Handouts goosed inflation and other commentary

Libertarian: Handouts Goosed Inflation

Four Federal Reserve economists cite DC’s pandemic-related cash handouts to explain why US inflation has been much worse than other nations’ since early 2021, reports Reason’s Eric Boehm. Uncle Sam’s “fiscal support measures . . . may have contributed to this divergence,” the economists write. Few other nations handed out cash directly to citizens as America did, notes Boehm. And “the big blow” came in 2021, when Team Biden “pushed through a round of $1,400 checks as part of the American Rescue Plan,” including for people who weren’t even poor. “All that cash is now chasing the same number of goods. That’s a recipe for inflation straight out of any economics textbook.”

Smuggling beat: Stop Ignoring Fentanyl Deaths

“When I think about America’s wide-open southern border with Mexico and the utter lawlessness such chaos represents — a record two million illegal immigrants streaming in last year and thousands more every day — I consider the politics,” John Kass writes at John Kass News. “More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdose last year, most of them young, most were victims of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids smuggled over the southern border.” Here’s how it works: “China makes fentanyl. Banks and the Mexican drug cartels make fortunes pushing the synthetic opioid across our wide-open Southern border,” using “border crossers as their mules.” And “American young people die, without much reaction from the American political class or the media that protects that class.”

From the left: US Border Is the World’s

“The United States’ southern border isn’t just shared with Mexico — it’s shared with the world,” observes Jesse Hardman at the Los Angeles Times. “While working along the border, I’ve met migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, China, Eritrea and many more countries.” If “there’s trouble anywhere on the globe, residents from that region will soon be arriving at the US-Mexico border. People fleeing human rights abuses, poverty and war say they see the US as a place they can get work and be relatively safe.” Indeed, in the four months before Russia invaded Ukraine, US Customs and Border Protection nabbed “about 6,400 Russians and more than 1,000 Ukrainians.” People travel “across the world through deadly terrain and under horrible conditions to a border they likely won’t be allowed to legally cross” — “because it’s their last hope.”

Social media watch: Cheer Musk’s Twitter Buy

Elon Musk’s move “to buy $2.64 billion in Twitter stock” and become the largest individual stakeholder appears “based in his libertarian values as they pertain to free speech,” argues Joe Concha at The Hill. And in that space “free speech is the whole ballgame” — especially since “social media, including most notably Twitter, not only dismissed . . . but censored” the Hunter Biden laptop story. Twitter employees fear “Musk may ‘inflict damage to the company’s culture,’ ” but that culture “has freely embraced censorship while shunning due process,” so “if Musk is a threat to that, it’s a good thing.” Two-thirds of Americans “say [social media’s] had a mostly negative impact” on the country, and “one big aspect” of that “is the assault on free speech.”

Neocon: Brainless Beantown Bigotry

The New York Times’ Bret Stephens slams the Boston Athletic Association’s move to ban Russian and Belarusian residents from this year’s Boston Marathon. The BAA declined to say “what responsibility the banned athletes have for the policies of their government,” and “whether exceptions would be made for runners who made public statements denouncing the invasion of Ukraine.” Yet we know “not all Russians and Belarusians support their leaders — a point the BAA should seek to honor, not ignore.” And: “To reduce citizens of a state to an identity with the politics of their government is . . . a gift to people like Putin.” “Americans are supposed to believe in openness, competition and fair play. . . . It would be nice to see the BAA celebrate those ideals.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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