URLs du Jour


■ Proverbs 28:11 goes after the 1 percent:

The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.

… centuries later, they're making movies and sitcoms on that very premise. Good job, Proverbs!

And that verse is also kind of relevant to our first item…

■ An unexpected site (Brookings) notes where free speech is most often under attack: Illiberal arts colleges: Pay more, get less (free speech).

We have crunched some numbers using data gathered by the non-partisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and found that the schools where students have attempted disinvite speakers are substantially wealthier and more expensive than average. Since 2014, there have been attempts at some 90 colleges to disinvite speakers, mostly conservatives. The average enrollee at a college where students have attempted to restrict free speech comes from a family with an annual income $32,000 higher than that of the average student in America.

An accompanying graph does a pretty good job of illustrating the issue. Not only are certain schools (like, ahem, Middlebury) catering to the upper crust, those are the places more likely to suppress conservative speech.

■ George Leef at NR has a good idea: How about Facts Rather Than Emotion in the Campus Concealed-Carry Debate? As we've noted, a lot of college campuses ban firearms altogether for their students and (ahem) employees, including the University Near Here. But anyone else can carry according to the laws of the locality; the most the school can do is "politely ask them to leave." So should colleges just give up this stupid idea?

The “progressives” instantly say “No!” because firearms are bad things that ought to be owned only by government officials. And on college campuses, the opponents of firearms say that if students are allowed to carry them, the result will be professors afraid to bring up controversial topics for fear that some gun-toting student will get angry and start shooting.

Note that Colorado has repealed that exception for its schools, and the predicted bloodbath in that state hasn't occurred. Why, its almost as if "progressives" are engaged in baseless fear-mongering!

■ The wonderful Virginia Postrel has some wonderful advice for the Feds: Don't Just Roll Back Back Fuel Standards. End Them.

Fighting over the right level for fuel-economy mandates obscures the fundamental problem, however. The CAFE standards are lousy environmental policy. Instead of targeting the real issue -- burning less gasoline -- the mandates meddle in corporate strategy, impose enormous hidden costs, and encourage drivers to hang on to their old gas guzzlers. Republicans should scrap the standards altogether while they control the White House and Congress. The CAFE rules are a terrible way to achieve either fuel savings or lower carbon emissions.

Of course, letting consumers decide for themselves on tradeoffs between fuel economy and other factors is anathema to statists.

■ Megan McArdle offers some pretty good advice to GOP pols: Best Health-Care Plan for Republicans? Wait.

Republicans will have to do something eventually, but they will be in a better position to do that something if they wait. If the exchanges survive, they will have time to come up with a plan and sell it to the public. If they don’t survive, then Republicans will be in an even better position, because they will no longer be contending with loss aversion. People hate losing anything they already have. Most interest groups are organized to make darned sure they never lose an existing benefit. Once the exchanges have collapsed, and you are no longer taking something away from people, you have a lot more freedom to design alternatives.

They'll take some political heat for this, but we could wind up with something better than their current proposal.

■ At Reason J. D. Tuccille wonders at the mutual animosity of Clinton/Trump voters, and prescribes a chill pill for both: If Gary Johnson Voters Can Tolerate Clinton and Trump Supporters, The Two Groups Can Live With Each Other.

But remember, just months ago, Americans agreed that [Clinton and Trump] were both crappy and distasteful. That really doesn't give the people who chose either major party candidate the moral authority to bash backers of the other. Meanwhile, those of us who voted for other candidates who we actually found to be decent human beings have made our peace with the election outcome. We may not be happy with the results of the final tally, but we're not going to shun those who were so foolish as to vote for Trump or Clinton—even though our political choices were vastly better than the ones they made.

As a Johnson voter myself, I say: right on, J. D.

■ For aficionados of understated humor: My wife and I visit IKEA again and I try to figure out why.

I want his wife's t-shirt.