Archive for July, 2014
Gov. Brown Invokes Religion to Open the Border, but Path to Faith-based Schools Remains Closed

Earlier this week Gov. Jerry Brown was in Mexico City “urging politicians ... to ‘heed the religious call ... to welcome the stranger’ in addressing the [immigration] crisis,” according to the Sacramento Bee. Gov. Brown continued by saying: These are children, and many of them have relatives that are in California and other parts...
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Another Federal Mandate—Or, How I Misspent My Summer Vacation

In 1986, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student, Jeanne Clery, was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall. The reaction against colleges failing to publicize such campus crimes prompted the passage in 1990 of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Clery Act requires all colleges and...
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Gross Domestic Product: Is Health Spending Figured Out?

Relying on a government agency to tell us the value of goods and services produced in our nation may not be the best way to estimate Gross Domestic Product. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted. Health spending was a non-issue in the Department of Commerce’s release of the advanced estimate of second-quarter GDP, which came...
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Technology Can Make the Regulatory State Obsolete

The late American inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Ridesharing services are trying to do this, but governments stand in the way. In a two-minute Perspective aired today on National Public Radio station KQED...
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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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Muckraker or Special Pleader?

In “A Brief History of Media Muckraking”, the Wall Street Journal’s Amanda Foreman traces the contributions of “reform-minded journalists from Ida Tarbell to [Bob] Woodward” and a few others who spilled newspaper ink writing about abuses of power by the private and the public sector. Obviously a fan of the progress made during the...
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Sweatshops: Misunderstood Paths Out of Poverty

The collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza last year killed more than 1,100 workers and reignited an international movement calling for the regulation of so-called sweatshops in the developing world. Unfortunately, the activists often try to promote better working conditions the wrong way because they overlook the harm that boycotts and...
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Ban Government—Not Sweets—in Schools to Combat Bureaucratic Obesity

In recent weeks states have been grappling with a host of unintended consequences stemming from new USDA regulations affecting food and beverages available in schools. Chocolate milk was a near casualty in Connecticut. Earlier this month one Washington state school district threw in the towel and banned birthday cupcakes in classrooms. Instead of baked...
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Are Lawsuits Ending or Mending Teacher Tenure?

Last month Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu handed down a landmark decision in Vergara v. California. A group of student plaintiffs supported by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur argued that state tenure laws violated the State Constitution, kept bad teachers on the job, and deprived them of a quality education. A similar...
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Obamacare Architect Warned That Tax Credits Would Be Available Only in States with Exchanges

Halbig versus Burwell is the famous lawsuit that claims that Obamacare federal health-insurance exchanges cannot pay tax credits to health insurers. The plain language of the law is that only state-based Obamacare health-insurance exchanges can channel these tax credits. The real champions of this argument are Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler of the Cato...
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