August 24 roundup

  • Ingenious tactic to get bad review off search engines: arrange and win a pretend lawsuit in some other state [Paul Alan Levy, more: followup]
  • Law professor proposes to give out tax breaks based on race. Constitutional problems with that? [Caron/TaxProf]
  • $2,250 for the legal right to thread existing barrels: presidential order expands definition of “manufacturer” under arms treaty, which leaves some gunsmiths nervous [The Truth About Guns]
  • Political corner: Michael Greve reacts to Jonathan Rauch’s Atlantic article, “How Did Our Politics Go Insane?” [Liberty and Law] And for those following my commentary about the Gary Johnson campaign (see earlier), I’ve got a piece at Cato on his rocky relations with conservatives as well as a letter to the editor at the Baltimore Sun;
  • On Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians [Carla Main, City Journal; Chris Edwards]
  • But which way would the causation run? Econometric analysis finds “EU membership is positively associated with economic freedom.” [EPI Center] Will Brexit promote freer outcomes in areas like agricultural subsidy, or simply a return to national protection? [Simon Lester, Cato]


  • Giving tax breaks based on race: let’s see how badly this is thought through. We have black hispanics–black? We are compensating for racism when mortgage lending has been shown to correspond pretty closely to likelihood of default regardless of race? What is the test for “blackness” when so many are mixed race? Obama is only half-black. Most US blacks have some white blood. Do we institute a brown-paper-bag test for blackness, like in the old South? Do we hand out racial certificates? Do 8 octaroons count as one black? Just insane.

  • “Do we institute a brown-paper-bag test for blackness, like in the old South?”

    The rule in the old south was one drop of black blood made you black.

    According to what I could find on-line, the “brown paper bag test” only dates to the early 20th century.

    Some diehard southerners would be deeply offended by you referring to that as the “old” south.