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Is It Discrimination If You Cannot Buy A Hermès Handbag? Also, Great Replacement Talk – PolicySphere Morning Briefing – March 20, 2024

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#DEI #Antitrust – In something that feels like a right-wing caricature of left-wing excesses but is apparently real, and something that we cannot resist opening with, a lawsuit alleges that it’s discrimination if you’re not able to buy Hermès’s famous and very expensive Birkin bag. Indeed, you cannot just walk into a Hermès store and buy a Birkin bag, instead you must have a history of buying Hermès products and a relationship with Hermès, and your Birkin bag will be uniquely made to your specifications. And this, according to the plaintiffs, is a violation of antitrust law. Read the complaint here.

We have nothing to add, except to say that the true connoisseur’s choice is the Kelly handbag, not the Birkin.

#Immigration #GreatReplacement – Elon Musk shared, and Bill Ackman retweeted, a video essentially making an argument for the Great Replacement–that the mass immigration from the Southern border is a deliberate plan to replace indigenous Americans with voters subservient to the Democratic Party. This is not “policy” news exactly but it is worth pointing out that men like Musk and Ackman, who are basically corporate centrist and center-left individuals, are sharing and debating a viewpoint that the establishment left press informs us is a fringe conspiracy theory. “Vibe shifts” sometimes precede policy changes.

A quick housekeeping note since we used the dreaded R-word: PolicySphere has no position on immigration policy as such, short of opposing outright open borders, and aspires to be an honest broker on debates on this question, as on all questions, on the center and right-of-center. More: we are informed by the establishment left press that the Great replacement is a “conspiracy theory” and that it is somehow linked to terrorist atrocities (as opposed to, say, the Koran, which has absolutely nothing to do with any terrorist activity whatsoever), even though Renaud Camus, the French author of The Great Replacement has won multiple defamation cases in France against journalists making these allegations (this even though French courts are hardly friendly to right-wing speech, to put it mildly). Demographic replacement is a phenomenon, which, as everyone knows, has happened at various times and places for various reasons throughout history. Whether it is currently happening to indigenous populations of European descent in Europe and North America is an empirical question that, like all empirical questions, serious adults should be able to discuss and debate in a manner befitting serious adults. The fact that a data-informed milquetoast center-left figure like Bill Ackman can tweet about it is evidence that histrionics and anathemas are not sufficient responses to this question.

#Immigration – “The 12-Month, $404 Million Contract to Transport Migrant Kids — that You’re Paying For” (Center for Immigration Studies)

#PublicHealth – “A growing body of research suggests ‘Long Covid’ may be psychological” (NRO)

#FreeSpeech – “Ketanji Brown Jackson Defenestrates the First Amendment” (Brownstone Institute)

#ClimateChangeGlobal carbon emissions are rising, driven by China and India. (AP) China emits more carbon than the US, and its emissions are rising while the US’s are falling. Given these basic facts, hard to see how Green New Deal-type policies are anything other than virtue-signaling.

#AmericanManufacturing #TaxReform – “Why Sector-Neutral Tax Reform Is Better Than Industrial Policy” (Dominic Pino, NRO)

#Budget – “New projections for the federal budget shows debt rising to 211% of GDP in 2054…” (Brookings)

#Budget #InterestRates – …meanwhile interest rates are rising and Goldman Sachs projects that they will stabilize around 4%, which has clear implications for the US government’s ability to service its debt, as the Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl points out.

#DEI #BigTech #InnovationGoogle’s “woke” Gemini AI was deliberately broken because Google’s internal culture has been completely colonized by woke craziness, an investigation by The Free Press reveals.

#ESG #DEI – “Texas is pulling $8.5 billion from BlackRock after determining the firm’s ESG policies are directly damaging the state’s economy.” (Heritage Action)

#DEI – “America’s top intelligence service is now promoting male employees who ‘crossdress,’ experiment with ‘genderfluid’ identities, and ‘wear a skirt to work’ as part of its DEI programs. ‘Crossdressing has made me a better [intel] officer.'” (Chris Rufo)

#FamilyPolicy – In Sweden, at least, the relationship between social status and children is changing. (Institute for Family Studies)

#Competitiveness – “What do China and Russia think are the societal characteristics that produce competitive advantage?” (RAND)

Chart of the Day

Chris Brunet: “2022: Justin Trudeau instituted a nationwide freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns. 2024: Home invasions are up 240% in Canada’s biggest city, and ”this period in 2024 has seen more home invasions than in three previous years combined.””

Meme of the Day

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