Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Meanwhile, back in the authoritarian hellhole of Australia . . .

According to American libertarians, the dangers of covid authoritarianism are clearly on display in Australia.  We’ve looked at some of these claims before.  Here is some additional context from Van Badham, writing in today’s New York Times: Last week, the myth of our enslavement propelled aspirational allies into the streets. In the United States,  Poland  and Britain, […]

The war on the war on covid should make you worry about democratic stability

Consider these excerpts from a recent piece by Jeffrey Tucker at the Brownstone Institute with the understated title “The Purges Have Begin”.  Would someone who took these extreme, apocalyptic arguments to heart oppose efforts by a faction of ethno-nationalist Republicans to steal an election or entrench themselves in power? The policies have been bad enough […]

Obstructionism is its own reward

Over at 538, Nathaniel Rakich points out that Biden’s approval rating is continuing to decline, despite the fact that Afghanistan coverage has declined.  It’s hard to know what is going on here, but my guess is that two factors outside Afghanistan are important.  First, the pandemic is dragging on, and people tend to blame the […]

Natural immunity, vaccine mandates, and “following the science”

In October 2020, three public health academics published the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that policymakers should focus on protecting those most vulnerable to covid, while encouraging those at low risk of death or serious disease to resume normal activities.  This would result in a rapid spread of natural immunity through the population, hastening an […]

Climate change and insurance markets: let’s focus on real solutions, not finger-wagging

I don’t know why I’m writing about this when our democracy is on fire.  Maybe I need to focus on something cheery, like climate change. The American Prospect has a couple of pieces up on insurance and climate change.  One identifies a genuine issue, the other misses the mark. In this piece, Alexander Sammon asks […]

For enterprising libertarians, the war on the war on covid is the gift that keeps on giving

In a recent post I suggested that distrust in the government’s handling of covid and in the safety and efficacy of vaccines is mainly the result of a deliberate messaging campaign by conservative media, libertarian propaganda organizations, and Republican politicians to gain political or ideological advantage by fostering distrust.  To illustrate this, I want to […]

Means-testing the Child Tax Credit

Matt Yglesias has published an interesting essay at his substack by Simon Bazelon and David Shor arguing that Democrats should introduce stricter means testing into the Child Tax Credit. Their key points are as follows: The current CTC design already has means-testing for very high incomes, which means that the administrative burdens associated with means-testing […]