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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – March 25, 2024

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#Spending #Recess – Obviously today’s news is that the Congress has gone into recess for two weeks after passing the $1.2 trillion spending package, averting a government shutdown (but angering many conservatives and some progressives in the process).

#DEIImportant article from Claremont on “our antiracist Constitution”. This is an exposition of the argument, first expounded by Christopher Caldwell in his excellent book The Age of Entitlement, that civil rights-era legislation, and especially the Supreme Court’s interpretations of such legislation, has essentially, de facto, overturned the traditional US Constitution and baked ideas such as DEI into the very fabric of US constitutional government. It is an important argument to wrestle with.

#Citizenship – Related (arguably) to the above: Michael Lind, the sociologist whose left-populism often puts him in alignment with the New Right, writes about “the war on citizenship”. “For global elites, countries are merely exotic names for trade zones and labor camps, and citizenship has about as much ethical or emotional significance as a gym membership. Most Americans feel otherwise.”

#FreeSpeech – Also related to ideas of citizenship: Nate Hochman on the “network of NGOs, activist groups, tech firms and government agencies” that constitutes our new “censorship regime.”

#AI #Self-recommendingFascinating: an interview of MIT economist David Autor by Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal. You may know David Autor as the author of the “China shock” series of articles which demonstrated that outsourcing to China specifically (as opposed to general effects from trade or automation) destroyed so many American communities. He is an intellectually honest economist who follows where the data leads. Meanwhile, Weisenthal is one of the most intelligent economics/finance journalists alive today. This would make it a self-recommending interview on its own, but Autor uses it to advance an audacious thesis: that AI will actually be great for the middle class and reverse the hollowing-out of the labor market caused by the computer revolution.

#AI #Energy #TheEconomy – Speaking of AI, energy industry insiders agree on one thing: the outlook for energy demand, driven in large part by AI, is strong. Remains the question of what, coal, natural gas, nuclear, or so-called renewables, will fill the demand. And, of course, policy will play a role in answering that question.

#BloodbathCompetitive EVs are now selling for the equivalent of $10,000 in China.

#Meaning – Interesting to see the perspective from the other side. Liberal Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (correctly, in our view) diagnoses America as having a crisis of meaning, and not just economic or social problems, and sees the Right as having better answers for it: “Republicans are doing a better job at diagnosing the metaphysical state of the country and tailoring policies to meet it” he tells far-left activist Anand Giridharadas in an interview. “You don’t solve a crisis of meaning and purpose by just giving people a little bit bigger tax credit.”

#ManySuchCases – The billionaire son of the owner of, among other things, Axios, is a self proclaimed communist, who’s behind some of the most violent Antifa activism in the US, a Mother Jones report reveals. (Speaking of crisis of meaning)

#Smartphone #Kids #MentalHealthData from Australia on smartphone use and kids’ mental health seems to add to the growing body of data suggesting a link between smartphone use and the teen mental health epidemic. If various countries had the same epidemic in the period 2010-2015 it suggests some shared factor is at play–like smartphones.

#DEI – AEI Senior Fellow Carole Hooven with a comprehensive look at the research on cognitive differences between the sexes.

#HigherEd #DEIManhattan Institute’s Chris Rufo on the epidemic of plagiarism among Grievance Studies “scholars” at top universities.

Chart of the Day (via JD Vance)

Meme of the Day

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