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George Will writes judiciously about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Murthy v. Missouri. A slice:

Samuel A. Alito Jr., joined in dissent by the other conservatives, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch, illustrates the conservative principle that judicial restraint can constitute a dereliction of the duty of “judicial engagement” against the other branches’ actions that violate constitutional rights. Alito assembles powerful evidence that the government so “hectored” Facebook that it “whimpered” apologetically, like “a subservient entity” determined to act “collaboratively” with “a powerful taskmaster.”

This case, like many others, required the court to balance conflicting powers and rights. The federal government has the power to speak about various matters of public policy. But state governments have the power to speak to their constituents without encountering federally imposed social media impediments. And although private social media companies’ content-moderation decisions are not constrained by the First Amendment, individuals have a First Amendment right not to have their ability to speak on the platforms abridged by government’s “encouragement” of censorious behavior — government coercion or collusion that makes the platforms, in effect, government appendages.

It is difficult to draw lines, lines neither vague nor overbroad, between permissible and unconstitutional government involvements with social media. But drawing lines, including those defining free speech on the internet, is the justices’ job.

Randy Barnett argues that libertarianism needs some updating.

Art Carden explains that producers of labor-saving machinery are fans of minimum-wage legislation government-imposed restrictions on the ability of low-skilled workers to compete for employment.

Ben Zycher reports some good news.

GMU Econ alum Alexander William Salter rightly recommends the magnificent econ textbook, Universal Economics, by Armen Alchian and William R. Allen (and edited by Jerry Jordan). A slice:

Too many economists treat the economy as a machine, conveniently positioning themselves as the machinists whose tinkering makes the whole thing “work.” Alchian in Allen, in contrast, treat the economy as an object of inquiry, inviting the reader on a quest of joint discovery. Their goal is social comprehension, not social control. That enables them to avoid the common pitfalls of microeconomic analysis, such as equating price-taking behavior by firms with “perfect competition” or assuming margins of adjustment other than price indicate an economic inefficiency.

Universal Economics properly begins with the problem of scarcity, which makes necessary a system to determine who gets what. They immediately segue to rules and processes that can allocate resources. This puts property rights front and center. Queueing, discrimination, and violence are all schemes societies have used throughout history to allocate rights. What makes market economies unique is their reliance on “competitive cooperation by exchanges” to determine what gets produced, how it gets produced, and who gets the resulting products. Thinking about economic problems in terms of property rights helps us understand, for example, why politically free speech (“the right to communicate with your own resources to other willing listeners”) is never economically free. This is time well-spent: We cannot make good use of a market model, such as supply and demand, without understanding that market participants are exchanging rights to things, rather than things in themselves.

Pierre Lemieux reviews Matt Zwolinski’s and Miranda Perry Fleischer’s new book, Universal Basic Income: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Megan McArdle explains that “the 25th Amendment is the wrong way to deal with Biden’s decline.” A slice:

At that point, no one could sugarcoat the issue as a question of whether Biden has the physical stamina to campaign. The only way to say it would be: “Sir, you’re no longer competent to be president.” This would be hard for either the Cabinet or party leaders to tell the big boss, especially without some assurance of support by two-thirds of Congress. (Imagine their future if they lose the vote and he retakes power.)

Wall Street Journal columnist James Freeman wisely does not trust Klaus Schwab. Here’s the caption to the photo of Schwab that accompanies Freeman’s column:

Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, speaks at another of his insufferable conferences last week in Dalian, China.