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The Wall Street Journal‘s Emma Osman applauds Dartmouth president Sian Beilock. A slice:

“I don’t want safe spaces, I want brave spaces,” says Dartmouth President Sian Beilock in a phone interview. At the start of the winter term in January, the Hanover, N.H., college launched the Dartmouth Dialogues program.

My Mercatus Center colleague Chuck Blahaus counsels that Americans be less complacent about Social Security.

Art Carden reminds us of the marvels of the market economy’s division of labor, division of knowledge, and process of valuation. A slice:

The structure of production shows us why land and labor have value. It’s a mistake, albeit a common one, to think that goods have value because of all the resources that went into them. This gets things exactly backward, however. Production moves forward through successive stages, from raw materials to finished goods. Valuation moves backward through successive stages of production from finished goods to raw materials. Land and labor get their value from the finished goods and services they produce. A stand of cedar trees, therefore, is valuable because it can be used to produce pencils, closets, shoe trees, furniture, and other goods. These goods do not get their value because they are created from cedar.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino argues against the ranking of U.S. presidents. A slice:

Efforts by others at National Review to rehabilitate the reputations of Grant and Harding, to give two examples, are beneficial exercises in historical education, and they carry with them messages about what the authors believe good presidents ought to do. Turning to examples of leadership from the past is part of a healthy political culture, and presidents are an obvious place to look within our system of government.

But ranking them simply makes no sense. We can comfortably say that Lincoln was a better president than Buchanan. But what does it really mean to say that, for example, Garfield was a better president than Tyler? Or Taft was a better president than Fillmore?

Jonathan Bean and Blaine McCormick propose “Entrepreneurs Day”. A slice:

Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs and inventors who do make daily life better are often ignored, or decried as profiteers later in life. Perhaps it’s time to give more credit where credit is due. The Journal of Management History recently published our third decade of research on America’s greatest entrepreneurs. We consulted 50 business and economic historians each decade to develop the rankings. Unlike the finite group of U.S. presidents (Joe Biden is just the 46th), the realm of American business history encompasses millions of stories, providing a rich tapestry of entrepreneurial greatness, ranging from Thomas Edison in the 19th century to Sam Walton in the 20th century to Elon Musk today.

On February 27th, at 2:00 EST, the Federal Society will host a webinar featuring my GMU Econ colleague Larry White.

John Stossel is understandably unhappy with the mainstream media’s portrayal of libertarians and conservatives.

Martin Gurri offers a prologue to an ideology of freedom. A slice:

A pseudo-ideology of control has taken root in democratic nations from Britain to Brazil, with the support and applause of transnational organizations like the United Nations and the European Union and the widespread backing of the intelligentsia everywhere. A few basic moves characterize the game. Those in charge of the established order declare a mortal crisis: Covid-19, say, or the climate, or white supremacy. They contend that the time to debate is over: immediate government intervention is the only ethical option. In a chorus of approval, prestige media, academics, and obscure experts in nongovernmental organizations provide arguments, statistics, and cross-references, joined by the occasional Hollywood star. Government-aided censors on social media identify and purge hostile views; extreme cases get thrown to the Internet mob to settle. The objective: a culture aligned with the dictates of power.

The cults of identity and ecology now serve as instruments of elite control in the United States. The elites have imposed conformity with astonishing rapidity. A majority of Americans report that they fear contradicting the orthodoxy, with the young—savviest about the information landscape—being most afraid. While the new censorship is often portrayed as the restoration of science and truth, the reality is that a panicked elite class has shredded constitutional norms, trying to cling to its old privileges. “Our democracy” is a closed circle, a cosa nostra, hostile to ordinary people and autocratic to the core. The ideology of control is the expression of a profoundly antidemocratic impulse.

Joel Zinberg decries the scientific ignorance of those who insist on vaccinating children against covid. A slice:

But protecting a low-risk group like schoolchildren from viral transmission has never made much sense. It was clear in the pandemic’s early days that children had little risk of severe outcomes from the virus. Over nearly four years (from January 2020 to December 2023), children aged five to 17 accounted for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of total Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. (911 deaths out of 1.17 million). In contrast, the most vulnerable group—people aged 65 and older—accounted for more than three-quarters of deaths. Similarly, those aged five to 17 have consistently had one-tenth the Covid-19 hospitalization rate of the population at large, while those aged 65 and older had rates 25 times as high.

Covid-19 vaccines, like any medicine, are not risk-free. They pose a documented risk of serious heart inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis) most frequently seen in adolescent and young adult males. Such risks warrant caution in recommending the vaccines to a group with such an extraordinarily low risk of severe disease.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

Gavin Newsom lobbied cronies at the French Laundry. Boris Johnson held parties at no. 10. And LA public health excused itself from the draconian measures it imposed on others. Our leaders understood that between lockdown and hypocrisy, hypocrisy was the better way.