1. Twitter is getting worse:

Twitter’s acquiescence to autocratic or non-liberal regimes is not an exaggeration by critics of the social network. The data, which the public audit receives automatically, speaks for itself. Since Musk’s takeover, the company has received 971 requests from governments (compared to only 338 in the six-month period from October 2021 to April 2022), fully acceding to 808 of them and partially acceding to 154. In the year prior to Musk taking control, Twitter agreed to 50% of such requests, in line with the compliance rate indicated in the company’s last transparency report (none have been published since October 2022). Following the change of ownership, that figure has risen to 83%, according to the analysis of the data by the technology information portal Rest of World.

And this:

2. Kevin Drum has this observation:

For example, if you hit 21 on your first two cards in blackjack, it used to pay $15 on a $10 bet. Now it pays only $12. Roulette wheels used to have two green slots, zero and double-zero, that paid out nothing. Now they have a third slot, triple-zero, that also pays out nothing.

In the delicately balanced world of big-time gambling these are huge changes—and they’re obviously right out in the open. How can casinos get away with fleecing regular customers like this?

The answer appears to be simple: they don’t care. 

Isn’t this sort of like how companies are extracting more tips and bigger tips in all sorts of ways? We just went to a restaurant that added a 4% service charge, and still wanted the normal 20% tip. And now you have retailers asked for tips. I assume this is because Americans are no so rich we can afford to act like rich people, just throwing money away. Or am I missing something?

3. Really good FT article on how the free market wing of the British Conservatives lost their party:

To borrow Oscar Wilde’s quip about the death of Little Nell, it would take a heart of stone to hear the wails of free-market Brexiters without laughing. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of laments, fury and blame-shifting by leading Leavers, from Nigel Farage to Lord Frost. But perhaps the most striking was an article by Daniel Hannan, a central figure in the Brexit movement, which appeared under the headline, “The liberal Brexit dream is dying” — though naturally he blamed the “Europhile establishment”.

The UK leads the US by a few years, and so I expect this to also happen in the US:

But even when Truss used her only party conference speech as leader to rail against the “anti-growth coalition”, she failed to notice it was sitting in front of her, in the rows of Nimbys, immigration hawks and urbanite-hating culture warriors. The party is locked into a low growth economic model and a belief in spending cuts which struggles to be specific.

The pro-growth wing of the GOP will eventually notice that they’ve lost their party.

4. The Economist is very pessimistic about the future of banking:

[T]he world is moving towards a bigger role for the government and a smaller one for private actors—a fact that should alarm anyone who values the role of the private sector in judging risk. . . . It is getting harder to spot the differences between the Chinese system of explicit direction of lending and the “social contract” of the Western system, in which there is massive state underwriting of risks and a mass of regulation foisted on banks in return, so that they do not abuse the insurance they have been granted.

What is more, the seeds of many banking crises have been laid by misguided government intervention in banking, particularly by those moves that skew incentives or the pricing of risk, warns Gary Cohn, formerly second-in-command at Goldman Sachs, a bank. It might be easier to sleep at night knowing that, at present, the government has all but promised to protect all deposits, has lent generously to banks clinging on and has infused the system with funds through its wind-up operations. But this is precisely the kind of action that will cause sleepless nights in future.

5. Now that Trump is going against their favorite candidate, conservatives are getting annoyed. The National Review has a piece trashing Trump for his juvenile insults against “Rob” DeSantimonious. (Do you remember 8th grade?)

It’s quite funny, and well worth reading. This is especially good:

In case you missed it yesterday, the Trump campaign attacked Ron DeSantis for issuing a statement in 2017 in support of Trump’s nomination of FBI director Christopher Wray. Hey, if issuing a statement of support for Wray is somehow disqualifying . . . what should Republicans think of the guy who picked Wray in the first place?

It wasn’t Trump’s fault, the DEEP STATE forced Trump to pick Wray.

In another National Review piece they interview Republican voters:

She said she used to like DeSantis because of how he handled Covid in Florida but now has questions about “other things coming out about him,” though she did not elaborate.

I’m guessing these are similar to the “other things” that have come out about me in the comment section of this blog. Every time I read these stories I think about how the GOP establishment created this clown. Then I just grab another bag of popcorn and enjoy the spectacle.

6. Bloomberg has an interesting article on the newest trillion dollar company:

The US doesn’t want China to achieve parity in chipmaking; Huang argues that President Joe Biden’s restrictions will do the opposite. They incentivize China to foster a homegrown industry, and it already has more than 50 GPU companies, he says. Huang sets the stakes even higher and suggests the restrictions could trigger an international incident—specifically, an invasion of a nearby island where much of the world’s semiconductors, including Nvidia’s, are manufactured. “China is not going to sit back and be regulated,” Huang says. “You got to ask yourself, at what point do they just say, ‘F— it. Let’s go to Taiwan. We’ve got nothing to lose.’ At some point they will have nothing to lose.”

7. Henry Kissinger celebrated his 100th birthday by calling for the US and China to start acting like mature adults:

Kissinger said it was up to both Washington and Beijing to step back from their standoff, which he said was at “the top of a precipice.”



27 Responses to “Articles”

  1. Gravatar of acebojangles acebojangles
    16. June 2023 at 07:35

    RE #4: If we want to preserve a real private sector role in banking, the first step is to get money out of our politics. The rich don’t want market discipline and we let them buy our politicians.

  2. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    16. June 2023 at 08:18

    Is their any indication that the PRC is willing to stop building a military capable of invading Taiwan? I don’t see how the US can “step back” until China stops preparing for an invasion of Taiwan.

  3. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    16. June 2023 at 12:19

    Does the Republican party have any actual policy positions anymore, beyond cutting taxes for the donor class, retribution against their enemies and “own the libs”?

    BTW, DeSantis just signed a bill banning direct to consumer car sales (except Tesla), which just raises prices for consumers to benefit car dealers. I guess it’s pro donor growth.

    Regarding #2, see this from the WSJ

  4. Gravatar of Francis Quinn Francis Quinn
    16. June 2023 at 15:18

    2. It’s a bit different as operating a competing casino is extremely illegal, and getting the necessary licenses is a multi-year long process. Adding 00s to the roulette wheel or reducing blackjack payouts allows your competitors to beat you on price, but with a legally restricted amount of competitors, it’s not as risky of a move.

    Were it legal to open a casino business, I would just immediately open a casino with better payouts and advertise on that fact. But, due to the regulatory environment, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

  5. Gravatar of BC BC
    16. June 2023 at 17:30

    Francis Quinn: Bingo! (Pun intended.) One can’t make sense casinos without mentioning their legal cartel, enforced by government’s limiting of gambling licenses. Of course, right on cue, the first comment to Drum’s post cites “sheer greed”. Government-monopoly gambling is the “greediest” of all, with state lotteries typically paying out only about 0.50 of every $1.00 gambled. Casino slot machines typically pay out north of 0.90 per dollar gambled. I remember some casinos advertising 0.98 payout ratios years ago.

    Wall Street, typically thought of as “greedy”, makes markets in equities with bid-offer spreads of 0.01, the minimum tick size, for most liquid US stocks. While regulatory barriers to competition also plague Wall Street, US equity markets are quite competitive with almost anyone able to post bids and offers. I’m sure plenty of Wall Street firms and hedge funds would gladly offer better odds than Vegas and state governments in roulette, black jack, and lotteries if permitted by law. Payout ratios would probably climb to 0.9997 per dollar gambled.

    The non-customary tipping stuff is different. Some strange brew of behavioral nudges: setting new default options, crafting perceptions of peer behavior, etc. I’m surprised that the tipping machines don’t display (not necessarily provable) statements like, “80% of similar customers have left tips of at least…”

  6. Gravatar of anon/portly anon/portly
    16. June 2023 at 19:00

    Speaking of Kissinger, from the latest convo with Tyler:

    COWEN: It’s you and Henry Kissinger, right? Who would’ve thought there would be the two of you?

    CHOMSKY: It’s a mystery, sir, a mystery.

    That might have been the highlight. I’d like to read a good “explainer” on that conversation, maybe some things are just too far over my head. Chomsky seems like a sort of AI himself.

  7. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    16. June 2023 at 19:10

    “The US doesn’t want China to achieve parity in chipmaking”

    We also didn’t want the Soviets to achieve parity in tech but I recall us relying on having a superior economic system and not straight up passing laws saying “the other countries can’t do X because we said so and America runs the world apparently”. Different times!

    Re Trump, I have given up trying to understand this phenomenon, I am just going to go with people are idiots. Sad because I hate almost every policy democrats propose but ce la vie. In my town in MA I see weirdly active Trump people who have no ideas, or jobs seemingly, who just hold Trump flags all day … blue MA. Where do these idiots come from?

  8. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    16. June 2023 at 19:14

    Well, at least you didn’t enter one of your partisan. That degree of moderation is nice to see.

    But I will say this: the GOP didn’t create this “clown” as you call him.

    You’ve continued to gut the middle class in this country, which you have ignored for thirty years, and so it’s your support of corrupt establishment politicians, along with your incessant attacks on “populists” including DeSantis and RFK Jr., that has created the populist movement.

    In addition to that, you have been wrong about so many things. You were wrong about the Virus, claiming in one article that it came from Thailand, which was utterly bizarre. We now know it almost certainly came from the Wuhan lab, a lab that was U.S. funded. Your calls for draconian lockdowns, similar to China, is also a concern. Your claims that RFJ Jr. is some anti-science candidate doesn’t make any sense. You are just parroting what is written by some of the “fake news”. News that is funded by Pharma. There is a well established group of academics who agree with his views, so it’s not anti-science.

    And your more radical positions on BLM (a marxist funded organization) and “packing courts” (no respect for the law), along with ending the electoral college, and your comments on one world NATO, is concerning to those who value individuality, moderate politics, and free markets. Your previous one sided attacks on Trump, without mentioning any of Biden’s corruption, is also concerning.

    If you claim to be a moderate, you may also want to read Alan Dershowitz’s blog with your so-called “popcorn” as he lays out the case quite clearly. This is a man who defended Trump and Clinton, because he places the rule of law above politics.

  9. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    16. June 2023 at 19:24

    “Isn’t this sort of like how companies are extracting more tips and bigger tips in all sorts of ways? We just went to a restaurant that added a 4% service charge, and still wanted the normal 20% tip. And now you have retailers asked for tips. I assume this is because Americans are no so rich we can afford to act like rich people, just throwing money away. Or am I missing something?”

    The libertarian you is missing the notion that humans aren’t totally rational and operate within cultural norms, one of them being tipping … which can be exploited in predatory ways (tends to happen more often in periods of society decay which is ahem … now).

    In limited ways policies like Biden banning junk fees can be good ideas! Limited, I’m still pretty libertarian.

    Though honestly I feel these fees effectively amount to fraud … charged a 10% “covid hero” fee in Boston in December and I refused to pay tip (there wasn’t even service, app ordering) and the manager literally came over … so idiotic. Like I was charged X for a service, I didn’t even get the service, I already paid 1.1X, and you demand more? F off.

  10. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    16. June 2023 at 19:25

    I like DeSantis, but I’m going to vote for Trump because I think it’s time to stick it to the man.

    The left used to fight against the man, but lately they’ve become the man. CRT is also communism in disguise. Everyone who lived in Cuba knows that. We all see it for what it is.

    And now it’s time to take them down. Starting with Biden, Pelosi, and then moving over to the McConnell’s and the Romney’s etc.

    It’s time to take down these “deep state” political actors and return America to the blue collar class. And yeah, that pisses some people off. Especially if they like the elitist, PC, niminy-piminy crowd. But that’s Europe, not America. Let Europe be the socialist, top down, tea and crumpets government. We are entrepreneurs. We are market movers. We are little rough around the edges like Musk. Above all, we are Americans, and we love bottom up government. States rights. Community power. Not big Washington! And definitely not apparatchiks who tell us they own our kids.

    Fuck off. You want my guns and my children, then come get them.

    Miami forever! Whoa!

  11. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    16. June 2023 at 20:54

    Sumner is a partisan hack.

    This is a guy who calls 70M people “a cult”. He’s a radical who calls Americans “deplorables” and “terrorists”

    If you are struggling to survive because some apparatchik like Sumner shipped your job to China, then don’t speak out about that because you’ll be called a deplorable, a cult supporter, a Putin-Lover, and an anti-science Trumper. He was wrong about:

    1. Inflation
    2. Russia hoax.
    3. impeachment over a thought crime
    4. BLM
    5. China and the Virus
    6. Trump being Hitler
    7. RFK jr.
    8. Russia (Donbas)
    9. TikTok spying
    10. The UN and NATO
    11. CRT
    12. Pride Flags (more Marxism)

    The guy is wrong about everything.

    In other words, he’s an imbecile.

    If there is one clown trying to social climb his way into the elites, it’s Scott Sumner. So watch out. The thug spewing hatred is on the march, and he’s coming for your kids with little red books.

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. June 2023 at 21:00

    Sara, So many lies, so little time . . .

  13. Gravatar of David S David S
    17. June 2023 at 04:29

    In between campaign stops the heroic governor of Florida heroically signed a bill to protect consumers in his state from buying cars directly from manufacturers. This governor did make an exception for the electric cars made by the company founded by the heroic Elon Musk, because it’s important to be consistent.

  14. Gravatar of Kangaroo Kangaroo
    17. June 2023 at 04:39

    Lots of angry losers in the TWTR debacle. Same over on Reddit. It’s suddenly a hard life for internet squatters, who have been preaching the socialist gospel while the property owners where they run their ministries lose money. But the great news is that kicking out the squatters will release their talent to the world! They can build their own amazing new firms to preach the socialist gospel!

    Interestingly Frances Haugen hasn’t started her own “good” social media company yet. Oh I do wonder why? Maybe she’s out of breath after all that “whistle-blowing”, which revealed that companies…sell products and advertising!! Who knew?? Where’s my whistle?

  15. Gravatar of kangaroo kangaroo
    17. June 2023 at 04:51

    Chips: China will build it’s own chip industry anyway. IN the near term US companies will lose business, but China’s potential military use of high end chips will be significantly delayed. But what’s really great is that Biden also demanded all sorts of socialist spending by companies moving production to the US, like providing day care yada yada yada. So at least he did a good job of screwing them on both sides of the ocean. That helps.

  16. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    17. June 2023 at 12:10

    Maybe I just live in a bubble in my beautiful historic district neighborhood in Florida, but all the extra prompting for tips doesn’t bother me. I’ve long accepted the notions that many service workers are underpaid, in terms of meeting realistic costs of living, and that minimum wages are a bad idea. Hence, this is a free market alternative, and it’s voluntary, for the most part.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    17. June 2023 at 12:15

    anon/portly, I’ve never been impressed by Chomsky.

  18. Gravatar of Rodrigo Rodrigo
    17. June 2023 at 17:23

    I think your work on NGDPT is brilliant, but not a fan of your politics.

    You say: “The UK leads the US by a few years”

    There is no evidence of this at all. The UK has completely different political, legal and economic system (it’s very socialist). The conservative party in the UK has almost nothing in common with the conservative party in America. The only thing the two sides agree on, and which by the way most of the left agrees on, except for a few radicals, is securing their borders.

    And rightly so, because those paying attention realize that international criminal syndicates are abusing asylum. Asylum wasn’t meant for the poor. It was meant in rare cases where a political dissident was running from prosecution. Some of these syndicates are funded by Marxist groups, like the Sao Paolo forum, and Arabella Advisors. Arabella is the most radical political organization in the world, and it’s globally funded by some pretty nefarious hard left actors like George Soros, and runs a bevy of NGO’s including the radical left 65 project.

    Anyhow, I digress. The UK conservative party is a big government party. It’s the party of the King. The U.S. conservative party is the party of Jeffersonian republicanism, and is best represented by the tea party, old right, classical liberals, and libertarians.

    Incidentally, the economist is wrong. With the advent of cryptocurrency we are moving to a more decentralized system, which scares the hell out of the IMF, WEF, UN, and Federal Banks everywhere. That’s why they are proposing a digital ID connected to a bank account. They are trying to save themselves from this disruptive decentralized movement.

  19. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    18. June 2023 at 09:11

    Rogan just offered 100k to Peter “bought and paid for” Hotez to debate Robert F Kennedy Jr on vaccines. Watch how this big pharma, globalist slimeball, weasels and squirms and make excuses.

    Like Sumner he will scream “anti-science” and “misinformation” but when it comes time to present the facts he will run and hide.

    This is really the best way to destroy the charlatans in the 21st century. Sara, please offer 100k to Sumner to debate Lew Rockwell for an hour, so that we can watch him squirm and stutter, and refuse.

    You got to beat these guys with the pocketbook. It’s the best way to expose them. If they participate, then you need to have respect for both as they are standing on principle, but if they dont show up it means they cannot support their argument.

    Kennedy is ready. Watch Peter run for the hills.

  20. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    18. June 2023 at 09:44

    Rockwell is a good writer, and so was Rothbard, but anarcho-capitalism only works on a blackboard.

    I’d pay 100K for Sumner to debate Isabela Patterson, Ayn Rand or Garett Garrett, but unfortunately they are no longer with us.

    The classical liberals are gone. I used to think Cruz was a classical, but like Sumner he’s a war hawk, and therefore his foreign policy is more aligned to the neocons than the framers. He is also one of these baby boomers who jumps ten feet in the air when you say the word “Russia.”

    Maybe Mark Skousen? I don’t know. There are not many good options. The nation is in serious decline, so naturally the true geniuses are missing and/or ignored…and by genius, I mean Christopher Michael Langan and other members of the Mega Society.

    Peterson obviously is in that category of genius, but he’s not an economist. Loury — maybe, but not a monetary economist. Sowell, too old now, but used to be formidable. Williams died recently. The Keynesians are insane, quite literally.

    In summary, we are screwed, and people who value liberty should probably start looking for an exit strategy. I suggest looking for quality investments abroad, and residency/foreign passports in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Japan, some where you’ll be safe from the left wing radicals. Keep dual citizenship if you can, and run when the tyrants arrive. You won’t win a civil war with the radical left, because the CCP will support them.

  21. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    19. June 2023 at 08:54

    Rodrigo, You said:

    “The U.S. conservative party is the party of Jeffersonian republicanism, and is best represented by the tea party, old right, classical liberals, and libertarians.”

    Um, you do realize that Reagan is no longer president?

    “nefarious hard left actors like George Soros”

    OK, that explains things.

    Sara, You said:

    “but like Sumner he’s a war hawk”

    I suppose if your pal Putin is a dove, then I’m a hawk.

  22. Gravatar of Cove77 Cove77
    20. June 2023 at 06:13

    Aladdin, I’ve only been on South Coast, MA for 2yrs-I’m not blown away by their presence as I am by what they’re supposed to be about. It’s cultivating anti social behavior and a lot of self segregating. I saw a lot of this in TX and CA too. (I’m a truck driver).

  23. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    20. June 2023 at 07:52


    blue collar class? Make me laugh. All of these notions, the mythical farmer, the mythical blue collar worker, or on the left, the underprivileged minority kid, are just versions of the “noble savage” myth held in fiery esteem only by the middle class’s lost soul in fervent search of an identity whose struggle they can borrow as their own, because identity, they haven’t got one themselves.

    And maybe that explains all of identity politics, on the right and the left, and Trump. And now RFK.

    Also see this:

    “one of the big marks of the loss of identity is nostalgia”.
    “all violence is a quest for identity”

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. June 2023 at 08:04

    mbka, You’ll enjoy this FT piece.

  25. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    20. June 2023 at 08:35


    thanks for that FT piece. “tribal feeling as an end in itself”. Political equivalent of those (usually white) people who go to remote areas of the planet to “go tribal” and “connect” Carlos Castaneda style. I guess yea, better than actual nationalism: Tribalism as performative art. Though the nihilism is real. The older I get the more I like Camus. The whole absurdity of it all.

  26. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    20. June 2023 at 17:35

    Jeb Bush was their “favorite candidate” too, and that didn’t work out so well for them.

    There are donors that believe they can run candidates like Haley, Bolton, Pence and Pompeo (neo-cons) and throw a dent into Trump’s popularity, but it’s never going to happen. Trump is a populist. The more you attack him, the more you reveal yourself as part of the establishment (i.e, part of the problem).

    Only one candidate can beat him: RFK Jr., because RFK doesn’t hate MAGA. He loves rural MAGA, just like he loves blue collar inner city democrats. He’s also opposed to all of the things the blue collar class is opposed to: endless wars, the WEF, supranationals, corrupt Pharma, censorship, and the oligopolies that have hijacked our industries.

    He is a candidate of love and peace, not hatred and tribalism.

    Scott is a tribalist. Scott believes that if you are not with him, then you are against him. This is why he previously said he wanted to “pack our Supreme Court”. He thinks the court is “against him” because it doesn’t rule the way he wants it to rule.

    The Globalists, like Scott, want us to believe that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. The middle class is better off, they say. The rural people have better lives, they say. Wars are good, because they keep us “safe” they say. Keep going global!

    But it’s simply not true. And the more they ignore the hardships these people face, the more they fuel the populist machine.

    Scott likes to pretend he’s not a tribalist because he likes open borders.

    Open borders destroy communities. The farmers that provide 70% of our green vegetables in Arizona, lost almost 10% of their production because there were so many illegal immigrants crossing their land.

    It’s unsustainable. And if you believe in self-determination, then you must also believe in borders, because people have a right to exclude others from entering their property. The only way open borders works is if we destroy the concept of private property and capitalism as a mode of production, which is precisely the goal of the open border crowd.

    Sumner, and most of the left, are very tribal. This is why they cannot permit states to have abortion rights. They must centralize power into the hands of a few. They must control everything. They are very militant, and they showed this in Stalinist Russia, Mao’s China, Fidel’s Cuba, and through elements of ANTIFA here in the U.S..

    If you are concerned about tribalism, look no further than the radical left.

  27. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    21. June 2023 at 03:18


    please look up “tribalism”. Calling a globalist a tribalist is the most ludicrous doublespeak I heard of late.

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