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Kevin Corcoran writes insightfully about the minimum wage legislation that effectively outlaws the sale of low-skill labor.

Craig Eyermann decries the U.S. government’s worsening fiscal incontinence.

It’s important to read Arnold Kling’s reflections on measurement error. A slice:

When you read a study, one important question to ask is “How did they measure that?” Because researchers almost never have a perfect measure of the variables that they are talking about. And measurement error affects the results.

Steven Kurtz finds much to dislike in Kliph Nesteroff’s apparently outrageous book Outrageous.

According to Nesteroff (and the partisan experts he quotes), right-wing think tanks tell their talking heads in the media what to say, often gaining consensus through payment of large sums. (It’s not clear what he believes the left is doing in the meantime. I guess they’re just telling the truth and being ignored.) Further, under the guise of supporting free speech, right-wing plotters send “provocateurs to speak on college campuses for the purpose of incitement. When protests erupt, such objection is used as proof that the campus is opposed to free speech. Demonized in the body politic, funding is threatened—and legal action undertaken—until the campus is made hospitable to think tank interests.”

Wow. A conspiracy theory almost worthy of the Birchers.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa offers an update on Javier Milei’s progress in Argentina. A slice:

Milei’s strategy disappointed some classical liberals because he postponed lifting exchange controls (which also translated into capital controls) that he inherited. His promise to abolish the central bank and officially dollarize the economy or allow various currencies to compete has yet to be fulfilled. His economic team has persuaded him that he needs to stabilize the government’s finances, clean up the central bank’s balance sheet and build up some foreign reserves before proceeding with these reforms. Tackling them too early, they fear, would cause a debacle.

Although I am one of those who believe that they should have implemented these significant changes earlier rather than later, it is too early to give up hope. Monthly inflation, which was as high as 25 percent, has now decreased to just above 4 percent, thanks to the reduction of the fiscal deficit in record time, the elimination of a large amount of short-term central bank debt that was incurring astronomically high interest rates (and its conversion into longer-term Treasury bonds at much-reduced interest rates), and the increase in foreign reserves, which has helped to restore people’s expectations. All of this has taken place with the support of the International Monetary Fund, which continues to express confidence in Milei’s plan and has disbursed the funds it conditionally committed to provide to Argentina long before Milei’s presidency.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Daniel Di Martino about life in Venezuela.

Scott Sumner rightly praises Janan Ganesh’s questioning of the notion that the rise of the far right is a reaction to the excesses of “neoliberalism.”

Will Sellers reflects on “the Magna Carta’s constitutional tradition.”

Here’s the abstract of a new paper by my GMU Econ colleague Vincent Geloso along with Sean Alvarez and Macy Scheck:

The literature connecting economic freedom indexes to income levels and growth generally points in the direction of a positive association. In this paper, we argue that this finding is a highly conservative as the data is heavily biased against finding any effects. The bias emerges as a result of the tendency of dictatorial regimes to overstate their GDP level. Dictatorships also tend to have lower scores of economic freedom. This downwardly biases any estimations of the relation between income and economic freedom. In this paper, we use recent corrections to GDP numbers — based on nighttime light intensity — to estimate the bias. We find that the true effects of economic freedom at its component on income levels are between 1.1 and 1.33 times greater than commonly estimated. For economic growth, the bias is far smaller and only appears to be relevant for some individual components such as size of government and property rights.