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George Will offers much evidence for the proposition that “the Biden administration is the most progressive in U.S. history.” A slice:

Having unleashed the worst inflation in 40 years, Biden is banning (through a 100 percent tariff) Chinese electric vehicles. This will keep U.S.-made EVs prohibitively expensive for most consumers, giving Biden a reason to continue subsidizing purchasers. Protected U.S. vehicle manufacturers will raise prices, enabling Biden to call this “reindustrialization.” This artificial (because government-subsidized) manufacturing “revival” will stop if the subsidies do, so they won’t.

Progressives focus on jobs protected or provided by government, especially since the 2000-2015 “China shock,” although the Economist calls this supposed shock “insignificant”: “A plausible upper limit for American jobs lost … is around 2m. That is a small fraction of the size of the workforce (130m in 2000). Over that period people left jobs about 900m times … The vast majority found work again quickly … ‘Despite some localised hardships, the China shock is really a rounding error for the US workforce overall,’ says Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute.”

The “shock” is the gift that keeps giving progressives an excuse to socialize the economy through government “partnerships.” While denouncing “tax breaks” for “Big Pharma” and “Big Oil,” Biden (notes the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards) favors trillions of dollars for “Big Semiconductor, Big Wind, Big Solar, Big Battery, Big Automaker, Big Utility.”

Automakers are now public utilities, whose future investments and product decisions are dictated by government. Twenty-first-century progressives preserve the shell of the (formerly) private sector as government’s appendage, but any vestiges of private autonomy are subordinated to the “existential” urgency of decarbonizing, which makes everything the government’s concern.

Jake Sullivan — technically, Biden’s national security adviser; actually, a roving savant-without-borders — says government dispensing trillions of dollars is “not picking winners and losers,” it is merely picking “sectors vital to our national well-being.” This is a distinction without a difference because “well-being” encompasses everything.

Physicist Steven Koonin always – as he does in today’s Wall Street Journal – writes sensibly about the so-called “climate crisis.” A slice:

The challenges in reducing emissions have long been evident to the few who cared to understand demographics, economics and energy technologies. As more people have come to appreciate those factors, there are signs that the “climate crisis” has entered Downs’s Phase III, when ambitious goals collide with techno-economic realities.

In Europe, consumers are rebelling against measures to reduce emissions (fiascoes of home heating requirements had electoral consequences in the U.K., Germany, and the Netherlands), and industry is decamping in search of cheaper energy. Despite generous subsidies, U.S. deployment of low-emission technologies can’t meet near-term goals, let alone the projected surge in electricity demand owing to data centers, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles. “Green” investments aren’t yielding competitive financial returns, and the annual cost of a 30-year decarbonization effort, estimated to be upward of 5% of the global economy, weighs on national budgets. Simultaneously, the scientific rationale for the transition is weakening as expectations of future warming are moderating.

Bruce Yandle asks: “From the Boston Tea Party to today’s targeted tariffs: What happened?”

My Mercatus Center colleague Christine McDaniel, writing in Forbes, argues against over-eagerness to blame free trade.

Ramesh Ponnuru has a history lesson, about inflation, for Zach Carter.

Ilia Murtazashvili isn’t impressed with Joseph Stiglitz’s new book. A slice:

Unfortunately, Stiglitz is too comfortable claiming that the solution to these problems is “regulation,” without adding much explanation of how regulation should address such issues. Here he should have engaged more deeply with the insights of another Nobel laureate in economics, Elinor Ostrom. Stiglitz does mention Ostrom’s research on the regulation of the commons—that is, of shared resources that anyone can use (and overuse, in the absence of rules governing how people can draw on them). But he sees her work as a defense of “regulation” and a critique of private property.

That wasn’t what Ostrom was arguing. Rather than rail against private property, Ostrom argued that it is an empirical question as to whether private property, communal arrangements outside the state, or government control is the most appropriate way to manage the commons. And nothing in Ostrom’s work implies a wide-ranging critique of private property. Her work is fully within the same classical liberal tradition that includes Hayek and Friedman.

Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn decries “the sliming of Byron Donalds.” A slice:

As Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies says, “There is no question that marriage was stronger in black America prior to the 1960s than it was after the 1960s.”

Mr. Donalds might have pointed out that the destructive effects of the Great Society weren’t limited to the black community. Charles Murray wrote a whole book about how the War on Poverty’s expansion of the welfare state had devastating results for America’s white working class as well. These include dysfunctions sometimes erroneously considered unique to poor African-Americans: the collapse of family and marriage, dependency on government, and young male alienation from work.

Jack Solowey and Jennifer Huddleston correctly label these words as ones to fear: “I’m from the state government, and I’m here to help with AI risk.”

Ilya Somin remembers the late David Boaz.