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

Trump on his own terms

David Hopkins has an interesting take on the failure of Trump’s presidency: Regardless of these challenges, the general verdict on Trump among historians and political scientists, reporters and commentators, and most of the Washington political community (including, at least privately, many Republicans) is guaranteed to range from disappointment and mockery to outright declarations that he […]

Impeachment, again

I want to revisit my earlier post on impeachment.  I am more inclined to support impeachment today than I was 6 days ago, although it is still far from clear that impeachment makes sense.  Trump has done great damage to this country by making clear that congressional Republicans will allow a lawless, authoritarian president who […]

Libertarian David Henderson on Trump

Yesterday, David Henderson, a libertarian economist associated with Hoover and econlib, had a post at econlib suggesting that Trump has been unfairly accused of fomenting violence.  I was going to stick a link to Henderson’s piece in the comments to my earlier post on the libertarian reaction to storming of the Capitol.  But when I […]

Double standards in policing

Many have noted, correctly, that there is a clear double standard in how the police treated the right-wing protesters at the Capitol on Wednesday and how they treated Black Lives Matter demonstrators this summer.  This is indeed a huge problem and I hope to comment further on it soon.  Here I simply want to point […]

Libertarians: Hey look, it’s Haley’s comet!

How are libertarian lovers of liberty responding to the assault on democracy and the rule of law that took place in the Capitol Wednesday? Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen speaks out eloquently against Trump’s anti-democratic behavior.  Just kidding!  In a post entitled “That was then, this is now” Cowen reminds us about the terrorist […]

Impeachment now?

What about impeachment?  There is no question that Congress can impeach Trump for his role in encouraging today’s assault on Congress.  What are the arguments for and against?  For impeachment: There is a real possibility that Trump will do something dangerous in the final days of his presidency. If he is impeached and convicted, he […]

Why resign?

Several White House aides and policymakers have resigned in the past 24 hours.  Frankly, I don’t get it.  First, it’s way too late to salvage your reputation.  Second, at this point you can (arguably) do more to protect your reputation by saying that you are staying to prevent Trump from doing something crazy in the […]

The events at the Capitol

The events at the capitol today are horrifying, and to many of us seem like the natural outcome of Trumpism and the morally degenerate enabling of the Republican party.  But the events today may well end up strengthening our democracy. I suspect that Trump has badly overplayed his hand.  The images of thugs running loose […]

Status quo bias and vaccine supplies

Here is a simple thought experiment on the use of scarce vaccine supplies. Suppose that we had tested the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines with one dose per person and discovered that they were 85% effective at preventing covid-19. However, due to an administrative error, we gave some people two doses, and when we analyzed the data it […]

Yes, let’s vaccinate twice as many people against covid-19

I am very sympathetic to Robert Waldmann’s argument that we should give twice as many people one dose of the new Pfizer/Moderna vaccines, at least until supply constraints are eased, instead of following the FDA approved vaccination protocol and giving everyone two doses right from the beginning. What follows is a rough way of thinking […]