amendment might as well be a dead letter.
More generally, the nation needs to come to terms with the reality and scale of the assault on free speech. Our government has established a vast system of censorship. By keeping it largely secret, it has been able to exert unconstitutional control over medical, scientific and political speech, suppressing debate over questions of great public importance. This is a shocking constitutional violation. All of us, not only the courts, need to recognize what is at stake.
The death rate from COVID for those aged 0-19 years is 0.0003%.
A 1-in-333,333 chance of dying.
They shut down schools for that.
Many children still cannot speak or socialize properly.
They sacrificed large numbers of the young for a tiny minority of very old.