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Scott Lincicome wonders who will report on the unseen costs of tariffs. Two slices:

The recent Wall Street Journal article, “Meet the Shirt Maker Who Loves U.S. Tariffs,” is a modern (and frustrating) version of French economist Frédéric Bastiat’s classic parable of the broken window. It praises the “seen” benefits of US apparel tariffs—the handful of American manufacturers whose products have “again become competitive in the global marketplace”—while totally ignoring their many “unseen” costs.

Most obviously, the article refers to the higher prices that American consumers will now pay for clothing as merely something US importers “say” might happen, when in fact we know from recent experience that these costs are real and significant.

According to the US International Trade Commission, for example, the “Section 301” tariffs on Chinese apparel imports—the very tariffs at issue here—increased the price of Chinese apparel by 14.5 percent, the price of US apparel by 3.1 percent, and average US apparel prices overall by 4.3 percent. That’s an invisible tax of more than $3.5 billion in 2021 alone—one that was disproportionately paid by lower‐​income American consumers and that constituted money that couldn’t be spent on other, more productive US enterprises.


Call me a heartless globalist if you must, but the US government shouldn’t be in the business of regressively taxing the clothing purchases of Americans still reeling from inflation, all to support—at a substantial net loss—relatively low‐​paying apparel jobs in the Big Apple. It’s a bad policy, and certainly nothing for a newspaper to cheer about.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Wolfson calls for freer trade in medical services. A slice:

America’s physician shortage is nothing to sneeze at. For primary care alone, the country will be short more than 40,000 doctors by 2030. American Medical Association President Jesse Ehrenfeld calls it “an urgent crisis” as nearly 1 in 4 American doctors will hit retirement age by the end of the decade. The crisis will worsen as the population grows and ages.

There is a solution. States are starting to see the value of letting internationally licensed physicians help fill their doctor shortages. Govs. Kim Reynolds and Glenn Youngkin signed bills recently allowing Iowa and Virginia to join Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin and Idaho to create a pathway for doctors practicing abroad to become fully licensed without completing unnecessary post-medical-school “residency” training in the U.S.

Previously, doctors licensed outside the U.S. had to come as trainees, or “medical residents,” even if the training was repetitive. This meant top foreign doctors who treat professional athletes around the world, for example, could treat American athletes only overseas. Or doctors who wanted to help underserved communities in the U.S. would have to take lower pay and repeat training they had already completed in another country.

Reason‘s Fiona Harrigan reports that “American small businesses are desperate for foreign workers.”

Jeff Ziegler looks back on the 1925 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Pierce v. Society of Sisters. A slice:

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Society of Sisters and the Hill Military Academy. Writing on behalf of the Court, Justice James McReynolds ruled that

rights guaranteed by the Constitution may not be abridged by legislation which has no reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the State.

The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.

It is hard to imagine a more succinct rebuke of governmental and majoritarian overreach, and a more concise recognition of natural parental rights and responsibilities in education, than the words written by Justice McReynolds on behalf of the unanimous Court. It is hard, too, to imagine the principle that “the child is not the mere creature of the State” stated more powerfully or more eloquently.

Walter Olson applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 NRA v. Vullo ruling in support of First amendment rights.

Bob Graboyes remembers Tommy Wayne Warren – who died way too young and pointlessly.

After surveying the table of contents of the American Economic Review‘s 2024 Papers and Proceedings volume, Arnold Kling offers this accurate assessment:

The old guard that held power in the American Economic Association was always too smug for my tastes. But they were not an ideological monoculture. The young generation is all social justice, all the time. I just let my membership in the AEA lapse.

Tunku Varadarajan profiles, in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard emeritus professor Harvey Mansfield. A slice:

Alongside Mr. Mansfield’s unapologetic championing of the Western canon is a fierce fealty to the U.S. Constitution, which he regards as a bulwark against the nihilism that besets this country. In “America’s Constitutional Soul” (1991), he describes his countrymen as “a constitutional people,” and he insists that we are still that way “in practice, though our parties seem to differ over this.” The Republicans, he says, “are the party of the Constitution.” Since the Democrats “can’t reject the Constitution politically, they call it a living Constitution, which is a kind of rejection, but not in name. I call them the party of bathrooms and pronouns.” He complains that law schools “only teach the amendments. They don’t teach the actual structure of what makes the government work.”

Greg Lukianoff and Andrea Lan report on the “mental health consequences of social justice fundamentalism.” (HT Tyler Cowen) Two slices:

Something is clearly happening, but what’s the cause? The recent documentary film “The Coddling of the American Mind,” directed by Ted Balaker, showcases how the adoption of what Tim Urban calls “social justice fundamentalism” (a.k.a.  “Wokeness” — a term we don’t love) and its associated catastrophizing spirals led three of the film’s protagonists, Kimi, Lucy, and Saeed, into feelings of hopelessness and despair.


Put simply, social justice fundamentalism includes the incorporation of more cognitively distorted ways of thinking — which was, in many ways, the primary argument put forth in Greg and Jon’s 2015 article in The Atlantic. To be fair, the dominant left-liberalism of campus in the 90s certainly had some catastrophizing. It had some blaming. But it also had many positive and hopeful aspects, like a belief in self-expression, authenticity, individuality, technological progress, openness, a strong defense of satire and humor — and even, for better or worse, some amount of hedonism.