URLs du Jour

2019-04-04

[Amazon Link]

  • At Vox, Jacob Levy gives a wonderfully contrarian take: The idea of a “wrong side of history” will be considered unthinkable 50 years from now.

    “What will be on the wrong side of history in 50 years time?” The very question is one of superstition and myth. In fact, the very idea that there is a wrong or right side of history has been the moral justification for a variety of historical horrors that were steeped in ideas of modernity and technological mastery.

    Martin Luther King Jr., who famously encouraged hope by saying that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” later offered a different approach. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” he wrote: “Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively.”

    It's a symposium, so you can look around for other answers to the question “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?”

    I'd like to think the answer is "take socialism seriously", but that's just me.


  • At Econlib, David Henderson puts forth his Short Case Against Occupational Licensing. It's short, RTWT, but:

    In his 1962 classic, Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman even made a case for ending licensing of doctors. He pointed out that licensing made doctors’ fees higher than otherwise, causing some people to get less medical care than otherwise. An alternative he proposed, which many economists favor for many currently licensed occupations, is certification. In a discussion I had with the earlier mentioned Alan Krueger on NPR, Krueger said that some reduction of licensing would be good, but he “wouldn’t want an unlicensed doctor to touch” him. I would, if a trustworthy certifier had given thumbs up. Indeed, many of us wouldn’t want even licensed doctors to treat us on particularly serious ailments if they were not certified for that ailment. If we had certification rather than licensing, I predict that we would quickly have at least 10 percent more doctors, as foreign doctors resident in the United States came out of the woodwork and more of them moved here.

    Rebutting the "consumer protection" argument, David notes that he's unaware of any consumers, ever, pushing for licensing.


  • Are the Berniecrats behind Biden bashing? James Barrett writes at the Daily Wire: As More Accusers Come Forward, Team Bernie's 'Blood Boiling' Over 'Creepy Biden' Blame Game.

    On Tuesday, two more women came forward to accuse former Vice President Joe Biden of touching them inappropriately, further inflaming the already damaging "Creepy Joe" narrative. Amid mounting pressure for Biden to more fully address the accusations, the embattled would-be president's team is reportedly increasingly convinced that Bernie Sanders' camp is promoting the scandal — an accusation that has Bernie's backers' "blood boiling."

    I'm impressed by the alliteration.


  • Emily Jashinsky, writing at the Federalist notes the latest brain fart from Christiane Amanpour: 'Lock Her Up' Is 'Hate Speech' The FBI Should 'Shut Down'.

    Amanpour’s assertion about the anti-Clinton language came in the form of a question to James Comey during a live sit-down interview with the former FBI director on CNN Tuesday afternoon. Here’s the exact wording:

    Of course, ‘lock her up’ was a feature of the 2016 Trump campaign. Do you, in retrospect, wish that people like yourself, the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order, had shut down that language—that it was dangerous potentially, that it could’ve created violence, that it’s kind of hate speech. Should that have been allowed?

    Amanpour is a "journalist", and one might expect her to have at least heard people talk about the First Amendment? Guess not.

    Comey (to his credit) mentioned that "The beauty of this country is people can say what they want, even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery.” Or just chain-yanking.


  • And Bill Gates has our Tweet du Jour:

    Might be a boondoggle, but really: anyone who's actually concerned about climate change should start advocating for increasing use of nuclear power.