Archive for July, 2016
Politics and American Surveillance

Editor: Today is the publication date of the Independent Institute’s newest book, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory (Research Fellow, Independent Institute). Published for Independent by the University of Wisconsin Press, this widely acclaimed new book traces the history of government surveillance in the U.S. that transcends party divides,...
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The Democratic Platform on Health Care: Bad, but Not Universally Bad

The Democratic National Convention has produced a 51-page campaign platform that devotes five pages to health care. Leaving aside the promotion of abortion as a partisan wedge issue, the platform asserts the goal of “universal health care,” which is “a right, not a privilege.” The notion of health care as a “right” is now...
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Should the Feds Regulate Physicians’ Scope of Practice?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, economics professor Shirley Svorny of California State University, Northridge, and the Cato Institute argues that Congress should use the power granted by the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause to pre-empt states’ historical power to regulate physicians’ scope of practice: Telemedicine has made exciting advances in recent years. Remote access...
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Marginal Steps to a Better World

I was recently asked to give a talk for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) on how we can improve society. Now, I’ve been asked to give my fair share of presentations. Most are things that fit nicely into the economist’s “wheelhouse.” Ask me to explain public choice, price controls, the economics of war,...
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Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Improved Access to Care—but at a Very High Price

Arkansas has a love-hate relationship with Obamacare. The previous (Democratic) governor, Mike Beebe, made a deal to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion but with an interesting twist. Obamacare significantly increased the number of Americans who could become dependent on Medicaid by increasing the income cut-off for eligibility. Many governors rejected the federal funds offered to...
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Trump’s Nomination and Backward Immigration Policy

A few months back, I wrote on Donald Trump’s run for the White House and his economic policies. At the time, I noted that, love him or hate him, he’d gone farther than pretty much anyone had anticipated. I have to admit that I was surprised that Trump secured the Republican nomination for the...
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Trump’s Talk: Aspirations, Not Policies

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention was a list of aspirations, without any explanation of the policies he had in mind to meet those goals. That’s not surprising, because that is the nature of political campaign rhetoric. Politicians rarely say what they plan to do. Rather, they talk about perceived problems...
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The Republican Platform on Health Care: Good, Bad, and So-So

The Republican National Convention churned out a 58-page campaign platform that did not ignore health reform. The committee that drafted it was co-chaired by Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, U.S. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina. Whatever the likelihood of its enacted, it represents some kind of...
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Mere Optimism Is Not a Good Substitute for Sound Theory and Far-reaching Evidence

As elderly people get older they tend toward feeble-mindedness. Not in every case, of course, but as a general rule applicable to any given cohort. I am acutely aware of this tendency whenever I express an opinion or explain a conclusion: I may simply be losing my grip. Moreover, older people tend to become...
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Clinton Cash Film Premieres

The powerful, new, documentary-film version of Peter Schweizer’s bombshell, New York Times-bestselling book on the massive corruption, cronyism and hypocrisy of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, has premiered on YouTube for selectively...
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