depositphotos 1. Bad monetary policy produces inflation and/or recessions. But the greatest cost of bad monetary policy is that it leads to bad policies in other areas, including wasteful fiscal stimulus, protectionism, bank bailouts and price controls. In China, an overly restrictive monetary policy has led the government into a project involving the purchase of large quantities of homes. Here’s Bloomberg:

China is considering a proposal to have local governments across the country buy millions of unsold homes, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be one of its most ambitious attempts yet to salvage the beleaguered property market.

2. Freedom to travel is under threat:

Conservative legal groups are already drafting model legislation to prevent pregnant women from traveling for abortions by legally penalizing anyone who helps them, a strategy used by the state of Texas in one of its abortion bans, which allows anyone in the U.S. to sue those who assist women with abortions—and be rewarded with a bounty paid by the state.

3. Dani Rodrik has an interesting article on China’s program of subsidies for green technology:

China’s green industrial policies have been responsible for some of the most important wins to date against climate change. As Chinese producers expanded capacity and reaped the benefits of scale, the costs of renewable energy plummeted. In the space of a decade, prices fell by 80% for solar, 73% for offshore wind, 57% for onshore wind, and 80% for electric batteries. These gains underpin the creeping optimism in climate circles that we might just be able to keep global warming within reasonable bounds. Government incentives, private investment, and learning curves proved to be a very powerful combination indeed.

With the IRA, America already has its own version of China’s green industrial policies. The law provides hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to facilitate the transition to renewables and green industries. 

Who could possibly object to a highly successful program that is now being copied by the US government? You guessed it–the Biden administration:

On a recent trip to China, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen warned China directly that the US would not stand by in the face of China’s “large-scale government support” for industries such as solar, electric vehicles, and batteries.

4. Taiwan understands China far better than does the US government. It also has more to fear from the Chinese government. And yet, even Taiwan understands the futility of banning TikTok.

About 80 miles from China’s coast, Taiwan is particularly exposed to the possibility of TikTok’s being used as a source of geopolitical propaganda. Taiwan has been bombarded with digital disinformation for decades, much of it traced back to China.

But unlike Congress, the government in Taiwan is not contemplating legislation that could end in a ban of TikTok.

AFAIK, Russia does not own any major social media used in the US. And yet I see pro-Russian propaganda all over the internet. Tiktok is not the issue.5. The Libertarian Party seems to have pulled back from the brink by choosing a respectable candidate over the sort of hard right figure preferred by the Mises Caucus. Here’s Reason:

Oliver, a 38-year-old gay man from Atlanta with socially tolerant and pro-immigration views, delivered a passionate response after Trump’s speech to the convention on Saturday. Now, he will get to spend the next six months competing directly against Trump and President Joe Biden, two men more than twice his age. After winning on Sunday, Oliver promised to keep pressing a message that neither major-party candidate is likely to offer.

“I will continue to bring a hopeful and positive message of liberty to both those who consider themselves libertarian and those who don’t know they are libertarian yet,” Oliver promised in his victory speech. . . .

Oliver’s victory on Sunday night was a blow to the Mises Caucus, the right-leaning faction that took control of the Libertarian Party at the 2022 convention and that had orchestrated Trump’s appearance at the convention. That faction’s preferred candidate was Rectenwald.

6. I’ve focused on arguments against Trump, but Matt Yglesias points out that it’s possible to construct some pretty creative pro-Trump arguments: 7. Martin Wolf has an excellent piece on the rising threat of nationalism. He concludes as follows:

In 1939, the poet WH Auden wrote of what he judged “a low dishonest decade”. How will ours look in 2029?

8. There’s no such thing as public opinion, example #329:9. Back in the summer of 2021, I predicted that the public’s mood would sour even as the economy improved:

There’s always a price to pay for unsustainable good times, and thus I expect the public’s mood to turn sour in the fall and winter, even as employment recovers—indeed because employment recovers.  Someone has to do all those crappy jobs.

Now it’s becoming conventional wisdom: Never forget that you heard it here first.10. I am currently reading an old novel by Melville, entitled Omoo. This comment at the end of chapter 6 caught my eye:

But it is a curious fact, that the more ignorant and degraded men are, the more contemptuously they look upon those who they deem their inferiors.

Suppose you brought Melville to the year 2024, showed him each candidate’s speeches, and asked him who he thought would win the votes of “white trash”. What would he predict?11. The funniest thing about this Youtube clip is that Trump forgot to lie. Normally he’d just lie, like when they asked him if he would release his taxes. In this case he was so freaked out by the name “Epstein” that he forgot to lie.12. When Biden makes a patriotic speech on D-day extolling the virtues of democracy, Trumpistas whine that he’s being “political”. I guess that’s because in their view “everyone knows” that Trump hates democracy, so any discussion of its virtues is, ipso facto, a slap at Trump.I’m going to have so much fun blogging during Trump’s second term!!More By This Author:Melancholia – AI Version
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