Regulation Policy & Welfare

The Nature of the Welfare State

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Welfare-state programs have three central characteristics: plunder, deception, and obfuscation. Because those programs always effect a forcible transfer of wealth from one group of individuals to another, they involve what the great 19th-century economist Frederic Bastiat called "legalized plunder." The law sanctions stealing in these cases and is thereby changed from its original purpose, which was to protect people's ... [click for more]

Stop the Flood of Taxpayer Money

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Once again spring is heralded by swollen rivers in the Midwest. The overflowing Ohio River and its tributaries have caused heartbreak and millions of dollars of damage in several states in the region. And once again a colossal public-policy blunder is being committed: the handing out of millions of taxpayer dollars in ... [click for more]

The FTC Strikes Again

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The Federal Trade Commission has once again dealt a blow to our allegedly free enterprise economy. The FTC plans to move against a proposed merger between Staples and Office Depot, two office supply chains. The commission claims the merger would violate the antitrust laws. Displaying its standard confusion over ... [click for more]

The Welfare Trap

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Welfare is much on people's minds. Last fall, the Congress passed, and the president signed, legislation that was heralded as a major overhaul of the welfare system. It wasn't, of course. It merely transferred to the states the power to run the welfare system, though the money will still come from Washington. Naturally, with money comes rules. The new ... [click for more]

Wards of the Government

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The constitutions of former American slave states generally specified that the masters must provide their slaves with adequate housing, food, medical care, and old-age benefits. The Mississippi constitution contained this following additional sentence: "The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves . . . where the slave shall ... [click for more]

The Guilding of the American Workforce

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The American economy is degenerating into a guild system, as government doles out privileges to one group of self-proclaimed professionals after another. State licensing prohibits millions of Americans from practicing the occupation of their choice. Over eight hundred professions now require a government license to practice-from barbers to ... [click for more]

The Cartelization of the American Workforce

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Freedom to work is increasingly being taken hostage by government licensing boards. The American economy is degenerating into a guild system, as government doles out privileges to one group of self-proclaimed professionals after another. Government licensing restrictions prohibit millions of Americans from practicing the occupation of their choice. Over eight hundred professions now require a government license to practice — ... [click for more]

Legalized Immorality

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It must be remembered that 95 percent of the peace, order, and welfare existing in human society is always produced by the conscientious practice of man-to-man justice and person-to-person charity. When any part of this important domain of personal virtue is transferred to government, that part is automatically released from the restraints of morality and ... [click for more]

A Wrecking Ball for Your Neighborhood

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The federal government is involved in economic blockbusting in thousands of the nation's neighborhoods. Thanks to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), welfare recipients are using government handouts to move into middle-class and upper middle-class neighborhoods. Congress created the Section 8 program in 1974 to provide direct ... [click for more]

More Washington Gibberish

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That recent spike in gasoline prices provided more examples of the strange tongue spoken in the nation's capital. I call it Washington Gibberish. On the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota called the price increase a "crisis." Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, sitting at his side, did not disagree. He joined Dorgan in calling ... [click for more]

Section 8: A Wrecking Ball for Your Neighborhood

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The federal government is involved in economic blockbusting in thousands of the nation's neighborhoods. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is using government handouts to allow welfare recipients to move into middle-class and upper middle-class neighborhoods. Congress created the Section 8 program in 1974 to provide direct rent subsidies to selected low-income families. Section 8 currently gives ... [click for more]

Poverty Relief: Civil versus Political Society

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t seems that just about everyone in Washington now believes in welfare reform. Even President Clinton, who vetoed legislation passed by the Republican Congress. But that was then. With an election fast approaching, the president is now solidly behind welfare reform. Unfortunately, he doesn't go nearly far enough. Nor do the Republicans. ... [click for more]
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