Regulation Policy & Welfare

Zoning’s Attack on Liberty and Property

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One of the most coercive tools that public officials have at their disposal is zoning. City councils and county boards throughout the country use zoning regulations to dictate which uses are permitted and which are not on every parcel of land within their jurisdiction. While sometimes well-intentioned, zoning regulations nevertheless ... [click for more]

The Eminent-Domain Origin of Shenandoah National Park

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The establishment of Shenandoah National Park in 1926 is one of the greatest abuses of eminent domain in our country’s history. With the Commonwealth of Virginia condemning the entire area and removing more than 450 families, many by force, the park would eventually encompass 196,000 acres. After people were evicted, Virginia transferred the property to the federal government and ... [click for more]

Housing Socialism, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 The desire for self-improvement is not the mentality behind price-control laws and rent-control laws. Behind them is the mentality of social engineering. It is a mentality subscribed to by those who want the government to micro-manage prices, wages, and even the level of ... [click for more]

Housing Socialism, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 In every country examined, the introduction and continuance of rent control/restriction has done much more harm than good in rental housing markets — let alone the economy at large — by perpetuating shortages, encouraging immobility, swamping consumer preferences, fostering dilapidation of housing ... [click for more]

Oil Feeding Frenzy

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The feeding frenzy in Washington over oil prices and profits may win pander-points for cynical politicians, but it takes the public’s eye off the ball. The regular outcry over rising prices, which, you’ll notice, requires a previous period of falling prices, highlights some fascinating puzzles. For example, there is a ... [click for more]

RIM was Wronged

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For the last few years we’ve been reading that Research in Motion’s popular mobile-email service, BlackBerry, may be shut down because the company “infringed the patents” of a company called NTP. That’s all the newspapers said. Curious readers would want to know more. Did black-clad RIM operatives break into NTP’s office ... [click for more]

The Disastrous World of the New York Subway, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Here is one thing government enterprise has undeniably delivered: There are no more serious debates about greed. How can there be greed when government enterprises such as the subways and Amtrak almost always lose boatloads of money? For example, in a recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) annual report, the ... [click for more]

The Conservative Reform Game

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Here we go again. The reform game. In the wake of the federal government’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is unveiling “reforms” that will ensure that such federal disasters never happen again. Yawn! Just more standard conservative “reform” claptrap. This is par-for-the-course ... [click for more]

Bush Speaks Nonsense on Energy

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Despite the bravado in his State of the Union address, President Bush actually admitted that his efforts in the Middle East are destined to fail. Here’s what he said: “America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.” He then unveiled billions of dollars in new ... [click for more]

The Disastrous World of the New York Subway, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 New York City just went through another egregious subway strike. Again. Yet this was a strike of public workers that was never supposed to occur. The workers are covered by the state’s Taylor law, which isn’t much of a law, since the workers repeatedly violate it. (There were ... [click for more]

Hurting Wal-Mart’s Employees

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Government is little more than a coercive transfer machine. If you can’t acquire something through consent and exchange, you ask politicians to compel others to provide it. This goes on every day. Never was it more blatant than when the Maryland legislature passed a law to compel Wal-Mart to spend at ... [click for more]
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