Strange lessons

A Powerline article observes that progressives wasted no time blaming the actions of a self-confessed New Zealand eco-fascist who admired communist China on the usual omnipotent villain, President Trump.  Then it draws a different lesson:
From a policy standpoint, the only lesson that can be drawn from the Christchurch massacre is reflected in the difference in the casualty totals between the two attacks. Forty-one were killed at the Dean Ave. mosque, the first one that was targeted, where the murderer had plenty of time and at one point returned to his vehicle to reload. There were only seven killed at the Linwood mosque because one of the worshippers was armed:
A second shooting happened at a mosque in the Linwood area of the city.
One Friday prayer goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots around 1.45 pm.
A well known Muslim local chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off.
He was heard telling police officers he was firing in “self defence”.


With seemingly half the country flirting with Modern Monetary Theory again to explain how to finance the Green New Deal, I'm enjoying reading articles from the Mises Institute site, including this one describing the origins of the Keynesian fad.
You don't have to have an IQ above 100 to be able to torpedo Keynesianism. You just ask these questions.
1. "Where did the money come from that the government spends into circulation?"
2. If the government runs a deficit, which is what Keynesians recommend in recessions, it did not get all of its money through tax revenues. "Did the borrowed money come from private lenders or from the central bank?"
3. "If the money came from private lenders, what would the lenders have done with their money if they had not loaned it to the government?"
4. If the money did not come from private lenders, then it must have come from the central bank. "How does money created out of nothing create wealth?"
These are really two questions. (1) "What would lenders to the government have done with their money if the government had not offered the promise of guaranteed repayment?" That money would have been spent either on consumption or production. This raises a second question: (2) "Why would either of these options be worse for the economy than spending by government bureaucrats?"
Money isn't value. Money is a promise of future value.  Money has value if the promise is credible.  Value in an economic sense is what people do or make that other people want badly enough to trade something for.  Value is not the same as virtue, though virtue can influence what someone wants.

Economic vs. political crises

On the Mises site, a response to a critique of libertarianism. First, Daniel McCarthy asks:
Does a libertarian even care whether Islam displaces Christianity or China displaces America, as long as there are no tariffs on steel? You might not have freedom of religion or freedom of speech in the post-Western future, and those cheap consumer goods won’t be so cheap any more, but a libertarian will rest content knowing he fought to import as much foreign-subsidized steel as possible. This is why I consider libertarianism to be every bit as much a suicidal ideology as left-liberalism. In some ways it is even more so, as libertarians are more oblivious than left-liberals to the consequences for themselves of hewing to their ideology.
Jeff Deist answers:
Here is a classic mischaracterization of political liberty, captured so well by Frédéric Bastiat in his famous quote: "every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all." Of course libertarianism per se can't answer the civilizational questions of our day; of course economics per se can't make us moral or ethical, much less strategic. Libertarianism is a narrow legal doctrine dealing with the justified use of force in society, a doctrine that makes no exceptions for state actors. Economics is a social science which studies how human actors choose among scarce means to achieve ends.

Rahm has a point

Rahm Emmanuel on election strategy:
Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate. When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves if we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.

Unmasking the Administrative State

PowerLine has a brief review of John Marini's "Unmasking the Administrative State," with this quotation from the introduction:
In a constitutional system, the powers of government are thought to be limited; in the administrative state only resources are limited.