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The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board rightly ridicules the Department of Justice’s ridiculous antitrust suit against Live Nation. A slice:

Most economists agree that vertical integration typically produces efficiencies that benefit consumers by reducing what’s known as “double marginalization.” Yet DOJ portrays Live Nation’s use of profitable businesses to subsidize its lower-margin businesses as an antitrust violation. If this were true, thousands of businesses would be breaking the law.

DOJ also accuses Live Nation of using “carrots” and “sticks” to lock “venues into exclusive, longterm ticketing agreements with Ticketmaster that shut out competition.” But venues typically prefer to use one ticketing servicer because of the technical convenience. Ticketmaster also vigorously competes for venue contracts, including with SeatGeek and AEG’s AXS.

Also writing intelligently about the DOJ’s persecution of Live Nation is my Mercatus Center colleague Alden Abbott.

With his usual unusual clarity, David Henderson explains that “stereotypes to the contrary, economists have learned to study the needs of others.”

Why does the federal government borrow?

Juliette Sellgren talks with my GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein about Adam Smith on self-command, vanity, and pride.

Reason‘s Jacob Sullum notes that “the prosecution’s story about Trump featured several logically impossible claims.”

George Will understandably isn’t surprised that the obnoxiously officious Biden administration isn’t banning menthol-flavored cigarettes. A slice:

The Biden administration is not bashful about wielding government power to censor the public’s preferences — internal combustion vehicles, gas stoves, profligate shower heads, and on and on and on. Yet the administration is flinching from a ban of menthol-flavored cigarettes. Biden’s support among Black voters, and especially Black men, is soft. Eighty-one percent of Black smokers (only 34 percent of White smokers) choose menthol cigarettes. Black lives matter, but …

The government estimates that banning menthol cigarettes could save 300,000 to 650,000 smoking-related deaths over several decades. Is it condescending to ban a product favored by Black people because it is favored by Black people making unhealthy decisions? Or callous not to? The product’s harms have a “disparate impact,” usually an energizing phrase for social justice warriors, but …

U.S. surgeon generals’ reports in 1964 and 1986 declared cigarettes first carcinogenic, then addictive. In 2009, Congress banned all flavors of cigarettes — except menthol, which are more than one-third of annual U.S. cigarette sales. Congress did this to avoid seeming racially insensitive, or perhaps to seem racially sensitive.

Wall Street Journal columnist James Freeman sensibly asks: “In the war on consumers, will California politicians ever surrender?” A slice:

It seems too much to hope that someday California politicians might consider the possibility that plastic bags represent more of a solution than a problem.

Here’s the abstract of a new paper by Justin Pierce, Peter Schott, and Cristina Tello-Trillo:

We examine US workers’ employment and earnings before and after trade liberalization with China. Among workers initially employed in manufacturing, we find substantial and persistent declines in both outcomes, with indirect exposure via input-output linkages exacerbating the negative effects of direct exposure. For workers initially employed outside manufacturing, however, we find that the positive impact of greater upstream exposure via inputs more than offsets the adverse impacts of own- and downstream exposure, inducing relative earnings gains. We also find that spatial exposure is more influential than industry exposure.