The Wall Street Journal published a long piece arguing that rural America has become the new inner city. The article doesn’t really talk about politics, but the political implications, especially with respect to the rise of Trump, are pretty obvious.
Michael Clemens recently co-wrote a paper with Jennifer Hunt in which he claims to have found a flaw in George Borjas’s paper on the Mariel Boatlift that invalidates his conclusion. George Borjas replied on his blog, where he defends his conclusion. Borjas’s paper had previously been criticized by Giovanni Peri and Vasil Yasenov. If you want to get a sense of where the debate stood before Clemens and Hunt’s recent, I recommend this summary by Jason Richwine, which I already mentioned a few months ago.
Speaking of Richwine, he wrote a good piece for the Center for Immigration Studies on the study that claims to have shown that refugees pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, which unsurprisingly has been widely touted in the media. As he says, when something looks too good to be true, that’s probably because it’s not. When I have more time, I plan to publish a long post on the literature about the fiscal impact of immigration, which is a great example of how you can take data that say one thing and make them say the opposite with a little bit of work.
Robert VerBruggen reviews John Pfaff’s latest book on mass incarceration. Unlike Michelle Alexander’s book, whose main claim can be refuted in exactly 5 minutes, Pfaff makes the case against mass incarceration without ignoring the data. However, this conclusion is attacked by Barry Latzer, who published a book on crime recently, in City Journal.
As this article in The Atlantic explains, paleontologist Doug Erwin doesn’t think we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, which he thinks is just a sensational claim. However, if you think he says that because he doesn’t think we have to worry about the environment, then you should read the piece because that’s not at all what he is saying.