Archive for November, 2014
Interstellar Liberty and the Foibles of Progressivism

Spoiler Alert: This blog post may contain clues to key plot points in the 2014 film Interstellar. One of the cornerstones of progressive political thought is that experts should be put in charge of public policy, using “scientific” management and “evidence-based” policy analysis to determine and implement social policy. Few areas of policy have...
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Small Business Suffers: The Riots, Past and Present

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Independent Review on the urban riots of the 1960s (and the Rodney King riot of 1992). Watching the events unfold in Ferguson, it seems those in charge of riot control learned nothing. Once again, the victims were small business owners—many of them African Americans (as...
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“Cadillac Tax” Will Hit 38 Percent of Employers in 2018

The “Cadillac tax” is the excise tax on high-value health plans, which goes into effect in 2018. If the value of health benefits exceeds $10,200 for an individual or $27,000 for a family, the excise tax will be 40 percent. A new report from the American Health Policy Institute breaks down the effect on employers. As...
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Will Obamacare Hit Its Enrollment Target?

The media seems to think that Obamacare’s second open enrollment is going just swimmingly. (How could it be going worse than last year’s?) Unfortunately, the Obama administration still isn’t counting last year’s sign-ups accurately. Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic has called the administration’s over-counting of Obamacare sign-ups “inexcusable.” And that’s from one of Obamacare’s biggest fans....
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Stores to Open on Thanksgiving—Don’t Complain.

Over the past several weeks, the standard litany of holiday media stories has begun. While there is always some fun in guessing which reporter will get stuck with the “don’t set your house on fire with the deep fryer” segment, other stories are far more troubling. Around Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas...
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I’ll Take Market Forces Over Government Force Any Day

Responding to their customers’ increasing demand for privacy in the aftermath of revelations by whistle-blowers that the government is capturing and indefinitely storing every conversation, email, location, online transaction, and more, Apple, Google, WhattsApp, and others are developing new encrypted phones and services to thwart this now-universal warrantless spying. Simultaneously, a bill that would...
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Students Won’t Be Collateral Damage in California Big Spenders’ Showdown

There’s a showdown brewing in California’s not-so-OK Corral—make that the UC Corral—and students are fed up with being the ones caught in the crossfire. It started back in 2012 when Gov. Jerry Brown threatened to slash state funding for California’s ten University of California campuses unless his Proposition 30  (also known as the “Millionaire’s Tax”)...
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Right-to-Try Laws Now in 5 States

After this month’s elections, the number of states that have “right to try” laws for experimental drugs has hit five. One in ten states: Not bad for an effort run out of one think tank in Arizona. However, I have seen no evidence that any manufacturer of an experimental drug is taking advantage of these...
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The Anachronistic 1979 Oil Export Ban

Political pressure is building to repeal the 1979 ban on U.S. exports of crude oil to the rest of the world. I blogged on that issue recently in Inside Sources, which was picked up by Orangeburg, South Carolina’s Times and Democrat. Other blogs on that policy issue are forthcoming. Several reasons for lifting the...
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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

“The twenty-first century will be a magnificent time to be alive. Dare be an optimist.” —Matt Ridley On November 12, 2014, the world watched with excitement as another historic human achievement unfolded: After a decade-long journey that covered 4 billion miles in space, the first human spacecraft landed on a comet. This remarkable event...
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