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The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board hopes that the United States Supreme Court will rule clearly against government meddling in the content decisions of social-media companies. A slice:

The Justices pressed both parties to describe how the dealings of Biden officials with social-media platforms differed from those with the press. “It’s probably not uncommon for government officials to protest an upcoming story on surveillance or detention policy and say, you know, if you run that, it’s going to harm the war effort and put Americans at, you know, risk,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted.

True. But in our experience, government officials don’t threaten legal or regulatory retribution against newspapers, which they have little power to carry out. The same isn’t true for social-media platforms. White House officials issued thinly veiled threats of legal consequences if platforms didn’t do more to police so-called misinformation.

“The President’s view is that the major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation, and misinformation, especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations, and elections,” former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. This is the President using his bully pulpit.

But Ms. Psaki crossed the First Amendment line when she then stated that the President “also supports better privacy protections and a robust antitrust program. So his view is that there’s more that needs to be done to ensure that this type of misinformation, disinformation, damaging, sometimes life-threatening information is not going out to the American public.” That’s a threat.

Also writing about Murthy v. Missouri is K. Lloyd Billingsley. Here’s his conclusion:

“In an environment where just about every decision tech platforms make becomes highly politicized,” one article previewing Murthy v. Missouri explains, “lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grown accustomed to making pointed—if, often empty—threats at Big Tech. Now, the Supreme Court will decide just how far those threats can go.”

Murthy v. Missouri aside, it’s clear that white-coat supremacy and government censorship are incompatible with a free, safe, and healthy society.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

I attended the Supreme Court oral argument on Murthy v. Missouri case. Before, I was fully confident that American courts are fully devoted to free speech. Afterwards… I’m not so sure.

Matt Taibbi explains why “the TikTok ban is so dangerous.” A slice:

As written, any “website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application” that is “determined by the President to present a significant threat to the National Security of the United States” is covered.

GMU Econ alum Adam Michel, writing at Cato’s brilliant Defending Globalization project, explores tax competition and globalization. A slice:

The pressures of competition between countries for business investment have been widely credited with enabling domestic policy reforms to attract multinational activity, boosting their economies in the process. One important margin on which countries compete for international capital is by keeping corporate income tax rates low and making other reforms to the tax base—such as moving to territorial tax systems that tax only income earned domestically (instead of taxing worldwide profits).

Surveys of the academic literature almost universally find that the corporate income tax is one of the most inefficient taxes for funding governments; it is associated with significant negative effects on investment, wages, and economic growth. Despite this, the international pressure to keep tax rates from rising too high has animated concerns that countries will be starved of tax revenue; some worry that tax competition could drive corporate tax rates to zero.

These concerns, however, are mostly unfounded.

Michael Strain is correct: “An American president opposing investment by a staunch ally in a US manufacturing company is a sign that protectionism has run amok.” A slice:

The president stopped just short of pledging to block the deal, and his statement did not reference national security. But if he does block it on national security grounds, he would echo the abuses of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who imposed “Section 232” national security tariffs on US allies, including Canada and European nations.

Indeed, it should surprise no one that in January, Trump publicly pledged to block the deal “instantaneously” should he win the 2024 election. This is yet another example of the Biden-Trump consensus against sound economic policy.

Jeff Jacoby writes wisely about Wendy’s and dynamic pricing. A slice:

Wendy’s operates in a fierce market against tough competitors — In-N-Out, Shake Shack, Burger King, McDonald’s — all of which constantly search for ways to appeal to customers and grow their bottom line. Companies should be encouraged to experiment. There’s no better way to clarify which options consumers will embrace and which they will spurn. The marketplace is replete with goods, services, techniques, and business models that were once highly unorthodox — personal computers! coffee pods! debit cards! Post-it notes! e-cigarettes! frozen pizza! contact lenses! — but that the public embraced. Let a company introduce a bad idea that flops, and its competitors know what to avoid. Let an innovation succeed — and the best measure of success is that consumers decide they are better off — and it is likely to be adopted industry-wide.

Bob Graboyes reflects on AI and “community standards.”