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March 2021

"Back to the 60s."

John Cochrane quotes extensively from a post by an academic economist who happily proclaims "It really does seem that on the big macroeconomic questions, our [Liberal] side is winning." Cochrane is calm and respectful, but he slams the post's logic really hard.

This is a good and logical point. If you take it seriously, though, it should show the illogic of the whole edifice. I found this claim that the child tax credit will cut child poverty in half illuminatingly ludicrous, not enticing. Really, that's all it takes? Why not spend $4 billlion [sic] and eliminate child poverty forever? Why not spend $8 billion and eliminate adult poverty? It hilarious that after the "war on poverty" declared in 1965, people could actually say with a straight face that the only reason "child poverty" remains in America is that we didn't pass a little tax credit.  

"If Social Security were a private retirement fund, we’d sue"

Very strong language from Brent Arends, usually a low-key financial writer. But it's more than warranted.

I come back to this scandal because Congress just spent $86 billion of our money bailing out private sector pension funds on behalf of the Teamsters and other unions, while continuing to do absolutely nothing whatsoever to put Social Security on a stable financial footing. . . .

Whenever I suggest to people that Social Security be invested in stocks and other assets, they generally clutch their pearls in shock, before offering up various illogical reasons why that would be totally impossible.

"Liberals want to blame rightwing 'misinformation' for our problems. Get real"

By the quite Liberal Thomas Frank in the very Liberal British paper The Guardian.

In liberal circles these days there is a palpable horror of the uncurated world, of thought spaces flourishing outside the consensus, of unauthorized voices blabbing freely in some arena where there is no moderator to whom someone might be turned in. The remedy for bad speech, we now believe, is not more speech, as per Justice Brandeis’s famous formula, but an “extremism expert” shushing the world.

What an enormous task that shushing will be!