Regulation Policy & Welfare

Time to Cut the Card

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Conservatives have been outraged since the first of the year, not only because Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but also because some welfare recipients have, so they maintain, used their benefits to purchase it. In the year 2000, Colorado became one of the now-22 states to legalize the medical use of marijuana. But in 2012, voters in Colorado, ... [click for more]

Dangerous Words: “I Believe in Freedom, But …”

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One of the greatest hurdles to a successful achievement of liberty in society is all due to the little word, “but.” People will often say, “Oh, I believe in freedom in principle, but . . .” That “but” is followed by an assumed exception requiring some form of government intervention, regulation, or redistribution. Back in the 1970s, the freedom advocate, ... [click for more]

Dogs and Diners

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Americans are dog lovers. In fact, many people love their dogs so much that they take them wherever they can. Some people would even take their dogs out to eat with them if they could. If they live in California — now they can. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law legislation that revises the California Health and Safety Code relating ... [click for more]

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]
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