Regulation Policy & Welfare

Should Unemployment Benefits Be Extended?

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Since December of last year, Democrats in the Senate have once again been pushing to extend unemployment benefits that had already been extended many times. Senate Republicans are not opposed on principle, just on how the extended benefits should be paid for, along with some minor details and procedural issues. The question that no one in the Senate ... [click for more]

The Future of Food Stamps

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“We Accept EBT” says the new large sign outside of a small, local food market near my house. Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT is the system used by states to issue welfare benefits on a card that looks like a regular credit card. Aside from being convenient and efficient, an EBT card allows users to spend their welfare benefits ... [click for more]

Let’s Make 2014 the Year of Freedom for Low-Wage Workers

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The federal budget deficit was big in 2013, but not as big as the freedom deficit. We should all resolve to make 2014 the year that we secure our freedom from government, the biggest threat we face. We can start with freedom for low-wage workers. Hundreds of occupations are closed shut unless one has a license. To get the license, one ... [click for more]

A Supreme Rebuff for the USDA’s Ruinous Raisin Regime

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The Supreme Court in June finally opened the door for farmers to escape from one of the most dictatorial bureaucratic regimes in the federal government. But it remains to be seen whether farmers will secure freedom and justice or be dragged into another endless array of court battles and appeals. The latest squabble has its origins in the New Deal. ... [click for more]

The Purpose of the Welfare State

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Already I may have gotten myself into trouble with my title. Strictly speaking, it is misleading to discuss social processes as having a purpose. For example, many people assert that the purpose of a market economy is to allocate resources to their highest-valued uses. That is not correct. A market economy is the constantly evolving trade network that comprises ... [click for more]

The Welfare State Exposed

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After the Welfare State, edited by Tom G. Palmer (Jameson Books, 2012), 180 pages Most Americans (indeed, most people in every advanced nation) walk around in a fog of myths and misconceptions concerning the subject of this book — the welfare state. They believe that in the absence of governmental welfare programs, there would be little or no support ... [click for more]

Regulatory Herding, Regulatory Stampedes

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Perfect storms occur when many factors align. Sandy was one of the most damaging hurricanes in the history of the United States, but it took the confluence of a number of elements to make it so. Under normal conditions the storm would have moved northeast, away from the U.S. coast. Instead, a high-pressure cold front forced Sandy to turn ... [click for more]

Obama’s “No Fly” List for FedEx and UPS

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The Obama administration is notorious for crony capitalism, through which big businesses reap huge riches by virtue of their cozy association with government. Big oil, big car companies, big agrobusinesses, big banks, and big drug corporations are among the legally privileged cronies who are profiting at the expense of nonprivileged competitors and of customers who pay higher prices. Now the ... [click for more]

How to Keep Milk Prices Low by Raising Them

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Suppose you’re a bureaucrat charged with regulating the price of milk so that the people of your state — the ones who are forced to pay your salary — can enjoy a glass of moo juice without having to take out a loan. Now suppose you find out that a supermarket in your state is selling a gallon of ... [click for more]

Head Start, Food Stamps, and Libertarians

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New reports were recently published about the effectiveness of two long-standing and familiar government programs: Head Start and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly and still informally known as food stamps. There is nothing unusual about that. Such reports are issued all the time by agencies in the government and organizations outside of it. Few ever read them, ... [click for more]
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