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John Lott points out some problems with recent statistics on crime. A slice:

Another reason crimes reported to the police are falling is that arrest rates are plummeting. If victims don’t believe criminals will be caught and punished, they won’t bother reporting them. According to the FBI, if you take the five years preceding Covid-19 (2015-19) and compare them with 2022, the percentage of violent crimes in all cities resulting in an arrest fell from 44% to 35%. Among cities with more than one million people (where violent crime disproportionately occurs), arrest rates over the same period plunged from 44% to 20%.

Philip Klein sensibly argues that “colleges need to nip any encampments in the bud.” A slice:

The strategy of campus organizers parallels that of Hamas. That is, they want to break the rules, ignore all warnings, and provoke a reaction that will produce images they can portray as an overreaction to elicit more sympathy for their cause.

Columbia administrators now face a crisis of their own making. They will inevitably have to dismantle the encampments and retake the university, which not only has become unsafe for Jewish students who don’t affirmatively renounce Israel, but practically speaking, would be disruptive to final exams and graduation ceremonies. But because the encampment is so large, they know that clearing it out will require a significant show of force that risks turning violent. They are terrified of scenes of clashes between students and NYPD officers. That’s why Minouche Shafik, the university president, keeps extending the deadline for the protesters to dismantle the encampment.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy, decries our “leaders'” now-regular abuse of emergency spending powers. Two slices:

Before I explain my objection to their behavior, I would like to make two points. The first one might be the most important: I don’t want you readers to get the impression that Congress is only irresponsible when using the emergency label to spend money. Congress is irresponsible all the time. Legislators have accumulated $34 trillion in debt without any real collective thinking about how to pay for it. The deficit is at 5.6 percent in a time when America is at peace and the economy is growing. They have done much of this deficit spending outside of the emergency process.


Over at the Economic Policy Innovation Center, Paul Winfree and Brittany Madni explain that Congress and the president should have used the regular budget process to address several of the ongoing crises over the past months. Instead, Congress intentionally passed a $1.684 trillion appropriations bill and left the $95 billion to be funded as an “emergency” supplemental outside of the regular process and above and beyond the caps. Members of Congress now routinely refuse to subject themselves to budget caps that would require offsets of additional spending with real spending cuts and rescissions.

Art Carden asks if Caitlin Clark will be underpaid.

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal criticizes the FTC’s attempt to ban noncompete clauses. A slice:

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, 78% of responding employers said they provide additional compensation that spans the duration of an agreement or longer. Employers will pay workers less, and invest less in them, if workers can easily take the skills they acquire on the job elsewhere.

Richard McKenzie weighs in on the Biden administrations antitrust persecution of Apple.

Andrew Gillen reports on Biden’s most-recent effort to ‘forgive’ student loans.

Travis Fisher and Alex Nowrasteh offer a perspective different from that of Charles Kenny on climate change and globalization. A slice:

Based on real‐​world observations, the efficient level of CO2 emissions under a Pigouvian approach is not zero. Given the myriad productive uses of hydrocarbon‐​based energy and the demonstrated preference for the large and growing global consumption of it, the economically efficient level of CO2 emissions could be very high. Unfortunately, we may never know because the SCC—although indispensable in concept—is nearly impossible to nail down with any degree of scientific certainty. We do know, however, that low and moderate CO2 taxes like the one implemented in British Columbia have not significantly reduced CO2 emissions.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

The German language @Wikipedia site describes the @gbdeclaration as “anti- science”, a fringe view. Left unexplained is why German all cause excess deaths in the covid era is higher than Sweden’s.

Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy is a joke.