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Bruce Yandle remembers the late Hugh Macaulay on the centenary of Hugh’s birth. A slice:

Those of us who were his colleagues and friends celebrate his life as an economist and moral force in the lives of us all, as well as the lives of his students. Hugh remains one of the most “unforgettable characters we’ve ever met,” to paraphrase one of Reader’s Digest’s most popular series. He is also remembered as one of the profession’s staunchest defenders of markets, always ready to find fault with proposals to constrain the market process.

Tom Hazlett – the Hugh H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics at Clemson University – is no fan of the TikTok ban. Two slices:

Writing in The Free Press, Rep. Michael Gallagher (R–Wisc.)—co-sponsor of the TikTok bill—claims that because the Chinese Communist Party allegedly “uses TikTok to push its propaganda and censor views,” the United States must move to block. This endorsement of the Chinese “governing system” evinces no awareness of the beauty of our own. We can combat propaganda with our free press (including The Free Press). Of greatest help is that the congressman singles out the odious views that the Chinese potentates push: on Tiananmen, Muslims, LGBTQ issues, Tibet, and elsewise.

Our federal jurists will do well to focus on Gallagher’s opening salvo versus TikTok: “A growing number of Americans rely on it for their news. Today, TikTok is the top search engine for more than half of Gen Z.” This underscores the fact that his new rules are not intended to be “content neutral.”

Rather than shouting about potential threats, TikTok’s foes should report any actual mendacities or violations of trust. Where criminal—as with illicitly appropriating users’ data—such misbehavior should be prosecuted by the authorities. Yet here the National Security mavens have often gone AWOL.


The TikTok ban is Fool’s Gold. The First Amendment is pure genius. Let’s keep one of them.

Scott Lincicome is a fan of sports, but not of subsidized stadiums. Two slices:

[T]he harsh reality for even the biggest sports fan is that arena subsidies are a terrible use of finite government resources and a ridiculously egregious redistribution of wealth from regular Americans—fans and haters alike—to some of the wealthiest people and organizations on the planet.  And, to top it all off, they’re a classic case of political malpractice—local officials delivering massive rents to various cronies by promising unwitting voters the world yet delivering far fewer—but still “seen”—economic and social benefits to their communities.


Maybe all this government support might be worth the costs if the subsidized facilities at issue produced even a fraction of the benefits that supporters promise, but they don’t. Instead, there are few positions on which more economists agree than the terribleness of sports arena subsidies. A 2022 paper by [J.C.] Bradbury and his same colleagues documented the consensus by summarizing more than 130 studies on the issue over the last 30 years, looking at not just the facilities’ direct pecuniary benefits but also indirect and intangible ones like “civic pride.”

David Henderson, with help from Ryan Bourne, explains that so-called “junk fees” typically serve important purposes.

Edward Glaeser, Radu Barza, César A. Hidalgo, and Martina Viarengo find that “cities are engines of opportunities.”

George Will again eviscerates the case for government control of political speech, including such speech that is funded with more money than ‘progressives’ and some conservatives deem appropriate. Two slices:

Because the Supreme Court has largely agreed that campaign finance restrictions can violate free-speech guarantees, in 2014, not a single Democratic senator opposed amending the First Amendment to empower Congress to regulate the quantity, content and timing of campaign speech. That is, speech about the composition of Congress and the rest of the government. Campaign “reforms” were harbingers of progressives’ subsequent embrace of restrictions on many forms of speech, especially but not only on campuses.


As an unsuccessful candidate for her party’s nomination in 2008, and accepting her party’s nomination in 2016, Hillary Clinton wanted to “get money out of politics.” But also in 2016 she overcame her aversion to money and outspent Trump 3 to 1. The progressive aspiration is to remove private money from politics.

This would extend government’s domination of society to politics — to the debate about the composition of government. The maximum progressive aim is to remove voluntary political contributions from politics and restrict candidates to spending money that government extracts from voters by taxation. The overwhelming majority of voters — this we know — will not voluntarily pay for politics.

Every year, Americans can check a box on their tax returns, thereby giving $3 (without increasing their tax liabilities) to fund the presidential campaigns of nominees who agree not to accept other money. In 2023, only 3.35 percent of tax filers checked the box.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino reports on the mythical great UAW unionization wave.

Johan Norberg has good news.