By definition, a customs union is an agreement between countries to embrace tariff-free trade between members but impose common tariffs on goods imported from non-members. At an EU-level, this means a Common External Tariff (CET), a dizzying array of over 12,651 different taxes (and some quotas to boot) imposed on goods from the rest of the world. The long and short of it is that the EU is internally trade liberating but outwardly protectionist.
– Ryan Bourne
“I don’t even want to like the guy… Stop being such assholes, news media! You’re such douches you’re making people root for him.”
Phrases like “I didn’t vote for him. But I’m starting to wish I had.” or “STOP MAKING ME WANT TO LIKE HIM.” are showing up all over the place. We’re even getting to “I’m not aboard the Trump Train yet. But I’ve got my ticket in hand and I’m standing on the platform.” or “I’m at the ticket counter for the Trump Train”
As Larry’s comment suggests, there’s a reason for this: the MSM and their buddies in Hollywood have thrown so much bile and hate towards Trump when he’s done next to nothing that the rest of us are beginning to think he might be all right after all. The accusations come from the sneering classes who have failed to hide their disdain for us normal people and are so over the top, so deranged, that it seems like they are scared of him. Plus of course Americans tend to have a spot for the plucky underdog, and although it is hard to see a billionaire as a plucky underdog, the frothing left have managed to do just that.
– Francis Turner, writing “I didn’t vote for him but…”
The idea that an economist is an expert even in Economics is a dubious one. I would like to see two control groups shadowing every team of ‘expert’ economists – one making random predictions, the other a group of astrologers. After five years we compare their predictions for accuracy.
– Samizdata commenter Rob
The logical end-point in the reach of government is either state ownership of all private property, which is communism, or state control over what people do with their property, which is fascism. With communism discredited, the world is moving inexorably towards the latter. Every business is regulated in some way or other, and economic freedom is being progressively restricted with ever-tightening regulations.
– Alasdair Macleod
Though in other ways, we’re clearly in a new dark age. The fact that New York City is unable to conceive of building new bridges or subways or other infrastructure, and on the rare occasions when it tries to do so fails utterly, should tell us that. It’s like being a Roman in 500 AD and wondering at the giants of the past who built bridges and aqueducts, by then long lost technologies. I feel like I’m not just at the epicenter of capitalism here in Manhattan, but also at the epicenter of the cancer at the heart of it, to wit, the socialist destruction of the human will.
– Perry Metzger, in a private discussion
This is about Mike Raynor doing the Lord’s work by producing another yet computer model that makes happy predictions about the sugar tax. You can read it here. As always, the words ‘garbage in, garbage out’ spring to mind.
If you wish to take such models seriously, that is your look out. Regardless of whether obesity rates rise, fall or stay the same, campaigners will produce another model in a few years claiming that the rate of obesity in 2018 was lower than it would have been had there not been a tax. That, too, will be treated as fact by their supplicants in the media. It is impossible to prove that nanny state policies fail. The goal posts are always moved. Scientific claims in ‘public health’ are unfalsifiable, which is to that they are not scientific.
– Christopher Snowdon
That’s the New York Times which has been repeatedly asserting that higher minimum wages do not affect employment? It is indeed possible to have the most lovely arguments about how much a higher minimum affects whom but the assertion that there is no unemployment effect is simply an untruth.
– Tim Worstall
Though many things have changed in American political life over the past couple of years, one aspect remains a comforting constant: Democrats never lose an election. Not really. Not fairly.
Sure, elections can be stolen. Americans can be misled. Big Oil or Big Business can buy elections – because these institutions possess the preternatural ability to control human actions. Voter always fail to understand what’s good for them (which, amazingly enough, always aligns with the state-expanding goals of the Left.) Whatever the case, something fishy and nefarious must also be going on, because there’s absolutely no way voters could reject Democrats.
– David Harsanyi
What is funny is to watch the media try to interpret [Trump] through their prism of politics. It is like trying to understand the workings of a nuclear reactor through the prism of deconstructionist feminist semiotics.
– Fraser Orr
[Sweden] appear[s] to have stumbled on the concept that a low-tech economy in which consumers have fewer choices produces fewer greenhouse gases. Now they want to move to such an economy, which is in the precise opposite direction everyone else is moving. We have the developed world. We also have the developing world. Sweden wants to kick-start the undeveloping world.
– Tim Newman
Liberal columnists, wounded that so much of the public ignored their overtures first on Brexit and then on Trump, claim good, decent, supposedly ‘elitist’ journalism must now assert itself. Our role in ‘seeking the truth’ must be ‘harnessed with steely determination’, says one. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour says the ‘tsunami of fake-news sites’ is an affront to journalism and the thing that journalism helps to facilitate: democracy. We must now fight ‘hard for the truth’ in this world where ‘the Oxford English Dictionary just announced that its word of 2016 [is] “post-truth”’, she says. Numerous hacks have been despatched to Macedonia and Russia to confront the fresh-faced youths who run these fake-news sites for cash. ‘How teens in the Balkans are duping Trump supporters’, says one headline. ‘Russian propaganda effort helped spread “fake news” during election’, says another. The image we’re left with is of dastardly Easterners suckering stupid Westerners and undermining the democratic tradition, and now pain-faced, well-minded columnists must stand up to this foreign threat to reason.
It’s the fakest news story of the week.
– Brendan O’Neill
Having failed to win the support of the Eisenhower administration, who knew exactly what sort of man they were dealing with, Castro adopted communism purely for opportunistic and practical reasons. He was about as much a socialist revolutionary as he was a democrat. Naturally, the Soviets fell over themselves to shower any third-world thug who paid lip-service to communism with money, weapons, and other support and they did just that with Castro – even though his adoption of their ideology came to them as a complete surprise.
Many people think the USA is responsible for Castro’s rise and continuation in power, but most of the blame lies squarely on Moscow’s doorstep: without their cynical support in those early stages, Castro’s brutal dictatorship would likely have been over much more quickly.
– Tim Newman