Both sides now. David Henderson considers Joel Kotkin's Criticism of Libertarians and the Cato Institute. I looked at that criticism here, and noted that "pushback" was likely. So it was. Henderson considers Kotkin's specific criticism of Cato for its anti-zoning stance, seeing it as an unholy alliance with "monopoly capital and social engineers (also known as city planners)."
[…] Normally, when one criticizes zoning for restricting the supply of housing, one would be seen as being against “monopoly capital.” But Kotkin sees the Cato Institute’s opposition to zoning as being part of an alliance with monopoly capitalists. He’s pretty vague about how that works.
If you read the link [in Kotkin's excerpted article], you learn that developers are taking advantage of the new California law that allows more building on land zoned for single-family housing and that they are making lots of money doing so. What he seems not to confront is what this means for housing prices: they will fall or at least not rise as much as they would have. Increases in supply, all else equal, bring prices down. I would have thought that that would be a great way to help normal people.
Kotkin is right that more building on a given amount of land leads to denser housing. What he doesn’t successfully do is explain why this is bad.
I instinctively lean against zoning, so I'm slightly more sympathetic to Henderson's argument. But see what you think.
Worst European import ever. C. Bradley Thompson continues his argument for separation of schools and state: Why Government Schooling Came to America. Original sin:
America’s experiment with universal compulsory education (i.e., government schooling), which began in earnest in the years immediately before the Civil War and picked up steam in the postbellum period, was created with different purposes in mind than just teaching children the Three R’s and a body of historical, moral, and literary knowledge to help them live productive, self-governing lives.
The early proponents of government schooling in nineteenth-century America imagined new and different goals for educating children. The advocates for forced schooling took the highly authoritarian, nineteenth-century Prussian model as their beau idéal.
The leading proponent of government schooling in Prussia and the man from whom the Americans learned the most was the philosopher Johann Fichte (1762-1814), who, in his Addresses to the German Nation (1807), called for “a total change of the existing system of education” in order to preserve “the existence of the German nation.” The goal of this new education system was to “mould the Germans into a corporate body, which shall be stimulated and animated in all its individual members by the same interest.” This new national system of education, Fichte argued, must apply “to every German without exception” and every child must be taken from parents and “separated altogether from the community.” Fichte recommended that the German schools “must fashion [the student], and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than you wish him to will,” so that the pupil might go “forth at the proper time as a fixed and unchangeable machine.” Children should therefore be taught “a love of order” and the “system of government must be arranged in such a way that the individual must . . . work and act, for the sake of the community.”
Related for us Granite Staters:: [Democratic State] Rep. [Marjorie] Porter Is Upset at What's Happening to Public Schools. It's an entertaining red-yarn-thumbtacked-to-bulletin-board explanation of how [Ll]ibertarians are diligently… well, see our Amazon Product du Jour above. She's aghast when people (accurately) call public schools "government schools".
Rep. Porter claims that "New Hampshire has one of the best public-school systems in the country." And only a few paragraphs above, she was waxing indignant about how popular the state's school choice program is, exceeding even its backers' expectations. She never answers the seeming contradiction there: if the "free" schools are so hot, why are so many people betting their kids' futures otherwise? Some sort of hypnotic false consciousness induced by emanations from the Kochtopus, I suppose.
I volunteer to pull the switch, if they decide to go that way. Jeff Jacoby says it's well beyond time to enforce the law: Execute Tsarnaev.
In a 6-3 decision last week, the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Reversing a First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had voided the sentence, the justices concluded that Tsarnaev had been fairly tried by an impartial jury and that the punishment imposed by the trial court was appropriate.
Now that the highest court in the land has disposed of the last legal objections in the case, there is no reason to delay Tsarnaev’s punishment any further. For his role in committing one of the worst horrors in Boston’s history, the federal government is duty-bound to put Tsarnaev to death. It should proceed to do so, and bring this awful chapter to a close.
At every step of the way, to its great credit, the federal government has been unflagging in its resolve to make Tsarnaev pay the ultimate price for his crimes.
I'm with Jeff: Just do it.
No surprise: no matter the problem, Elizabeth Warren's solution is always "higher taxes". Ronald Bailey writes on this specific instance, though: Elizabeth Warren Says the Solution to High Gas Prices Is Higher Taxes on Oil Companies
"Putin's war is causing gas prices to rise, but this is no excuse for large oil companies to pad their bottom line with war-fueled profits," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) along with an MSNBC video of her explaining her stance. "Senate Democrats are watching closely—and already working on a windfall profits tax." Warren also said that she gets "supply and demand—that prices go up" but that "profit margins should not go up, that's just oil companies gouging."
What she calls "gouging" is actually demand adjusting to supply. She also forgets that higher profit margins strongly incentivize entrepreneurs to supply more of a good to the market thus eventually driving down prices through competition.
Leaving aside the fact that the senator has evidently never met a corporate tax she didn't want to hike, history shows that imposing a windfall profits tax on oil is particularly shortsighted. As part his administration's response to the Iran oil shock that tripled the price of petroleum in 1979, President Jimmy Carter championed the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax of 1980.
RB notes that the 1980 tax failed to meet revenue expectations, and it also managed to reduce domestic oil supply. How about let's not do that again.
I've never set foot in a Whole Foods. Sarah Isgur's Sweep column is always pretty good. But I especially liked this bit of (dated) data-excavation:
Fact: Biden won the presidency winning 85% of counties with a Whole Foods and 32% of counties with a Cracker Barrel - the widest gap ever.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 8, 2020
In fact, Wasserman’s data got even more interesting when he excluded counties that have both: Biden won 95 percent of counties with only a Whole Foods and just 18 percent of counties with only a Cracker Barrel.
My county (Strafford, New Hampshire) has neither.
Further fun facts: Rockingham County has both: a Cracker Barrel in Londonderry, a Whole Foods in Portsmouth. Hillsborough County has two Whole Foods, one in Nashua, one in Bedford. No Cracker Barrels.