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The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal decries the ‘progressive’ monoculture on (especially ‘elite’) U.S. campuses – a monoculture that today is increasingly openly antisemitic. Two slices:

Many protesters on and near campus wear masks or kaffiyehs to disguise their identities. Students have to walk through a gauntlet to get to class. The protesters carry banners calling to “Honor the Martyrs of Palestine” and a sign pointing to pro-Israel counterprotesters as “al-Qasam’s next targets.” Al-Qassam is the military wing of Hamas. That’s a call to kill Jews.


This crisis in liberal education has been decades in the making. These schools have sown the intolerance their students are demonstrating by putting identity and left-wing politics above the free exchange of ideas. A progressive faculty monoculture has fueled divisive narratives blaming the Middle East’s ills on colonialism and imperialism.

Antisemitism has too often been tolerated within Near Eastern Studies departments. On Oct. 8, 2023, Columbia professor Joseph Massad praised the “awesome” scenes of the Oct. 7 massacre “witnessed by millions of jubilant Arabs.” In 2018 Columbia professor Hamid Dabashi posted on Twitter (now X) that “Every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious act happening in the world” could soon be traced to “the ugly name of Israel.”

The liberal elites who run these institutions seem to lack the moral self-confidence to stand up to these student bullies. College presidents have to take charge, restore order and protect Jewish students, or the trustees should fire them and find someone who will.

GMU Econ alum Alex Salter’s letter in today’s Wall Street Journal is spot-on:

Mr. Biden argues military aid to Israel and Ukraine would boost the U.S. economy by “buying American products made by American workers.” But using up resources won’t make us richer—especially when they’re spent on means of destruction.

Economists call this the Broken Window Fallacy. Physical destruction appears economically creative, since mobilizing the resources to repair the damage creates jobs and employment. This ignores opportunity cost: but for the destruction, there would be a different but no less valuable flow of economic activity.

The fallacy is even more forceful in the case of military spending. Now we’re consuming resources with the goal of destroying even more resources. If you’ve ever heard that World War II got us out of the Great Depression, you’ve encountered the fallacy in its most dangerous form.

Supporting Israel and Ukraine may be in the national interest. If so, it won’t be because of economics. The president’s proposals could make us freer. But they definitely won’t make us wealthier.

Prof. Alexander William Salter
Texas Tech, Rawls College of Business
Lubbock, Texas

Why turn off lights for Earth Day when California is already growing dark?

In the video here, Johan Norberg makes the case that the best economic system for the earth (and for humanity) is capitalism.

J.D. Tuccille writes that “Julian Simon was right: Ingenuity leads to abundance.”

Arnold Kling reflects on his excellent 2004 book, Learning Economics.

My Mercatus Center colleague Alden Abbott explains that “blocking the Nippon Steel acquisition [of U.S. Steel] through CFIUS would have serious negative implications for U.S. international economic policy.” A slice:

Moreover, the U.S. steel industry is very unconcentrated, with U.S. Steel holding a market share of just under 7% in revenue terms. The largest U.S. producer, Nucor, holds a roughly 13% share. What’s more, no U.S. company is among the world’s 10 largest crude steelmakers (seven of the 10 are Chinese). Nippon Steel is the third or fourth largest.

Because of U.S. tariffs and other company contractual commitments, only a very small portion of Nippon’s current market share can be attributed to the U.S. market. (Nippon is essentially absorbing U.S. Steel’s market share.) In essence, the Nippon Steel acquisition would have, at best, a minor (if not zero) effect on market concentration in the unconcentrated American market.

Based on that information, it is hard to envision what antitrust risks or theories of harm based on “increased concentration” (a major concern of the Biden administration) could be concocted.

Mike Munger is correct: “Competition can’t be perfect.” A slice:

If you’ve ever taken an intro economics class, you’ve heard of the idiotic concept of “perfect competition.” The idea is that no firm has any market power, and is forced to accept the “competitive” price. One sign that competition is “perfect” in this way is zero profits. Since if something is perfect, it must be desirable, a new generation of attorneys is attempting a wholesale takeover of antitrust enforcement. They are being led by advocates such as Lina Khan of the FTC, and Timothy Wu of Columbia Law School, who is hailed by some as the “architect” of the Biden administration’s competition policy.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino recommends Jay Nordlinger’s essay on the Nobel-laureate economist Vernon Smith.