From Power Struggles to Unity: The Opposition’s Plan to Challenge Maduro in 2024
Does the Venezuelan opposition have a chance?

Venezuela’s opposition has been seriously weakened in the last few months. Part of the reason is that Nicolás Maduro’s brutal dictatorship has survived every attempt to topple it with support from Cuba, Russia, Iran, and to some extent China. But some responsibility lies with the leaders of the opposition themselves, who have devoted an inordinate amount of time to internecine power struggles and, in some cases, engaged in acts of corruption that have tarnished its image.

Ronald Coase’s Fitting Tribute to Adam Smith
Economist Ronald Coase got it right about Adam Smith’s beliefs: Human limitations bolster the case for limits on government

The year 1776 is certainly a landmark year in history, and one of the reasons why is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations,” which first appeared in print that year. In 1976, to commemorate the book’s bicentennial, University of Chicago economist and Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase wrote a pair of essays that discuss two of Smith’s great works—“The Theory of Moral Sentiments” and “The Wealth of Nations”—and their continued importance. This year marks the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith’s birth, and Coase’s essays once again make a fitting tribute. Here, I comment especially on Coase’s “Adam Smith’s View of Man,” which focuses on “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.”

Following Their Leaders: How Political Anchors Shape Policy Preferences

A romantic notion of democracy depicts democratic governments as being accountable to their citizens and acting in their citizens’ best interests. Academic models of democratic government depict citizens and voters as having public policy preferences, and candidates and parties adjust their platforms to conform to these preferences.

True Spirit Lifted by Individual Courage, Tenacity, and Mental Toughness
Heroic sailing circumnavigation raises serious questions about parental responsibilities

Perhaps the best compliment to a movie is when viewers buy the book on which the story is based. That’s what happened after I watched True Spirit, a 2023 drama (Netflix) about the history-making sailing circumnavigation of the world by then 16-year old Jessica Watson (Teagan Croft, Titans, The Osiris Child). Watson’s story of individual courage, tenacity, and mental toughness allows this inspiring family drama to punch above its weight. 

New Bill Seeks to Recover COVID Funds Taken by Fraudsters

What could he do if President Biden were to get serious about recovering pandemic relief stolen by fraudsters?

Has the Discount Window Mystery been Solved?

On January 25th, I wrote about the increasing borrowing activity taking place at the Fed’s discount window. I commented that, despite popular perceptions, not all the borrowing at the discount window is driven by emergencies. But I also added that with rapidly rising interest rates, and the money supply contracting for the first time in decades and possibly the quickest that it ever has, the beginning of a liquidity crisis was nevertheless a distinct possibility.

Clear Skies Ahead? Doubts Arise Over Biden’s FAA Pick
Is Nominee Phillip Washington Flying Blind?

“Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world,” the Federal Aviation Administration claims. People who fly, and those who don’t, might wonder about Phillip Washington, Joe Biden’s pick to head the FAA. In a March 1 hearing, Washington faced a series of basic questions, such as:

You Can Choose Your Gender, But Not Your Race

I confess this does not make sense to me, perhaps just showing how out of touch I am with twenty-first-century social norms. Here’s a story about Raquel Evita Saraswati, who identified as a Muslim “woman of color” claiming Arab, Latina, and South Asian ancestry. Saraswati had a 20-year history of supporting Muslim women and girls, and was named Philadelphia NOW’s woman of the year in 2019. Now she’s been outed. It turns out that her birth name was Rachel Seidel and that, whatever her current religious beliefs, she’s actually white—“as white as the driven snow,” according to her mother who says her daughter’s ancestry is British, German, and Italian. Saraswati was living a lie, and was accused of cultural vulturism.

Biden Grows National Debt Per Household by 11% in Two Years

After two years in power, President Joe Biden doesn’t have many positive accomplishments to brag about.

Nuke Bizzle, Unemployment Fraud, and AB-5: Julie Su’s Concerning Record

Julie Su’s irresponsible record on unemployment fraud did not prevent her from confirmation as Deputy Labor Secretary by a vote of 50-47. With Biden now tapping Su for the top post, another matter should come into play. 

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