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International Liberty

Here’s a simple quiz to determine whether you should support a candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren: Would you embrace a policy that increased income for poor Americans by 10 percent if it also happened to increase income for rich Americans by 15 percent?

Normal people automatically say yes. After all, they don’t resent rich people and they want lower-income people to enjoy better living standards.

Some of our left-leaning friends (including at the IMF!), however, are so fixated on inequality that they are willing to deprive the poor so long as higher-income people have even larger losses (Margaret Thatcher nailed them on this issue).

Let’s look at some analysis of this issue.

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial that starts by highlighting some good economic news.

…low- and middle-income folks are reaping more economic benefits than during the Obama years. …Worker earnings increased…

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BBC Watch

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during August 2019 shows that throughout the month a total of 149 incidents took place including 97 in Judea & Samaria, 25 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and 26 in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 95 attacks with petrol bombs, 14 attacks using pipe bombs, five arson attacks, two shooting attacks, two stabbing attacks, one attack using a grenade and one vehicular attack.

Incidents recorded in the Gaza Strip sector included nine attacks with petrol bombs, three attacks using pipe bombs, one attack using a grenade, three shooting attacks and seven incidents of rocket fire.

Two people were murdered and eight wounded in attacks during the month of August.

The BBC News website reported the August 7th murder of Dvir Sorek the following day but no follow-up reporting was seen…

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Science Matters

Richard Tol posted at Climate Economics: How much energy do building code save?

Not nearly as much as expected, according to this paper by Arik Levinsohn. California has had building codes for energy since 1978, and they are tightened every so often. Levinsohn compares the energy use of buildings build before and after a code change, compares Californian houses to houses elsewhere in the USA, and compares the weather sensitivity of houses with different building codes. He finds that codes save energy, but the ex post estimates are lower than the ex ante ones on which the regulation was based.

Arik Levinsohn wrote at American Economic Review  How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Save? Evidence from California Houses 

Abstract

Regulations governing the energy efficiency of new buildings have become a cornerstone of US environmental policy. California enacted the first such codes in 1978 and has tightened them every…

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