A Broken Track for California’s Zombie Bullet Train

California’s costly high-speed bullet train boondoggle has officially entered a zombie-like state of existence, neither truly alive nor fully dead.

Shortly after announcing the massively expensive transportation infrastructure project would never connect the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco as originally promised, Governor Gavin Newsom quickly backtracked in an effort to keep $3.5 billion of federal transportation dollars flowing into the state, promising to connect the state’s impoverished rural Central Valley to the prosperous edge of Silicon Valley with high-speed rail.

Faction: The Underlying Cause of Anger and Hatred in America

Anger and hatred are recurring themes in commentaries exploring the fragmentation of American society. The growing prevalence of political faction is a principal, yet often unacknowledged cause of this fragmentation. Efforts by America’s founders to control factions in perpetuity, via both direct and spontaneous means, appear to be failing.

The founders understood the potentially disruptive power of faction within a democratic republic. They took seriously the philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ pejorative characterization of faction as representing “a city within a city ... an enemy within the walls.” Accordingly, they sought to constrain the political phenomenon that Adam Smith described as “the clamorous opportunity of partial interests” to transform State power into the weapon of choice for waging neo-Hobbesian warfare.

Do Public Pension Shortfalls Mean You’ll Face a Tax Hike?

Public-employee pension plans across the United States are trillions of dollars short of what they need to pay out the generous retirement benefits politicians have promised state and local government employees.

According to Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, public pension funds are collectively $1.6 trillion short of the money they will need to pay government employees throughout their retirement years.

One Central Banker Is Out, but His Legacy Could Push Europe to the Financial Brink

Mario Draghi is not a household name outside of a few European countries, and yet what he did or didn’t do had the potential to wreak havoc worldwide.

The MIT-educated Italian economist, who headed the European Central Bank (ECB) for eight years until October 31, left his post after announcing measures that could damage countless lives for years to come.

All I Want for Xmas Is Fewer Regulations and Less Paperwork

2019 was another big year for reducing the burden of federal regulations on Americans, continuing a trend that President Trump initiated with Executive Order 13771 on January 30, 2017. That executive order set the goal that for every new regulation the administration generated, an average of two regulations would be eliminated.

That’s something that started off easy, because the administration inherited an abundance of regulations of questionable merit, but has become harder with the passage of time, because the regulatory low-hanging fruit has already been picked, so to speak.

Media Distorts, Misses the Mark on Richard Jewell

Warning! This article contains plot spoilers for the movie Richard Jewell in its analysis of the public controversy surrounding the film. For a review without spoilers, click here

The mainstream media has staged a public relations coup against the movie Richard Jewell.

Ecuador’s Poisoned Legacy

An indispensable measure—elimination of fuel subsidies that benefited the rich at the expense of the poor—has served as a pretext for violent riots in Ecuador and a coup attempt by radical left-wing groups acting under the umbrella of indigenous organizations that have little trouble finding solidarity in the media, civic groups, and governments of western liberal democracies.

Chick-fil-A’s Awkward Adolescence

Chick-fil-A’s recent decision to cut off its Foundation’s support of the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other Christian organizations is evocative of nothing so much as the Middle Schooler, desperate to get in with the “In” crowd, disavowing her previous association with “uncool” friends. Will Chick-fil-A suffer the same rebuff that generally greets teenage would-be social climbers?

Chick-fil-A has over the years earned a reputation for principled support of faith and its workforce, resolutely closing on Sundays to allow its employees to attend church and spend time with their families. Its “corporate purpose” is “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” And its founder, S. Truett Cathy, and his son Dan publicly expressed their belief in marriage as between a man and a woman.

A Jewell from Clint Eastwood

Southern males of pale complexion are doubtless the most vilified group in American popular culture. That particularly applies when the southerner is a rather dim, overweight gun nut who aspires to be a police officer. Georgian Richard Jewell, 33, was all that and more, but he was not the person who planted the bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. As director Clint Eastwood shows in Richard Jewell, the film’s namesake was the one who spotted the deadly backpack, called in the bomb squad, and helped move people out of danger. The FBI thought Jewell was their man, based on some “profile” they have cooked up about southern males of pale pigmentation.

How Excessive Federal Spending Sparked a Liquidity Crisis

Since mid-September 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve has been fighting to contain a liquidity crisis in the nation’s money markets that was caused in large part by excessive spending by the U.S. government.

That surge in spending was prompted by “the worst budget deal in history” in late-July 2019, which forced the U.S. Treasury Department to begin borrowing massive amounts of money to provide the additional funds that a bipartisan majority of U.S. politicians authorized to spend. Consequently, the public portion of the national debt has been increasing to keep pace, reaching crisis levels in mid-September 2019.

  • Catalyst
  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org