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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – May 7, 2024

Bonjour! Here’s your PolicySphere morning briefing! If you were forwarded this, here’s more about who we are and what we’re doing and, of course, don’t forget to sign up and tell your friends.

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NB: There will be no PolicySphere Morning Briefing on tomorrow, May 8, which is Victory in Europe Day.

Lots of new content on PolicySphere these past few days: our analysis of the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which recently passed the House on a bipartisan basis, and is accused by some on the right of threatening speech (our answer: potentially yes); our interview with Jeremy Carl on his important new book The Unprotected Class; and finally, our exclusive interview with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the most substantive interviews you’ll see on this crucial policy issue.

Now on to your policy links…

#Entitlements – The Social Security Trustees’ 2024 Report is out, and so is the CRFB’s analysis of that report. Short version: the situation is dire.

#AI – Fifteen pro-market policy institutes in DC have published a letter urging policymakers to take a soft-touch approach to AI regulation. The key thing about AI regulation is that while it seems well-intentioned, in practices it cedes an oligopoly to the biggest actors, and probably enables adversaries like China.

#TheEconomy According to Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken, April’s jobs report is even worse than the headline suggested: “Overall, this report is simply a continuation of ongoing trends: namely, full-time jobs are falling and the ‘job growth’ reported so enthusiastically by the media doesn’t seem to show up in terms of actual people employed. If we look more closely at this report, what we really find is that the total number of employed persons has flatlined while half a million full-time jobs have disappeared over the past year.” More.

#TheEconomyAlso from Mises Institute: for the first time in our nation’s history, 30 year olds are doing worse than their parents.

#Crime #Aging – Americans over 60 were targeted by scams at a rate 11% higher than the year prior, according to a newly released FBI report. The scams ranged from identity theft to extortion to false romantic pursuits.⁠ The official cost of these scams is $3.4 billion, but according to AARP, most elder scams aren’t brought to authorities, and they estimate that losses are closer to $28.3 billion annually.⁠ (Via Morning Brew) Boomers have captured so much accumulated wealth, and a lingering issue is what will happen to it. One possibility is that it gets inherited; another is that it gets taxed; perhaps another is that it disappears through crime.

#TaxPolicy – Useful: the Tax Foundation has released a special website to track tax proposals by presidential candidates.

#Regulation – WSJ op-ed by CEI’s Ben Lieberman: new Biden Administration regulations will drive up the costs of A/C units and refrigerants. This is something we’ve been tracking: the Biden White House has been increasing regulations across the board to an extent unseen from any administration until perhaps the ’70s. Pragmatic regulation is one thing, but the brakes seem to have come off.

#Trade – American Compass’s Duncan Braid writes against the idea that increased tariffs are inflationary.

#HigherEd – Useful thought experiment from AEI’s Nat Malkus: let’s say we agree some debt relief is necessary; how much are you willing to pay for?

Silly (But Interesting) Link of the Day

If you want to see pictures of the State Dinner hosted yesterday by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace in honor of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, here you go, taken by Guillaume Gomez, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, former Head Chef at the Elysée Palace, and now a Goodwill Ambassador of the French President for French gastronomy. We enjoyed this set because it’s very rare to see candid photos from a State Dinner.

Chart of the Day

Via Brookings Senior Fellow Robin Brooks: “The US has a major issue of prime-age men giving up and permanently exiting the labor force. What’s striking about this is that it doesn’t get talked about at all – not in the mainstream media and not by economists – even though this obviously feeds political radicalization…”

Meme of the Day

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