Tag: Welfare

Is Humanitarian Aid Strengthening ISIS? »

Recent reports on U.S. efforts to confront the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq revealed something disturbing. As U.S. forces launch attacks against ISIS, a vast array of U.S. and other western aid has been flowing into the region...and directly to the jihadist fighters. Reports state that in order for aid to travel through...
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Berkeley’s Free Medical Marijuana Plan Shows Economic Thinking Has Gone to Pot »

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, making it the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Its passage, however, did not trump federal law, under which cannabis remains illegal as per the Controlled Substance Act. Due to this illegality on the federal level, private insurance companies, as well as state programs like Medi-Cal, do not...
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U.S. National Defense: Just Another Government Program »

In a recent address to the Institute for Humane Studies board of directors, George Mason University economist and co-editor of the Independent Institute’s The Independent Review Christopher J. Coyne offered a “case for humility” regarding foreign intervention. I had the pleasure of hearing the address in person, and the written version can be found...
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“Creepy Uncle Sam” Obamacare Care-nival »

To follow up on the superb “Creepy Uncle Sam” videos satirizing Obamacare (see here and here), the new “Something Creepy This Way Comes: Creepy Uncle Sam Obamacare Care-nival” has now gone viral on the Internet: For the pivotal alternative to Obamacare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis,...
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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The War on Poverty and the War on Drugs »

As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference...
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The Veterans’ Administration Has Been a Disaster Since Its Inception »

In her modern, exceptional biography of President Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes (Coolidge, HarperCollins, 2013) documents the very blemished history of today’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), illustrating the trite, but nevertheless very true old saw that the more things change the more they remain the same. That department of the federal government, now...
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Would Outlawing Food Stamps for Soda Pop Reduce Obesity? »

That’s what scholars at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco, concluded in an article in Health Affairs. The authors compare two policies: banning the use of food stamps for the purchase of soda pop, or giving an extra subsidy of thirty cents on the dollar for the purchase of fruits and vegetables....
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Once Again, Government Displaces Real Aid »

The history of the growth of government is riddled with government programs driving out well-functioning arrangements for the private provision of assistance and social services, including welfare, healthcare and hospital services, unemployment assistance, disaster relief and more. So it should come as no surprise that now Obamacare is doing the same. As reported in...
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Piketty’s Capital: IV »

I’ve made some observations about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century already, here, here, and here, and in this post want to note the way that the twentieth-century welfare state has contributed to the inequality that Piketty has observed. Piketty observes that growing inequality is the result of the return on capital being...
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