Reckless Clients and Double Standards

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“Secretary Blinken made a claim yesterday that absolutely no one will believe: ‘We apply the same standard to everyone,’ Blinken said. ‘And that doesn’t change whether the country in question is an adversary, a competitor, a friend or an ally.’ … It is obvious that allies and clients are given a free pass for things that would trigger condemnation, sanctions, or possibly even military action when others do them. The problem isn’t just that the U.S. lets allies and clients get away with more crimes, but that it simply refuses to impose significant penalties on them no matter what they do. There isn’t a double standard so much as there is no standard for allies and clients at all.” (04/23/24)

Vicious government and vicious dogs

Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Most of us have encountered or been told about an encounter with a vicious dog. A dog which, seemingly for no reason, will suddenly lash out at another animal or a human. Attack with no provocation, or even when (as has happened to several of us) when the human is attempting to help the dog. (It’s common enough to promote a saying, ‘biting the hand that feeds you.’ An uncontrolled (or uncontrollable) dog which is vicious is often put down. Hopefully and preferably by its owner. Sometimes by the person who is the object of its assault.” (04/23/24)

Hindu Nationalists Taking Notes (and Tech Support) From Israeli Right

Source: In These Times
by Ankur Singh

“Momtaj Begum was scared, but there was no time. She immediately started packing everything her family owned — for herself, her husband and their three children. At 11 o’clock one night in September 2021, thousands of residents of Dhalpur (a village on a sandbar in the Brahmaputra River in India’s northeastern state of Assam) received notice from the government that they must leave by 10 a.m. the next morning, when their homes would be demolished. State officials claimed the villagers, who lived half a day’s drive from India’s border with Bangladesh, were ‘illegal’ immigrants encroaching on government-owned land, despite families having citizenship documents and living there for decades. While Begum and her neighbors packed, Nur Hussain, a leader in the local All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), messaged villagers frantically on WhatsApp, trying to make a plan. They weren’t going to leave so easily.” (04/24/24)

Externalities should be handled with care

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“The Financial Times has an interesting interview with Esther Duflo, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019. She argues that developed nations have a moral duty to compensate poor countries for the damage done by carbon emissions …. Duflo’s proposed tax makes no sense if the underlying problem is externalities. Economic theory suggests the optimal remedy for negative externalities is to impose a tax equal to the external cost — in this case a carbon tax. (This is assuming that transactions costs prevent a voluntary solution.) Instead, Duflo proposes a tax on the rich, which would do little or nothing to address the problem of global warming.” (04/23/24)

Third Party Candidates Are America’s Fortune-Tellers

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“[P]olitical establishments are ‘conservative.’ They tend to hold on to old ways of doing things, refusing to make more than minor tweaks to the system, until and unless they’re forced to make real changes. Historically, those changes have been first proposed by ‘third party’ political candidates, after which growing public support has eventually forced ‘major party’ adoption.” (04/23/24)

Yet Another Drug War Failure

by Ted Galen Carpenter

“An especially hot news item in 2024 has been the surge of drug-related violence in Ecuador. Until recent years, Ecuador was hailed as an island of relative stability in the swirling violence of the illegal drug trade in the Western hemisphere. The situation there contrasted with the level of chaos and violence in neighboring countries such as Peru and Colombia, as well as the central arena of drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America. American retirees found the country to be an especially appealing destination. That presumption of stability was always somewhat exaggerated. … drug warriors in the United States and other countries cling to hard-line strategies and refuse to face an inconvenient economic truth. Governments are not able to dictate whether people use mind-altering substances. ” (04/23/24)

Taxation is Theft: An Anarchist Guide to Taxation

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Logan Marie Glitterbomb

“‘Tax the rich’ is an all too common refrain on the left which, thanks to left unity, has even been echoed by many self-proclaimed anarchists. ‘Taxation is theft’ on the other hand is a slogan many anarchists are hesitant to repeat due to its association with right-libertarians despite it being far more consistent with anarchist ideals. When taxation is the main funding source for the military police state with only crumbs going towards an extremely inadequate welfare plantation system, why would anarchists want any more funding to go towards that no matter who’s fronting the bill?” (04/23/24)

You don’t want immigrants? Then tell grandma she can never retire.

Source: Washington Post
by Catherine Rampell

“On many dimensions, our ability to attract global talent to our shores is a blessing. But this being an election year, and demagogues being demagogues, right-wing pundits and political operatives have worked to darken these bright statistics. Fox News refers to Bidenomics as a ‘migrant job fair.’ The Republican-aligned Heritage Foundation alleges that ‘Americans have been completely left behind in this economy,’ citing as evidence that fact I just mentioned: that all the net new job growth is accounted for by immigrants. But the labor market is not zero-sum, and native-born workers happen to be doing extraordinarily well, too. … There just aren’t enough of us, in total, to fill all the jobs that employers are creating as boomers retire.” (04/23/24)

What Kind of Desperado Is Donald Trump?

Source: The Dispatch
by Chris Stirewalt

“America has long loved its bad men, some badder than others. Some were real heroes, like the privateers who harassed enemy shipping during the Revolution and the War of 1812. Some were just thugs with good public relations, like Al Capone. And some were mostly works of fiction, like Billy the Kid. So what’s Donald Trump? I’ve thought often of my mother’s soft spot for [John] Dillinger as I watched Republicans close ranks around Trump. These are mostly people who wouldn’t tolerate Trump’s conduct in an employee or neighbor. … Yet with Trump they have found a way not just to excuse the bad behavior, but to turn it into a mark of honor.” (04/23/24)

There Is No Good Version of a Central Bank Digital Currency

Source: Cato Institute
by Norbert Michel

“A fully implemented CBDC gives the government complete control over the money going into and coming out of every person’s account. It’s not difficult to see that this level of government control is incompatible with both economic and political freedom.” (04/23/24)