Regulation Policy & Welfare

Not another Runaway Entitlement Program

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We have had more than seven decades of experience with entitlement programs, since Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the first big one in 1935. Now Barack Obama is pushing another big entitlement program — government-run health care. We don’t need to rely on his promises, since we can reflect on our ... [click for more]

Why Do We Need the SEC?

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FDR established the Securities & Exchange Commission to protect people in securities markets. Yet there already were plenty of laws against theft and fraud, crimes that are seldom exposed by government regulators. Consider the succession of big Wall Street scandals since the late 1990s. It’s hard to find a single case ... [click for more]

Socialism’s “Fatal Conceit”

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The appeal of socialism, wrote Nobel-winning economist F. A. Hayek, “depends on the instinctual appeal of promised consequences.” The problem, argued Hayek, is that “socialism cannot possibly do what it promises.” Socialism fails, unavoidably, because it is based on the flawed concept, the “fatal conceit,” that one man or one group, ... [click for more]

The Socialist Bailout of Wall Street, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 During the recent presidential race, Republican John McCain accused Democrat Barack Obama of being a socialist, owing to Obama’s belief in using the federal government to “spread the wealth.” Obama, for his part, expressed surprise at being accused of being a socialist. Apparently, he’s always believed that he’s a strong supporter of America’s “free-enterprise” ... [click for more]

Madoff Scandal Exposes Government Failure

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The common reaction to the Bernard Madoff $50 billion financial scam was wholly expected. As Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten wrote, “The lesson is one that becomes clearer with each excruciating turn of the Wall Street screw. The long, bipartisan experiment with financial deregulation has failed utterly. The ... [click for more]

The Bailout State

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Ours is the Age of the Bailout. Bailing out failing companies is not new, but today the scale is unprecedented and the opposition is scant. The government today is committed to more than $7trillion in various forms of stock purchases, loans, and guarantees. The Treasury secretary has been given awesome discretionary power to buy bad securities or shares in ... [click for more]

The Socialist Bailout of Wall Street, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The massive federal bailout of U.S. financial firms reflects everything that’s wrong with the economic system of welfare and interventionism under which the United States has operated since at least the 1930s. There are critically important lessons in the bailout that the American people ignore at their peril. While most politicians and mainstream pundits ... [click for more]

Government Is Already an Income-Transfer Machine

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Isn’t it a little late for John McCain and the Republicans to start worrying about government redistribution of wealth? McCain claims to be alarmed by Barack Obama’s tax plan, which would tax upper-income people in order to provide tax cuts to lower- and middle-income people, many of whom don’t pay income ... [click for more]

The Nanny State

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Whenever some new perceived crisis comes along, Americans typically look to the state as a problem solver. Are we running out of oil? The government should increase CAFE standards so that cars are more fuel-efficient. Is gas too expensive? The government should limit the profits of oil companies. Is the planet getting warmer? The government should mandate reductions in ... [click for more]

Who Are You Calling Selfish?

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In an early episode of the television series Bewitched, Harold Harold (Paul Lynde), a highly nervous driving instructor, tries to teach Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) how to drive a car. At one point in the lesson he instructs her to go the wrong way in a traffic circle. Samantha, however, ... [click for more]

The Authoritarianism of American Labor Law

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American labor law is a dank miasma of special-interest legislation that tramples on the rights of some citizens in order to advance the interests of others. The main beneficiaries are labor-union officials who lobbied for and received extraordinary and unique powers from compliant politicians. The victims are business owners and workers who prefer to have ... [click for more]

Milk Protectionism

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The headline recently in Missoula, Montana’s, daily newspaper, the Missoulian, was “Cheaper milk from Washington pulled from Missoula shelves.” Angry customers know this is obvious protectionism, but Montana milk producers say they only want a “safe” product for Montanans. Yeah, right! Certain stores in Missoula on Friday ... [click for more]
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