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Thomas Lambert and Tate Cooper methodically expose the errors, illogic, and arrogance of the neo-Brandeisians. Two slices:

Two of Neo-Brandeisianism’s reform proposals are unique to the movement and follow from its distinctive criticism of the prevailing antitrust regime. The first such proposal is to jettison the consumer welfare standard. Focusing antitrust’s objectives so narrowly, Neo‐​Brandeisians maintain, prevents the law from reaching behaviors and market structures that weaken democracy but do not reduce market output or harm defendants’ trading partners.

While they are adamant that the consumer welfare standard must go, Neo‐​Brandeisians are less clear on what should replace it.


Apart from understanding the effects of business practices on market output and consumer welfare, the FTC has no expertise on what makes a method of competition “unfair.” That is a value‐​laden matter for ethicists, not the FTC’s economist‐​heavy staff. Indeed, given that Congress includes far more members, represents a greater diversity of perspectives, and is directly accountable to the citizenry, it possesses an institutional advantage over the Commission in determining what constitutes an “unfair” (unmoored from consumer welfare effects) method of competition.

Corey Brooks, a black pastor of a poor congregation in Chicago, isn’t swallowing DEI. (HT George Leef) Two slices:

For instance, while DEI ideologues and beneficiaries like [Claudine] Gay may share the same skin color with us, there is very little, if anything, that my community had in common with a woman born to a wealthy Haitian family and schooled at the best of America’s schools. These DEI advocates were exploiting the pain of my community to gaslight their opponents and this troubled me the most because it hurts and hinders our efforts to truly make lasting progress.

The reality is that DEI is an ideology for the privileged. It helps people like Claudine Gay who exploit race for power and prestige and it hurts communities like mine by exploiting them for poverty-porn.


That is why when I hear DEI advocates describe the American principles of merit, freedom, and agency as white supremacist values, I know that this language is toxic for my community and for the lives we are trying to save. The rhetoric of victimization isn’t truthful. It only weakens our ability to solve our own problems and deepens the damage done to our communities by post-1960s liberalism.

That is why the recent decision of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to eliminate some of Chicago’s top schools in the name of equity was so devastating to our communities. What equity means for these DEI folks is achieving parity with Blacks on the bottom, instead of strengthening our ability to lift ourselves up. The framework of negative achievement that DEI offers is truly insulting. After 60 years of failing to end intergenerational poverty, intergenerational violence, and intergenerational illiteracy in my community, the DEI folks have decided to lower America down to our level—right at the moment when we’re trying to get out of it.

Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler: “Pop goes the DEI bubble.” Two slices:

Most offensive to me was DEI’s devious underlying agenda: societal design. Blinded by fanatical devotion, activists were pawns for the cause of reshaping the world into a collective utopia to be run, of course, by progressive, self-identifying elites. That was the “my truth” that Ms. Gay invoked on her exit. Critical theories and Marxist techniques would take power from you and me, using big government as the enforcer.


While Marxism is a means of gaining power to implement societal design, it quickly turns authoritarian. There was very little free speech at Harvard—the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression ranked it last of all colleges last year. Those against the societal-design agenda were shouted down. Dissent was met with accusations of privilege or cancellation. Conform or be cast out. On a larger scale, the Biden administration co-opted social media to censure opposing views.

Joakim Book decries the hubris of some economists.

John O. McGinnis reviews Tyler Cowen’s GOAT: Who Is the Greatest Economist of All Time and Why Does it Matter? A slice:

Cowen nominates another favorite of classical liberals, Frederich Hayek. Cowen makes the case that Hayek wrote the best economic article of all time, “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” Here Hayek shows an economy is a discovery process, aggregating information from particular times and places. It is not fundamentally an optimization process, because there is no optimizer with sufficient knowledge for that task. That makes economics nothing like an engineering problem with obvious solutions, but rather a continuous process where human creativity, alertness, and intelligence allow participants to see opportunities.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino writes insightfully about Hayek’s warnings of the dangers of scientism. A slice:

He [Hayek] viewed the Nazi regime as the culmination of collectivism, and in that respect viewed it as similar to the Soviet Union. “It is more probable that the real meaning of the German revolution is that the long dreaded expansion of communism into the heart of Europe has taken place but is not recognized because the fundamental similarity of methods and ideas is hidden by the difference in the phraseology and the privileged groups,” Hayek wrote in the spring 1933 memo. This would turn out to be true in two respects: 1) the Nazi economy was centrally planned as part of a totalitarian program to realize a vision of utopia, and 2) the Nazi defeat during World War II with help from the Soviets resulted in the Soviet occupation of what became East Germany and the creation of the communist Eastern Bloc that endured until 1989.

It’s easy to see why Hayek would be so sensitive to what he called “scientism” in his later work. Sometimes people claim Hayek is too obsessed with scientism, but given what he saw happen to the society in which he grew up, it makes sense that he sounded the alarm about the application of “scientific” methods to social affairs.

Scott Sumner wisely warns of the U.S. government’s growing indebtedness. A slice:

The real problem is the debt time bomb.  Our political system no longer has “grown-ups in the room”, and thus our fiscal policy increasingly resembles that of a banana republic.