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Does President-Elect Trump Have an Interest in Working for Free Voter IDs?

From this NY Times story on tensions between the president elect and African-Americans, and a meeting with Martin Luther King III: Mr. King said the session, which included a discussion about voting rights, had been “constructive,” and described Mr. Trump … Continue reading ?

Brazil’s prison massacres are a frightening window into gang warfare

Since New Year’s Day, a wave of horrific prison massacres in Brazil’s north and northeast have left more than 110 inmates dead, many decapitated and disemboweled, with no end in sight. This is prison-gang warfare, pitting the São Paulo-based Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), now one of the largest criminal organizations in South America, against a […]

Authoritarians Distract Rather than Debate

It’s long been known that the Chinese government hires people to support the government with fabricated posts on social media. In China these people are known as the “50c party”, so called because the posters were rumored to be paid 50 cents (5 jiao or about $.08) to write the posts. Show More Summary

Betsy DeVos wants ‘school choice.’ Chile tried that already.

A confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, begins in the Senate on Tuesday. DeVos is known as an advocate for “school choice,” which means she has pushed for charter schools and voucher programs that use public funds to finance privately run schools. Her support for school choice is controversial, not […]

A bit of context on Trump, NATO, and Germany

I strongly favor NATO and I don’t think you can trust the Russians with just about anything, or for that matter make much of a deal with them.  I’m with Mitt Romney on all of this, as I’ve been saying for years. That said, I feel some...Show More Summary

As a thinker, Donald Trump is in some ways underrated

President-elect Donald Trump criticized a cornerstone of House Republicans’ corporate-tax plan, which they had pitched as an alternative to his proposed import tariffs, creating another point of contention between the incoming president and congressional allies. Show More Summary

Judge Imposes Preclearance on Pasadena, TX for 6+ Years, Putting Ball in Trump DOJ’s Court

I reported back on January 6 that a federal district court found that the City of Pasadena, TX intentionally discriminated against Latino voters in changing its city council districting plan. (For background, read Jim Rutenberg’s excellent NYT magazine piece, and … Continue reading ?

Some new results on family policies and women

Most estimates of the impact of parental leave entitlement on female labor market outcomes range from negligible to weakly positive. There is stronger evidence that spending on early education and childcare increases labor force participation of women and reduces gender gaps. Show More Summary

Should Judges Defer to Legislatures on the First Amendment?

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman—an important First Amendment case in which Cato filed an amicus brief—challenging a New York law that allows merchants to advertise “discounts”...Show More Summary

Monday assorted links

1. Good take on La La Land and nostalgia. 2. Does it work when the coach yells at the ref? 3. Why is the barter market for lovers so imperfect?  My view is that women compartmentalize this kind of thing better than men do, for the most part, at least above age 30. 4. “Could […] The post Monday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Donald Trump’s team has questions about Africa. Here are answers.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has circulated a list of questions on Africa to the State Department and Pentagon. At the top of the list are two queries about the United States and China and their relative presence on that continent: “How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out […]

The economics of the circus as a traveling city

I would call the disappearance of Ringling Brothers a civilizational advance, except I am not sure we are living in a time that merits this phrase.  In any case, I found this 2013 article on circus economics interesting: Gibson and Petrov...Show More Summary

What are the most important unsolved problems in your field?

That is a request from Christina, a loyal MR reader.  It sounds like a huge question, and maybe it is, but my answer is pretty simple, which is not to say the problem is simple to solve. Let’s say you are in Germany.  People engage in...Show More Summary

“In Texas, a Test of Whether the Voting Rights Act Still Has Teeth”

Must-read Manny Fernandez in the NYT on the voting rights case in Pasadena, Texas: Within days of the Supreme Court striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, the mayor of this working-class industrial city set … Continue reading ?

Sunday assorted links

1. Why is California so closely connected with melancholy?  Here is a smart, critical review of La La Land, but I think it misses the point: the movie is a critique and indeed subtle reflection of what is (supposedly) an all-pervasive...Show More Summary

“Democrats already are trying to get out the vote for 2020”

Ariane de Vogue for CNN: Even before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, top Democrats — including President Barack Obama — are already launching efforts to reshape the electoral landscape. Faced with a stinging loss at the polls, a conservative-leaning Supreme Court and … Continue reading ?

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