Regulation Policy & Welfare

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]

Government Failure

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To hear the media pundits and presidential candidates tell it, you’d think Adam Smith has been president for the last eight years and, with a Congress full of free-market advocates, had enacted an agenda of full-blown laissez-faire. Had that been the case, we would not be in the mess we are in economically. Alas, it has not been the case. Politicians ... [click for more]

Threatened by the Census Bureau

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I just received an official letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce threatening me with prosecution and fines if I do not comply with its Economic Census. The letter came from the Office of the General Counsel/Office of the Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs in Washington, D.C., and was sent to ... [click for more]

The Government’s War on Money Laundering

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As a provider of financial services, once again I am required to attest (i.e., declare to be correct and true or genuine), by using the Compliance Attestation System, that I have read and understand and agree to the third-quarter anti–money-laundering training information. I have no effective choice. I can’t disagree. I ... [click for more]

Naiveté at Business Week

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Why do some reporters never manage to become educated in the areas they cover? Consider, for example, a recent piece in Business Week, “A Food Fight over Calorie Counts” (2/11/08). The fight is supposed to be between public health officials and the restaurant industry. As to the latter, the report, ... [click for more]

Energy Fascists

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One of the great unnoticed curiosities of the presidential campaign is that the party which claims devotion to free enterprise is full-out socialist — or, more precisely, fascist — when it comes to energy. Listening to the presidential forum the other night, I was struck by how anti–free market all ... [click for more]

The Soviet-Style Attack on NORFED

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It would be difficult to find a better example of federal heavy-handedness than the recent six-hour federal raid on NORFED, the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish the NORFED raid from similar raids ... [click for more]

Should the State License Human Beings?

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Democratic presidential candidates are tripping over the driver’s-licenses-for-illegal-aliens issue like a bunch of old slapstick vaudevillians. What’s so comical about their antics is that the issue demonstrates that politicians are locked into bad assumptions from top to bottom. Start with driver’s licenses. In one debate Sen. Chris Dodd said driving ... [click for more]
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