The End of Restaurants as We Know Them?

Since the start of 2024, numerous well-known restaurant chains have announced sizable closures and incrementally more drastic restructuring efforts. TGI Fridays has closed numerous locations across the US and sold eight corporate-owned locations to strengthen its franchise model and close underperforming stores. Denny’s shut down 57 restaurants in 2023 and announced additional closures for 2024 due to inflationary pressures. Boston Market drastically reduced its number of restaurants from around 300 to just 27 by March 2024, driven by landlord evictions, unpaid bills, and state shutdowns due to unpaid sales taxes. Mod Pizza abruptly closed 27 locations across the US, including five in California, just before the new minimum wage law took effect.

Day of Reckoning for Social Security Draws Closer

In ten years, Americans counting on Social Security benefits for income will be in for a shock.

Robert L. Formaini (1945-2024): A Defender of Letting the Individual Choose

The Independent Institute reported on Friday, July 5th, that free market economist and Institute Research Fellow Robert L. Formaini, had passed away the day before, on July 4th, at the age of 78. Born on September 15, 1945, in Ithaca, New York, Bob received both his PhD (1989) and M.A. (1984) in political economy from the University of Texas in Dallas, as well as an M.A. in economics from Virginia Commonwealth University (1980). He had earlier earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Ithaca College, New York (1968).

Machado: A Beacon of Hope in Venezuela’s Political Crisis

Politicians who talk about “rendezvous with history” make me cringe. Still, it is hard to argue that the presidential elections that will take place in Venezuela on July 28 are anything but that. The opposition (or, more accurately, the resistance movement) is currently at its strongest. It is united behind one of Latin America’s most formidable leaders, María Corina Machado, a woman of classical liberal persuasion who enjoys approximately 70 percent popular support. Conversely, the tyrant governing the country and his entire administration have never been weaker.

Chevron Deference Is No More

The bureaucrats of the administrative state have enjoyed much discretion under the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (1984). In that case, the Court developed the following test when dealing with agency interpretations of statutes they administer:

Jury Trials and the Administrative State: SEC v. Jarkesy

Last week, the High Court issued several blockbuster decisions. In this post, I will focus on SEC v. Jarkesy, which deals with the right to a jury trial in proceedings brought by federal agencies. Some background is necessary to appreciate this ruling.

How the Grants Pass Decision Shapes Local Approaches to Homeless Encampments

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in The City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson will allow cities to enforce ordinances against sleeping in public spaces. This decision is a welcome victory in favor of local autonomy against federal overreach. Homelessness is a local problem that requires local solutions, and this decision will allow officials to address homeless encampments according to their city’s unique needs.

California Advances Bills to Ban Thicker, Reusable Plastic Bags That It Previously Required
Move would force grocery stores to go back to paper bags and likely be worse for the environment

It seems that California’s plastic bag ban has been a failure, but that is not stopping lawmakers from trying to impose a second bag ban.

Interest on National Debt Surpasses Defense Spending

Interest on the national debt is rapidly becoming the biggest single category of spending by the U.S. government. As of May 2024, the amount of money spent to pay interest owed to the federal government’s creditors surpasses the annual amount it spends on national defense.

America’s Surging Deficit Spending

The U.S. government’s budget deficit in 2024 will be 27% larger than the Congressional Budget Office predicted just four months ago.

  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless