Current Affairs

"Waste and debt"

I had noticed this, too, but Professor Peter Gordon puts it far better than I would have:

But we now live in another world. Whether it is Clinton, Trump, Sanders or Obama, they are fond of discovering (and championing) free lunches (trade protectionism, free college, banning immigration, overtime for everyone, free child care, energy independence, etc., etc., etc.).

The locals in my part of the world are not to be undone. Friend Brad H. notes that the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation has discovered the best deal yet: Raise the sales tax by one-half cent and "put billions back into the economy". How does that really work? There are no opportunity costs. In fact, costs are benefits. Spending is a benefit.

Related: Tyler Cowen's post, "What is the opportunity cost of additional government borrowing?"

Opportunity cost remains an underrated idea in economics.

Amen to that.


"Government Says Wearing 'Don't Tread on Me' Insignia Might Be Unlawful Racial Harassment"

Another instance--I find they occur increasingly frequently--that leaves me thinking, "You can't make this stuff up."

The flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a delegate to the Continental Congress and a brigadier general in war that made the U.S. independent. In modern times, it has been used by the Tea Party and by supporters of the U.S. national soccer team.

Eugene Volokh reports that when an employee of a private company wore a cap with the “Don’t Tread on Me” insignia to work, a co-worker complained to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that wearing the cap constituted racial harassment on the part of the employer, which apparently did not ban it. The employee said he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag containing the slogan was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.”


Some notes on the Democratic presidential nominee

You may notice a theme in the first four.

First, with the reminder courtesy of Instapundit, the late William Safire's column of over 20 years ago: "Blizzard of Lies".

Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady -- a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation -- is a congenital liar.

Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.

Howie Carr: "Clinton's Little White Lies".

Ron Fournier: "Why Can't Hillary Clinton Stop Lying?"

That is why Clinton’s advisers, senior Democrats, and members of the liberal media need to stop covering for Clinton. Stop repeating her spin. Stop spreading her lies. Stop enabling her worse angels. It’s too late for Clinton to come clean, but honorable Democrats should at least insist that she stop muddying the water.

Please, for the sake of the country, tell her: Stop lying.

Scott Johnson of Powerline: "If She's Moving Her Lips (2)".

Also of interest:

"Hillary’s Senate Accomplishment: One Bill Enacted into Law, to Name a Federal Building". 

"Hillary Obstructed Boko Haram's Terror Designation as Her Donors Cashed In".

"Full List of Hillary’s Planned Tax Hikes".

"Democrats, Stop Chortling About Your Unearned Moral Superiority: Hillary’s As Bad As Trump".

"Hillary’s Critics Don’t Hate Her Because She’s a Woman".


"The Post-Modern Emphasis on 'Dumb Luck'"

The Left seems to have pulled back some from "You didn't build that"--perhaps because of the strong reaction against it, perhaps because if you have dopey ideas you'll want to reframe them frequently--so a new version is "You just got lucky!" Helen Smith beautifully explains why this is so useful to the Left:

Attributing one's success in life to dumb luck makes it politically expedient for politicians to raise taxes on those who are successful and pander to the "less fortunate" by telling them nothing is their fault as they are victims of circumstances beyond one's control. The unsuccessful (who are the majority) feel vindicated and the politicians have goodies to pretend to distribute--the goodies of those with dumb luck.


"The Right to Try"

Alex Tabarrok:

Right to Try legislation permits patients fighting a terminal illness to get access to not-yet-FDA-approved drugs. Thirty-one states have passed Right to Try legislation with massive shows of support but so far these laws are untested by the courts so it’s not clear whether they are anything but expressive. The massive support for Right to Try laws, however, suggests that there is demand for a better FDA asBartley Madden writes . . . 

I have no idea why conservatives don't make cutting back the FDA drastically a campaign issue. Seems like a big winner to me.

Another post (video) by Alex Tabarrok that I enjoyed: "The World’s Biggest A#$#Hole".