Weekend Reads: July 6th, 2018

The Fourth of July, Laser Rifles, and Universal Basic Income

The Things They Carried: Items Confiscated from Migrants in the Last Decade

Laura M. Holson | The New York Times | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Tom Kiefer, who worked as a janitor at a Customs and Border Protection center in Arizona until 2014, gathered tens of thousands of items confiscated from illegal migrants and thrown out by agents. He created “El Sueño Americano” (The American Dream), a collection of photographs exhibited at museums and galleries across the US


‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’ by Frederick Douglass

Dave Zirin | The Nation | Retweeted by Alex Tabarrok

Dave Zirin encourages Americans to read Frederick Douglass’s famous 1852 speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” which expresses frustrations, “between the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”


China Brings Star Wars to Life With ‘Laser AK-47’ That Can Set Fire to Targets a Kilometre Away

Stephen Chen | South China Morning Post | Shared by Tyler Cowen

A new laser rifle created by China and powered by a rechargeable lithium battery could change the way weapons are manufactured.


Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto. Would Anyone Want to Live There?

Nancy Scola | POLITICO Magazine | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Is Google’s new smart city something out of a bright, innovative future or an Orwellian nightmare? Nancy Scola takes a look at Quayside, Google’s experimental city in Toronto.


Two Family Businesses: One Wins, One Loses in US Tariff Fight

Ruth Simon | The Wall Street Journal | Retweeted by Veronique de Rugy

In this profile, Ruth Simon highlights two businesses: one a family-owned Ohio steelmaker and the other a family-run maker of steel chains in St. Louis. She details how the trade conflict is impacting the US economy.


Benefits of the American Revolution: An Exploration of Positive Externalities

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel | EconLib | Tweeted by David Beckworth

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel argues that there were at least four specific benefits of the American Revolution that helped America become more free and prosperous.


San Francisco Restaurants Can’t Afford Waiters. So They’re Putting Diners to Work.

Emily Badger | The New York Times | Tweeted by Jason Fichtner

This profile of San Francisco restaurants depicts how one of America’s most expensive cities is changing the economics of everything: commercial rents, labor costs, and restaurant workers—who are being priced out by the expense of housing.


After Universal Basic Income, the Flood

Simon Sarris | Medium | Retweeted by Peter Boettke  

Simon Sarris discusses his objections to a universal basic income and explains how this policy proposal would mathematically break down.


We Need a Dramatic Rethinking of US Foreign Policy

Jerrod Laber | ArcDigital | Retweeted by Christopher Coyne

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) grants legal justification for US foreign intervention. Jerrod Laber argues that a recent proposal to modify the AUMF would make conflict more likely around the globe.


Through the Looking Glass at Concordia University

Terry Newman | Quillette | Tweeted by Robert Graboyes

Terry Newman discusses her experience as a graduate student at Concordia University and how she perceives the evolution of intellectual debate in the classroom.