Daily news from the American Institute for Economic Research: data, stories, research, and articles touching on economics, politics, culture, education, policy, opinion, technology, markets, healthcare, regulation, trends, and much more.

The Trustbuster’s Fatal Conceit

– October 24, 2020

“It is important to remember that while tech is today’s poster child for antitrust reform, the proposed antitrust overhaul will reach far beyond the technology sector. All American companies will be forced to play by the new rules and the stifling effects of stricter enforcement will affect the entire U.S. economy.” ~ Wayne T. Brough

Two Types of Postal Banking

– October 24, 2020

“It is possible that these prepaid card providers aren’t competing very hard, and thus unbanked households face abnormally high fees. If so, the unbanked population could benefit by having the USPS enter the market. On the other hand, if the market for prepaid cards is already competitive, a USPS card may have problems gaining a foothold, in which case it may not even be worth the effort.” ~ J.P. Koning

A Comprehensive Case Against Lockdowns: How Dr. Ari Joffe Changed His Mind

– October 23, 2020

“We must open up society to save many more lives than we can by attempting to avoid every case (or even most cases) of COVID-19. It is past time to take an effortful pause, calibrate our response to the true risk, make rational cost-benefit analyses of the trade-offs, and end the lockdown groupthink.” ~ Ari R Joffe

Why This Disastrous Experiment Also Hurt States that Did Not Lock Down

– October 23, 2020

“How much more shrunken would the state’s economy be if the state had locked down in the way that California or New York had? That’s the more important measure.” ~ John Tamny

good idea

Our COVID-19 Plan would Minimize Mortality and Lockdown-induced Collateral Damage

“Some argue that it is impossible to separate older and younger generations. While 100% separation is impossible, lockdowns have ‘successfully’ shifted infection risk from the professional class to the working class and nursing home residents.” ~ Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Martin Kulldorff & Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

Google is Not a Monopoly

– October 23, 2020

“Google is a lot of things. Maybe they have become evil, as the left would tell us when alleging that YouTube’s algorithms are unwittingly supporting, galvanizing, and expanding the alt-right or as the right would tell us when alleging that Google’s search results are rigged to advance a progressive agenda. The charge of “monopoly” doesn’t stick, though, because it’s pretty easy for people who don’t want what Google has to offer to take their business elsewhere.” ~ Art Carden

Revised Data Show Initial Claims Plateauing

– October 22, 2020

“Initial claims for unemployment benefits are hovering around 800,000, sustaining doubts about the durability of the recovery.” – Robert Hughes

Climate Catastrophism and a Sensible Environmentalism

– October 22, 2020

“We should deal with the threats of climate change, but we should do so sensibly and in conjunction with other threats. Because one thing is dangerous and potentially harmful, every other dangerous and harmful thing doesn’t just go away.” ~ Joakim Book


The Inconsistent Messaging Behind Lockdowns

– October 22, 2020

“We would all be better off if an honest and principled conversation can take place. If lockdowns are found to be undesirable based on all the various considerations from the science to the economics, then we can move on to more productive conversations. There is no need to flip flop, censor, misconstrue, confuse, or otherwise argue as if this were some political debate where winning is more important than the truth.” ~ Ethan Yang

“Choose Your Liar” Democracy

– October 22, 2020

“In the short run, the political game is rigged so that winners capture far more power than many, if not most, Americans would willingly cede to them and vastly more than the Constitution permits. But citizens can reduce the hazards they face by remembering that winning votes never redeemed a rascal. The winner of next month’s presidential election will be a clear and present danger to Americans’ rights and liberties regardless of his margin of victory.” ~ James Bovard

The Return of the Flagellants

– October 21, 2020

“In England in the 14th century, when the marauding Flagellants came to town, good members of the community found these people amusing and rather ridiculous, and otherwise they went about their lives, having fun and building a better and more prosperous society. Let those who desire to suffer to be free to do so. As for the rest of us, let us get back to having good lives, including partaking in actual fun.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker

neighborhood bar

The Death and Life of the Great Third Place

– October 21, 2020

“We might also emerge from this bizarre Orwellian dystopia with a renewed appreciation for Main Street, community, and the third spaces. These places define normal and make us who we are. We support them because they support us in more ways than we realize. Perhaps we took these places for granted. Never again.” ~ Brad DeVos

brain, coffin

Mindlessness Fuels Tyranny

– October 21, 2020

“The Great Barrington Declaration demonstrates a willingness to consider new information and broaden the context for setting policy. Those who want to sell us centralized ‘hatchet’ solutions prefer a public lulled to mindlessness by one narrative. The mindless will follow instructions. If many people continue to look towards one perspective only, without broadening the context, the natural consequence is that experts and politicians on ‘automatic pilot’ will lead us further down the road to tyranny.” ~ Barry Brownstein

government planners

Government Policies Have Worsened the Coronavirus Crisis

– October 21, 2020

“The great lesson that the coronavirus crisis of 2020 should teach us is that government’s intervening and controlling hand prevents the far more effective and efficient means of mitigating and solving the problems surrounding a crisis that open and competitive markets offer and make possible.” ~ Richard M. Ebeling

Single-Family Housing Permits Extend Five-Month Surge

– October 20, 2020

“Single-family housing continues to be one of the strongest areas of the economy, supported by low mortgage rates and rising demand as urbanites seek less dense housing.” – Robert Hughes


Thomas Friedman Remains Rather Smitten With Authoritarianism

– October 20, 2020

“Better than Friedman’s authoritarianism is choice. Really, who needs to be told to be careful if a virus is spreading that might make us sick, or if we’re very old (according to the New York Times) might in very rare circumstances kill us? If something threatens, the logical answer is yet again freedom. Sadly the U.S. failed there, but even then the failure had a local quality to it.” ~ John Tamny

The World Health Organization Was Against Quarantines Only Last Year

The World Health Organization in 2011 Warned Against a “Culture of Fear”

– October 20, 2020

“What we see in this remarkable memo is identical to the ethos and import of the Great Barrington Declaration, which since its release has been treated like some kind of radical and controversial statement. Actually, the World Health Organization said the same thing in 2011 with much tougher language and more biting analytics, essentially warning that the world is being trolled by interest groups with a vested stake in panic over rational public health measures.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker

clarity, mountain

The Economic Way of Thinking Brings Clarity

– October 20, 2020

“Nancy Pelosi presides over a chamber of politicians who vote on taxing and spending bills that transfer money from some Americans to other Americans – a fact that (inexplicably!) propels Ms. Pelosi to boast that she and her colleagues, not taxpayers such as Mr. Blitzer, feed poor Americans. On top of this appalling pretension, Ms. Pelosi expects CNN’s audience to believe that she and her Congressional colleagues ‘know’ poor Americans in a way that non-politicians don’t.” ~ Donald J. Boudreaux