When the news broke yesterday that the New York Times‘s egregious “1619 Project” had won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, I knew the only thing to do was get Phillip W. Magness on the line. Magness, a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, is the author of a brand new and indispensable book answering the factual errors and gross interpretive distortions of the 1619 Project, entitled The 1619 Project: A Critique.
But there’s more to the Magness portfolio on my mind just now. I regard Phil as the LeBron James of the conservative-libertarian community, because he is playing monster defense against bad ideas from all corners, and dunking hard on a lot of lefties who richly deserve it, from the authors of the 1619 Project to the Thomas Piketty/Emanuel Saez/Robert Reich/Gabriel Zucman distortions about income inequality that informed Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for a wealth tax. Phil has dug deep into the data the equality crusaders have assembled and exposing their methodological weakness.
Last but not least, Phil has also been following the coronavirus crisis, and has been posting a lot of observations on the defects of our understanding of the virus itself, and pointing out the poor calculations of the tradeoffs involved in the extreme lockdowns we have chosen as a remedy. He even breaks some news along the way, so listen to the end as we walk briskly through all three of these topics.
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