From the River to the Sea–One State

by Warren Coats, Warren’s Space, May 22, 2024.


The recent attack and counterattack were continuations of 70 years of unresolved relations between the areas [sic] Palestinian and Jewish residents. Netanyahu remains adamantly against revising the Two State Solution (Oslo Accord) future and Saudi Arabia is equally insistent on it. Ireland, Norway, and Spain will officially recognize Palestine as a state from next week and other countries are expected to follow.

The so far unsurmounted challenge was not a result of the gathering of Jews in what is now Israel, but the determination to make it a democratic Jewish State. Religious states, such as Iran, are always problematic. Israel can only be a democratic Jewish state by eliminating one way or another most Palestinians. American’s founding fathers had the wisdom to prohibit that by putting the separation of church and state in our constitution.

If Israel gave up being a Jewish state it could remain democratic and absorb the entire area from the River to the Sea. And every resident would receive the same protection of the law and equal rights. It should consider a federal structure in which smaller districts with local administrations might well be predominately Muslim or Jewish.


America’s Third Founding: May 24, 1924, the Immigration Act of 1924

By David J. Bier, Cato at Liberty, May 24, 2024.


The third founding occurred on May 24, 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge signed the National Origins Quota Act, which imposed the first permanent cap on legal immigration. Prior to the 1924 Act, all would‐​be immigrants were presumed eligible to immigrate unless the government had evidence showing that they were ineligible. The 1924 law replaced this system with the guilty‐​until‐​proven‐​innocent, Soviet‐​style quota system that we have today.

No law has so radically altered the demographics, economy, politics, and liberty of the United States and the world. It has massively reduced American population growth from immigrants and their descendants by hundreds of millions, diminishing economic growth and limiting the power and influence of this country. Post‐​1924 Americans are not free to associate, contract, and trade with people born around the world as they were before.

The legal restrictions have erected a massive and nearly impenetrable bureaucracy between Americans and their relatives, spouses, children, employees, friends, business associates, customers, employers, faith leaders, artists, and other peaceful people who could contribute to our lives. It has made the world a much poorer and less free place for Americans and people globally, necessitating the construction of a massive law enforcement apparatus to enforce these restrictions.

My additional thought:

We often hear that if we get many more immigrants, they will vote away our system. Indeed, that had been my only major fear– before I looked at the evidence. But notice the evidence right here. The U.S. cut off most immigration in 1924. It did open it again somewhat in 1965. And when did we get our biggest expansion of the federal government? During those 40 or so years.


Putin Signs Decree Allowing Seizure of US Assets If Russian Funds Are Taken

by Dave DeCamp,, May 23, 2024.


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that will allow the seizure of any US assets in Russia to compensate for any Russian assets that are taken by the US.

The decree could be applied to any American individuals or companies that have assets in Russia, and it came after President Biden signed a bill into law that gave him the power to confiscate Russian assets and use them to pay for aid to Ukraine.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the US and its allies froze about $300 billion in Russian Central Bank assets. According to The Associated Press, there are about $5 billion in Russian state assets that the US could confiscate to send to Ukraine.

Putin’s decree would allow the Russian central bank or any companies that lost assets in the US to apply to Russian courts “with a claim to establish the fact of unjustified deprivation of his rights to property due to a decision by a US state or judicial authority and to receive compensation for said damage.”

In short, says Putin, I’ll see your collective guilt and raise you.

How One Obvious Mistake Created California’s Budget Crisis

by Lee Ohanian, California on Your Mind, May 21, 2024.


California’s budget went from an assumed $98 billion surplus, in which there was so much cash in state coffers that Gov. Gavin Newsom was giving away $50,000 to randomly selected individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine, to a projected $73 billion deficit in only about two years.

Much of this could have been avoided if, in 2022, California hadn’t made obvious, enormously unrealistic revenue assumptions for future years that falsely painted far too optimistic a fiscal portrait for the state. In a nutshell, here is what happened: in fiscal year 2021‒22, state tax revenues rose around 55 percent—about $70 billion—over the previous fiscal year. This revenue windfall significantly reflected taxpayers realizing capital gains, particularly high-income taxpayers who were facing a marginal tax rate of 13.3 percent at the time.

Milton Friedman

by David D. Friedman,, May 23, 2024.


The attitude to his children, treating them as people who had the same intellectual status as he did, was applied more generally. He would argue with anyone. I remember one argument with the proprietor of the garage in New Hampshire where we had our car fixed, who was arguing that a big company, by spending enough on advertising, could always sell what they produced. The example he offered was a new car Ford had just brought out called the Edsel.

One of my father’s projects was an experiment in economic education that involved arguing with New York City cab drivers. New York had, and still has, a taxi medallion system. It issues a fixed number of medallions, each of which entitles the owner to operate one taxicab; each cab company has to own as many medallions as it operates taxicabs. The medallions are transferable; if you own one you can sell it to someone else, after which he now has the right to legally operate a cab. The price of a medallion now is, probably then was, over a hundred thousand dollars.


I had a similar experience when I was 19. My friend Don Redekop and I were hitchhiking in the summer of 1970. We were coming back from a Sunday morning hitchhike to one of my favorite lakes, near the Manitoba/Ontario border. We were picked up by a friendly guy who was a salesman for typewriters. We had 100 miles in front of us and somehow we got talking about imports. He was arguing that Canada’s government should restrict imports of foreign typewriters. I said, naturally, that it shouldn’t. He wasn’t hostile but curious: he asked me why. So I laid out comparative advantage without using numbers. He would resist; I would explain. Resist; explain. Near the end of the 100 miles, he admitted that I was right but wanted to restrict imports to save his job. We left on friendly terms. (I don’t recall if I used the argument that if we had no restrictions on imports, there would be more, not less, demand for typewriter salesman. Given my economic understanding at the time, I probably didn’t.)