I had an epiphany today which seems mundane in hindsight. More
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I had an epiphany today which seems mundane in hindsight. More
The fast-shifting winds of American politics have increased the odds that Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will be the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Joe Biden has been lackluster at best, and his potential conflicts of interest arising from his son’s dealings in both Ukraine and China may well derail his candidacy even before the primary season begins. Bernie Sanders’s heart attack will likely scare voters, and the rest of the pack—Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar—have failed to connect with the public.
The bad news is that a Warren presidency would be one of the most terrifying prospects ever to hit the American system. Long on confidence but short on judgment, Warren uses her fake professorial air to support proposals that are so dangerous to the nation’s economic welfare that even potential Democratic Wall Street backers are now shying away from her candidacy.More
When people are free to associate as they please, we can’t be surprised if they sometimes self-segregate. People self-sort along many affinities, including ethnic affinities. This is what lawyers call de facto segregation, and it’s none of the law’s business. De jure segregation — segregation imposed by law, including segregation promoted by public policy — is, on the other hand, very much the law’s business.
In 1866, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act (the 1866 CRA) asserting the equal rights of blacks before the law, including property rights, and real-estate rights in particular. The 1866 CRA warnedMore
Nicole Gelinas and Howard Husock join Seth Barron to discuss New York’s landmark rent-regulation law and its potential impact on housing in the city and state. Lawmakers in New York recently passed the toughest rent-regulation law in a generation, imposing new restrictions on landlords’ ability to increase rents, improve buildings, or evict tenants. The bill made permanent the state’s existing […]
A California Assemblyman has introduced legislation that would ban paper receipts from being printed and given to customers unless the customer asked for a printed receipt. So I guess I’m behind the times. I thought California had an ongoing problem with wildfires and was staring down the barrel of a crippling pension problem. And had […]
My company used to contract with Sungard in Philadelphia for backup data-center services. Every year we would head to Philly laden with data backup tapes for our annual disaster recovery tests. The question arose, however, about Sungard’s capacity in the face of a black swan event in which hundreds of companies needed their facilities at […]
For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:
So Mark Zuckerberg is “actually not sure we shouldn’t be regulated.” The cynical take on that statement is that the Facebook founder and CEO is merely acquiescing to the inevitable and even realizes that regulation might actually help Facebook cement its market dominance. A big, successful business with tremendous financial resources has the ability to a) weather a regulatory storm and b) through lobbying influence the regulatory environment to its advantage.
Before Washington takes rash action against Facebook or other Big Tech companies, policymakers should think hard about the potential unintended consequences for competition and innovation. To start with the ridiculous — but something being mentioned on the Twitters — why not nationalize Facebook? Let the US Postal Service run it! Great idea if you want Facebook to be stuck in amber, never to improve or innovate. And what upstart would be allowed to compete against this new National Champion company? There’s also that $100 billion check taxpayers would be writing to Zuckerberg personally, unless we’re talking property confiscation. Moving on . . .More
Would mandatory liability insurance for gun owners violate the 2nd Amendment? Congress should realize private industry is in a much better position to regulate the consumer than the federal government and pass a single law: mandatory firearm insurance. Just as it is an offense to not have car insurance, the same approach should be applied […]
Richard Epstein opines on whether Donald Trump or Barack Obama deserves more credit for the current economic expansion, then tackles the policy agenda the president laid out in his State of the Union address. More
Victor Davis Hanson describes how Donald Trump is systematically dismantling the legacy of the Obama Administration … and explains why it’s paying such rich dividends for the country. More
John Stossel joins the Whiskey Politics Podcast just as we were setting up at Freedom Fest (apologies for the few audio glitches). John spoke on regulations, entitlements, the ongoing drug war, the impact of legalization, why he despises Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and how to ensure future generations will be taught about the benefits of free markets. John can now be found on Reason TV and is focusing on teaching students basic economic principals at Stossel In The Classroom where students can get free DVDs.
For decades you have seen John appear on ABC News and Fox Business Channel preaching libertarian political philosophy and views on economics focusing on free markets. John has received 19 Emmy Awards and five National Press Club awards for excellence in consumer reporting. Stossel has written three books recounting how his experiences in journalism shaped his socioeconomic views, Give Me a Break in 2004, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity in 2007, and No They Can’t! Why Government Fails but Individuals Succeed.More
America’s current medical care systems are terrible. Not the worst in the world by any means, but also not the most efficient in the world. I believe that one of the current problems is how medical care and medical care insurance interact. I see incentives for insurers to either provide as cheap or as little […]
David Spady serves as Director of Government Affairs for Salem Communication Corp., a syndicator of leading conservative talk radio on over 2,000 stations which include Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett and 30 other talk show hosts. David is also State Director of Americans for Prosperity in California, a national grassroots organization focused on economic issues, free markets, and limited government.
Spady has been involved in political and media consulting for over 20 years. He is a columnist for Townhall.com and has appeared on numerous television news broadcasts including CNN, FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Inside Edition. His editorials have been published in a number of newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Sacramento Bee. He is the producer of two documentary films, Wolves in Government Clothing, and No Water, No Farmer, No Food. We discuss regulations, the EPA, President Trump’s “2 for 1 regulation” executive order, and whether California can be saved.More
Should Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram be considered as Public Utilities and regulated accordingly? This was the question posed yesterday by Scott Adams, of Dilbert (and election 2016 prognostication) fame. Of course the question itself assumes that the existing regulation of utilities, in their operations and services, is already a good (or least a necessary) activity of government, and that regulation in turn requires us to define what a Public Utility is. Merriam Webster’s definition is, to my mind, unsatisfactorily circular:
a business organization (as an electric company) performing a public service and subject to special governmental regulationhttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public%20utility
Alright politicos, please translate this into hard consequences. President Trump immediately signed executive orders regarding enactment of Obamacare. But are these orders mostly symbolic? What are the actual effects? More
There is now a device on the market that remotely orders a DJI Phantom drone (and maybe other brands as well, I dunno) to land. The device, called the DroneGun, can work from over a mile away. More
A few questions, only loosely related: Do we still rely on Middle Eastern nations to produce oil and natural gas? The US now has access to plenty without them. Also, the region has been in turmoil for years and yet I’m paying less than $2 per gallon, so even their impact on the world market doesn’t […]
Approximately 88% of US inflation is driven by four sectors: Health Care Education Real Estate Pharmaceuticals How’s all that regulation working out for y’all? More
The news is full of Wells Fargo’s follies since they got hit with fines totaling $185 million last week. What happened was a case of management by measurement. Wells Fargo employees were heavily pressured – including threats of job loss – to rack up customer “solutions,” which translate into selling additional services to the bank’s customers that included additional bank accounts and bank credit cards. In order to meet the strict quotas that management had imposed, employees opened accounts for customers without first receiving customers’ permission or informing them.
Though this practice was widespread (some 5,300 Wells Fargo employees have been fired since 2011 for opening fake accounts), it does not appear to have been the result of a conspiracy. Rather, it was an example of spontaneous order that emerged from employees acting in their own best interests — in this case, reducing the pain of management pressure — given the incentives and constraints imposed by the system. In an article appearing on Bloomberg, Matt Levine explains how this sort of thing happens:More