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Kevin Corcoran offers further evidence (on top of an already substantial amount of it) in support of Phil Magness’s and Michael Makovi’s thesis about the fame of Karl Marx.

People rightly worry about Donald Trump’s disregard for the law. But Joe Biden is no better – as reported here by the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. Two slices:

Speaking in Culver City, Calif., on Wednesday, Mr. Biden said his original plan to “provide millions of working families with debt relief for their college student debt” was derailed by “MAGA Republicans” and “special interests” who challenged the plan in court. “The Supreme Court blocked it,” Mr. Biden added, “but that didn’t stop me.” He apparently thinks defying the law is a virtue.


But worst of all is Mr. Biden’s blatant rejection of the law, even after the Supreme Court called him out. Is it any wonder that GOP voters don’t take Democratic alarms about losing democracy seriously? Mr. Biden doesn’t take his own warnings seriously.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board exposes Lina Khan’s recklessness at the Federal Trade Commission. Two slices:

The FTC in particular has been known for its competent staff under chairmen of either party. Jon Leibowitz was chairman under Barack Obama and Tim Murisunder George W. Bush, and they had different priorities. But they both followed modern antitrust law and relied on expert staff. Ms. Khan has turned all that on its head as she pursues her antitrust revolution, as internal emails show.

One manager (names and dates are omitted) wrote in an email to the FTC’s chief of staff that he sensed “outside influences . . . have an undue impact on [FTC] priorities, investigation management, and enforcement decisions,” warning that the agency “should never make an enforcement-related decision for the sake of PR.” “Outside influences” seems to mean leftwing lobbying groups.

Ms. Khan wants to appear “aggressive,” the manager added, but she is acting “with little regard for the consequences of losing in a way that negatively affects the enforcement agenda (i.e., bad facts that can result in really bad precedents that haunt us for years).”


Ms. Khan has achieved her goal of shaking up the agency, but not for the better. The report’s findings show how Ms. Khan has subordinated the FTC’s statutory mission of consumer protection to her personal progressive agenda. Our guess is that the Trump transition team is watching for pointers.

Arnold Kling insightfully describes debates about race as being akin to the game of rock, paper, scissors. A slice:

In thinking about The End of Race Politics, a new book by Coleman Hughes, I came up with a description of the race debate using the metaphor of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. I assign a stance to each of the three symbols.

  • Rock is individualism. Treat people as individuals, not as members of a race.
  • Paper is equalitarianism. Treat differences in average outcomes by race as evidence of unfairness.
  • Scissors is realism. Explain differences in average outcomes by race by appealing to heredity and culture.

In the game, paper covers rock, scissors cuts paper, and rock breaks scissors. Translating from the metaphor, the most compelling argument against individualism is equalitarianism. The most compelling argument against equalitarianism is realism. And the most compelling argument against realism is individualism.

Individualism is the stance that Hughes takes. He admits that we instinctively categorize people in racial terms. But he says that individual differences are what matter. In your personal life and in organizational settings, try your best to respond to people as individuals, ignoring race as much as possible.

Equalitarianism is the stance that Ibram X. Kendi takes. He, and others who style themselves as anti-racists, argue that in America black people are under-represented in high-status positions and over-represented in prison because of systemic racism. That is, the institutions and norms of our society are rigged to disfavor blacks, and this system has to be relentlessly exposed and dismantled.

Will Sellers celebrates some of the history of economic freedom.

Pierre Lemieux warns of economic czars. A slice:

During the pandemic, it was thought that a czar should be in charge of the production or distribution of masks and other medical supplies in America. The situation was not better in many or perhaps most countries. Donald Trump named Peter Navarro as his “equipment czar.” Nararro talked tough, a bit like the speculator fighters during the French Revolution—see my post “When Free-Market Prices are Banned,” April 1, 2020. (He was then very much law-and-order, until he was prosecuted by the other tough-speaking law-and-order types.) It is revealing that powerful government figures are affectionately called by the name of the Russian absolute rulers (whose two-headed symbol adorns the featured image of this post). So, the US government subsidized domestic companies to produce masks and Americans are now stuck with the inefficiency of the beneficiaries (“The U.S. Invested Millions to Produce Masks at Home. Now Nobody’s Buying,” Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2024).

Christian Britschgi reports that California continues to go to the dogs.

Steven Greenhut cautions against allowing fear of crime to undermine our rights. A slice:

I am concerned about the crime wave. I’m also concerned about over-incarceration and over-policing. I also am skeptical that our governments—which seem incapable of doing anything competently, justly, and cost-effectively—can strike the right balance. I offer no easy solution or specific policy prescription, but I do offer a warning: Be careful what new laws we pass. They can take decades to undo—and can obliterate our rights in the process.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino is correct: “No matter how much money schools get, teachers’ unions will always cry ‘underfunded.’”