On Gary’s goofs, smugglers solve alleged public good problem, FDA-caused massive deaths, and reparations from descendants of slave owners.

These are some of the most interesting things I found on the web this morning.

1. Robert Murphy on Gary Johnson’s incoherent answers to some questions. Bob’s bottom line:

Johnson fires from the hip on his personal feelings about a situation, someone points out that this position is neither libertarian nor coherent, and then Johnson refines the original statement with an arbitrary exception that neuters that one specific objection.

2. Smugglers repair roads to help their smuggling.

Gangs smuggling goods into Russia have secretly repaired a road on the Belarussian border in order to boost business, the TASS news agency reported Monday.

HT to Scott Alexander and Jason Kuznicki.

3. FDA’s anti-vaping regs will cause a minimum of 9360 deaths.


So let’s do this. A 1.9 QALE (from here ) loss from smoking, 8.3 million vapers in the U.S, 95% risk difference between vaping and smoking, and let’s say 1 in 20 vapers goes back to smoking (this is an underestimate since it just focuses on the existing vaping population instead of those who might switch from smoking to vaping in the future.) And an 80-year life expectancy.

This is roughly equivalent to ~9360 (probably more) people dying.

HT to Scott Alexander.

4. Walter Block makes an important point about reparations for slavery:

Subject: Question about Reparations. You said: “You are not responsible for any of your “father’s” horrific crimes. It is only if he gave you any of the proceeds of his criminality that you must return them.” I cannot find any reason to disagree with your above statement. But I believe the reparations argument is different. The descendants of the victims of slavery are requesting restoration of inheritance from several generations before. But if nothing was bequeathed to their fathers from their grandfathers from their great grandfathers from their great great grandfathers, what claim do they really have? If I go to the casino and gamble away my wealth, or have it taken by a swindler, or lose it in bad investments before I ever bequeath it, how could my great great grand child have possibly any claim to recover it? There is no guarantee that even a child of a slave would have been bequeathed his parent’s wealth had he even received it, Furthermore, the descendants of slaves, several generations removed…