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Samuel Gregg has advice about “rebooting market liberalism in a populist age.” A slice:

Advancing market liberalism today likewise requires the incorporation of free market ideas into a more comprehensive narrative about a wider revival of America and other Western countries. But however market liberals go about this, there is one obligation of which they cannot lose sight: that concerns their duty to tell the truth, however hard it may be for policymakers and people more generally to hear it.

The German market liberal Wilhelm Röpke summed up this responsibility in a 1956 essay written in a festschrift for another liberal economist, Ludwig von Mises:

[Economics] has a humble but all the more useful mission. Amidst the passions and self-interest of politics, it must assert the logic of things, it must bring to light all the inconvenient facts and relationships, must put them in their proper place with dispassionate justice, must prick all the soap bubbles, must unmask illusion and confusion, and must defend before all the world the proposition that two and two make four. It should be the one science par excellence which disillusions, which is anti-visionary, anti-Utopian, and anti-ideological. Thus, it can render society the priceless service of cooling off political passion, of combating mass superstition, of making life hard for all demagogues, financial wizards, and economic prestidigitators.

And GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino reminds us of Reagan’s “Morning in America” ad. A slice:

Policies that increase the general cost of living are bad for families. Policies that reduce the general cost of living are good for families. And they would probably help families more than policies that are socially engineered to help families specifically. Such schemes are prone to unintended consequences, and faith in government planners should always be small.

GMU Econ alum Alexander Salter, writing at City Journal, gets to the heart of the (many) problems with Trump’s internally inconsistent proposal to replace the income tax with higher tariffs. A slice:

Tariffs are a source of economic malaise, not strength.

It’s often said about Trump that we should take him “seriously, not literally.” Doing so suggests a probable conclusion: he doesn’t care about the size and sources of federal revenue. His remarks were merely intended to cause a ruckus (they have) and strengthen his electoral coalition (they will). So be it. Though economics has little to say about how to win a presidential election, it has much to tell us about the consequences of a president’s proposed policies. Even if Trump meant nothing more than imposing a more restrictionist trade regime, that, too, will create real economic costs for Americans. We should be honest about those costs.

Brian Blase, writing in the Wall Street Journal, decries “the $20 billion ObamaCare subsidy fraud.” A slice:

The Biden administration has made ObamaCare even more wasteful than it already was. A new Paragon analysis estimates that five million enrollees are receiving health-insurance subsidies well above the amounts to which they are legally entitled. The subsidy amount is largely determined by income, so that brokers and insurers alike financially benefit if applicants misstate their incomes. The administration, seeking to inflate coverage numbers, has prioritized enrollment over the program’s integrity. That has fostered fraudulent spending, which we estimate at $20 billion in 2024.

My Mercatus Center colleague Shruti Rajagopalan talks with Anne Krueger about rent-seeking, trade, and economic development.

Zach Weissmueller and Liz Wolfe talk with Ian Vásquez about Argentina.

My GMU Econ colleague Vincent Geloso explains that the masses of people are pulled out of poverty only by economic freedom. A slice:

Usually, when discussing policy remedies, the discussion revolves around redistributive measures such as greater spending on education, the provision of social housing projects, the expansion of direct cash transfers, or even the creation of new ones.

Less frequently heard are proposals that speak to the role of markets in creating pathways out of persistent poverty. In an article recently accepted at Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, James Dean and I argue that the potency of markets in alleviating poverty is deeply underestimated. As such, we shift the focus to the benefits of economic freedom — the alleviation of taxation, the shrinking of government, the reduction of labor market regulations, and the protection of property rights.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board is rightly critical of yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Moore v. U.S. Two slices:

The Justices instead ruled narrowly that under the Court’s precedents the MRT is constitutional. “It has gone without serious question in both Congress and the federal courts that Congress can attribute the undistributed income of an entity to the entity’s shareholders or partners, and tax the shareholders or partners on their pro rata share of the entity’s undistributed income,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh writes. He was joined by Chief Justice John Robertsand the three liberals.

The Chief and Justice Kavanaugh seem to have heeded arguments that ruling for the Moores might put other tax provisions in legal jeopardy. But the opinion leaves open the door to taxing asset appreciation, including unrealized capital gains—and that’s what makes this ruling so dangerous for liberty.


Justice Kavanaugh does issue a warning that “the Due Process Clause proscribes arbitrary attribution” of undistributed income to shareholders. And he writes that his opinion should not “be read to authorize any hypothetical congressional effort to tax both an entity and its shareholders or partners on the same undistributed income realized by the entity.”

That’s nice to know, but progressives will still read his opinion as saying five Justices haven’t closed the door on a wealth tax. The Moore majority has invited tax mischief it will have to clean up in the future—if this not-so-conservative Court can muster the votes.

Mike Munger has something to say about how libertarians and classical liberals should vote.