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

Donald Boudreaux schools us on libertarian values

Trump Wednesday refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November.  He is deliberately undermining confidence in the integrity of mail-in ballot results – mail-in ballots that are expected to favor the Democrats.  According to a report in The Atlantic, the White House is laying plans to actively steal the […]

China’s climate announcement

Easily lost in the news of the day, from the NYT: President Xi Jinping of China pledged on Tuesday that his country would adopt much stronger climate targets and achieve what he called “carbon neutrality before 2060.” If realized, the pledges would be crucial in the global fight against climate change. This may be mostly […]

It’s all on Trump

The Post Office is Trump’s responsibility.  He appointed the Postmaster General.  If he had asked for more funding, he would have gotten it.  If there is any delay in delivering ballots this November, it’s on Trump. The integrity of the election is on Trump.  He runs the intelligence services and is responsible for preventing foreign […]

Is Trump a blip?

Kevin Drum argues that he is: One of the key questions raised by Donald Trump’s 2016 victory has been whether he represents a new turn in American politics or merely a blip who will be quickly forgotten if he loses in 2020. Over the past four years I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the evidence […]

The Democratic convention

I watched most of the convention, and thought it was well done.  My main concern is that most of the arguments made against Trump – and the election will primarily be about Trump, not Biden – were more persuasive to people who are already solid Biden voters.  If you are still thinking about voting for […]

Progressive politics and the pandemic

How will the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests over the police murder of George Floyd and other black people affect the political mood in the United States?  The libertarian-leaning economist Tyler Cowen suggested in March that the COVID-19 pandemic would mark the “death of the progressive left.”  It would erode support for key progressive goals, […]

The UI fiscal stimulus

Apropos my previous post, a new NBER paper by Casado et al estimates the effect of pandemic unemployment benefits on local spending: The FPUC supplement to unemployment insurance of $600 ended at the end of July 2020. Prior to its expiration, the average weekly benefit paid was $812, which would fall to $257, implying a […]

The rational self-interest theory of politics meets Donald Trump

In a semi-rational world, Trump and Senate Republicans would have agreed to a reasonably generous economic relief package along the lines of the HEROES Act approved by the House.  Without an extension of the special pandemic unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments, a humanitarian disaster is inevitable and a macroeconomic disaster a […]

Elites versus the public on renaming army bases

According to the Washington Post: Half of Americans oppose renaming military bases currently named after Confederate generals, while 42 percent support the changes. Once again there is a significant partisan split, with 81 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of independents opposed and 66 percent of Democrats in favor. A majority of Americans ages 50 and older are opposed […]