Archive for April, 2017
Is the Largest Cost of Federal Regulation Not Measured? Insights from the (Growing) Wells Fargo Bank Scandal

A widely-cited study by W. Mark Crain and Nicole V. Crain estimates the cost of complying with U.S. government regulations at a staggering $2 trillion per year, an amount equal to 12 percent of gross domestic product. Annual compliance costs average about $10,000 per employee. Businesses in the service sector shoulder the biggest burden...
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Trump’s Tax Plan: A Move in the Right Direction

President Trump released an outline of changes he hopes to see in the federal income tax. If his proposal became law, we would have a better tax system than we do now. One major change would be reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 15%. The US has one of the highest...
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Brexit Can Herald a New ‘Golden Era’ for the City of London as a Global Powerhouse

On June 23, 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech on January 17, 2017 then made it clear that the United Kingdom would opt for a hard Brexit: It would leave not just the EU, but also the European Economic Area, membership of which...
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Review: The Promise, the Armenian Holocaust, and the Origins of Genocide

If you want to know the origin of the term “genocide,” watch the film The Promise. Literally. The movie is billed as a romantic drama, but it’s really a well-produced, narratively complex story of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic and targeted extermination of 1.5 million Christian Armenians through starvation, forced labor, rioting, and massacres in...
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Think Twice before You Find Fault with Modernity

Modernity has never lacked for critics, people who see only regression from a nobler or more glorious past when men were men and women liked them that way. But for the economic or cultural historian, such an outlook is the sheerest balderdash. If I had lived a thousand years ago, I would almost certainly...
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State Governments Are Becoming the Biggest Drug Lords of All

The so-called war on drugs—actually a war on certain people associated in various ways with certain drugs—has served since the Nixon administration as a major profit center for governments at every level. Owing to the ostensible efforts to suppress the possession, use, and commerce in these drugs, governments have been able to justify great...
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Thoughts on the Trinity Lutheran Case and SCOTUS

The media has been reporting on the arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, the so-called “playground case.” I’ve had a chance to examine the briefs and arguments and wanted to share these thoughts. First, a bit of background. The state of Missouri operates a program whereby it reimburses nonprofits when they install rubber...
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UK News Special: Theresa May Calls a General Election

You will by now have seen the news from the United Kingdom: Prime Minister Theresa May is calling a snap general election. Frankly, I had been wondering why she didn’t do this earlier. Here is my quick take: Now, I admit that I was never a great fan of Mrs. May. I don’t care...
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The Fed’s Inflation Fixation

The Federal Reserve has an inflation target of 2% per year. That target appears to be a minimum: They are concerned when inflation falls below their target but appear to be content with inflation above 2%. The current inflation rate from March 2016 to March 2017, measured by the Consumer Price Index, is 2.4%....
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Sanctuary Cities and Federal Dollars

Sanctuary Cities are in an uproar over President Trump’s executive order promising to withhold federal money from “sanctuary jurisdictions.” They are seeking court intervention to nullify the order. Sanctuary cities, as a general matter, prohibit local cops from cooperating with Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents, forbid the local cops from notifying the feds regarding...
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