What’s Wrong With Social Mobility

Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“In and of itself, social mobility is far from ambiguously good. … Relative social mobility up is necessarily accompanied by social mobility down. Few people would consciously argue that social mobility in this sense is unambiguously good, especially if the arguer is among the downward-mobile. Whether relative social mobility is good or bad must depend on its causes and consequences. If people switch relative places but the absolute incomes of all move up in the process, social mobility can be said to be absolute: everybody gains.” (11/25/21)


Lebanon: Protesters break into ministry as crisis deepens

Source: Seattle Times

“A small group of protesters broke into a ministry building in Beirut early Friday and removed a photo of the president from one of its main rooms, as the Lebanese pound hit new lows amid a worsening economic and political stalemate. The nearly dozen protesters who entered the Ministry of Social Affairs said conditions in the crisis-hit country have become unbearable as a result of the rapid economic collapse and ongoing crash of the pound, which reached 25,100 to the U.S. dollar. The previous record was 25,000. Prices have been skyrocketing in recent weeks as the government lifted subsidies on fuel and some medicines, making them out of reach of many in Lebanon. Some three quarters of the population of six million, including a million Syrian refugees, now live in poverty. The minimum monthly wage is now worth about $27.” (11/26/21)


The Gospel of a 99% Consensus

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Robertas Bakula

“The time of divine revelation as the path to knowledge and truth is behind us, at least in the Western world. The scientific revolution saw to that. Be that as it may, many people still equate truth with whatever strong beliefs they hold. I am sure you have heard that 97% of scientists agree — human activity is the main cause of changing climate. Even President Obama preached this message. A famous study published in 2013 has helped to entrench this idea in the popular mind. A team led by John Cook examined the literature and concluded that the scientific consensus on the human origins of climate change is beyond doubt. Some researchers and commentators, however, have discredited Cook’s methods, especially his interpretation of data.” (11/25/21)


A Thanksgiving Message from the Publisher

Hey, everyone …

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US — a holiday dedicated to reflecting on the things we’re grateful for. Among those things at MY Thanksgiving table and at Steve’s: YOU.

One month from yesterday will be Rational Review News Digest’s 19th birthday (our history stretches back to 1991 as Freedom News Daily and, before that, Libernet, but December 23, 2002 is the day we struck out on our own in the wake of the previous publisher’s bankruptcy). We estimate our reach, across our web, email, and social media editions, at about 5,000 readers per day, and we love the fact that we’re able to continue bringing all of you the Internet’s oldest daily email (and, later, other formats) news and commentary update for libertarians.

THANK you for reading.

And THANK YOU for the financial support that lets us keep bringing you the freedom movement’s daily newspaper.

Speaking of which:


Yesterday was our second “zero dollar day” in a row.

We’re only $582 away from wrapping up our annual fundraiser. We’re at $1,993. Once we reach $2,575, “matching funds” donor GL will kick in another $2,575 and get us to our goal of $5,150.

Our revenue model is, in a way, “Thanksgiving-based.” We provide the product at no up-front cost, and ask the readers who value it (that is, who are thankful to have it) to return some of that value in the form of financial support.

If you value Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily, PLEASE help us wrap this fundraiser up THIS WEEKEND. After which, you’ll hear not another word from me about money for the rest of the year (and very few such words until next October 1). “Our operators are standing by,” so to speak, at:


We take holidays off, so no edition tomorrow. There will probably be at least one “shorty” edition over the weekend, on Friday and/or Saturday. I have high hopes that one of those “shorty” editions, or Monday’s edition, will announce the successful END of this fundraiser. But that depends on you. The link again:


Thanks for all you do, and have a great weekend!

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

US regime asks court to immediately lift stay on vaccine mandate

Source: Reuters

“The U.S. government asked a federal appeals court to immediately lift a court-ordered stay on a sweeping workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule to avoid ‘enormous’ harm to public health, or alternatively to allow a masking-and-testing requirement, according to a court filing. Delaying the rule by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that requires employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly would lead to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, the government said in a Tuesday filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. … The OSHA rule requires businesses with at least 100 employees, covering tens of millions of American workers, to comply by Jan. 4. Although 82% of U.S. adults have gotten at least one vaccine dose, requiring shots against COVID-19 has become a divisive political issue over trade-offs between civil liberty and public health.” (11/23/21)


The Merchants of Moral Panic

Source: Brownstone Institute
by Thomas Harrington

“[I]t is logical that many of us tend to associate the phenomenon of moral panic with the political right. And there are many reasons for doing so. From Le Bon, and his theories about the dangerous nature of the masses in the 1800s, to today’s Trumps, Erdogans, Bolsonaros, Abascals (Spain) and Orbans, the right has repeatedly resorted to moral panic to strengthen the foundations of its social power. But I think it is a very big mistake to assume that the use of moral panic is strictly a right-wing phenomenon. Moral panic is, in fact, a tool available to supporters of any social group possessed, on the one hand, of a substantial level of anguish over the relative loss of its social hegemony, and on the other, of the media connections needed to mount a sustained campaign to demonize nonconformists.” (11/23/21)


Free Talk Live, 11/23/21

Source: Free Talk Live

“Cantwell et al. ordered to pay $27m :: Frivolous lawsuits against political opponents :: Resident Evil movie :: Virtual influencers :: Improvements in imaging technology :: Clowns, jugglers, and magicians used to vaccinate screaming kids :: How to keep poor people poor :: Electricity monopolies :: Government-manufactured crises :: Show: 2021-11-23 Aria, Ian.” [Flash audio or MP3] (11/23/21)

India: Parliament’s agenda includes bill pretending regime has the power to ban “private cryptocurrencies”

Source: CoinTelegraph

“The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill is one of 26 new pieces of legislation for India’s lower house of parliament to consider when it convenes next Monday. The Indian government will be considering a bill that would create a digital rupee starting as early as next week, but may also ban certain cryptocurrencies in the country. … In March 2020, India’s supreme court overturned a blanket ban on crypto imposed by the central bank two years ago.” (11/23/21)


America’s Privileged Policy Elites and Their Lack of Accountability

Source: Antiwar.com
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“It is increasingly apparent that America’s political and military elites are almost never held to account for their blunders or even outright crimes. The latest episode is the Pentagon’s multi-year campaign to conceal information about a March 2019 airstrike in Syria that killed as many as 64 civilians, including women and children. Despite the New York Times’[s] expose, there is no indication that the individuals responsible for that atrocity or the subsequent cover up will face any serious consequences. … None of this should come as a surprise. The latest episodes are reminiscent of the Navy’s behavior when one of its warships in the Persian Gulf, the USS Vincennes, shot down an Iranian airliner with 290 people aboard in July 1988.” (11/23/21)