Regulation Policy & Welfare

How Not to Cut Welfare Spending

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The U.S. federal budget is now in the neighborhood of $4 trillion. Just ten years ago it wasn’t even $3 trillion. It was “only” $2 trillion in 2002, and didn’t reach the trillion dollar mark until 1987. The greatest component of the federal budget is spending on the welfare state. Welfare programs There are in the United States about 80 means-tested ... [click for more]

Ten Years On: Recession, Recovery and the Regulatory State

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What we now know to have been one of the worst economic and financial crises of the post-World War II period began about ten years ago in 2007. Various retrospective commentaries have focused on the severity of the economic downturn, its impact on different markets and segments of the population, and the lessons from it. An especially important lesson ... [click for more]

Who Should Conduct Background Checks?

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Taxi companies are not happy about having to compete with ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft. Taxi companies and taxi drivers are collectively “resisting an industry that they say threatens their livelihoods and the well-being of consumers.” In Los Angeles, the number of taxi trips arranged in advance has fallen by ... [click for more]

How Food Stamps Subverted Democracy, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The federal government is now feeding more than 100 million Americans. The vast increase in dependency fundamentally changes the relationship of Washington to the citizenry. The more Americans rely on handouts, the more difficult it becomes to roll back politicians’ power over those who do not. There was no ... [click for more]

The Absurdity of Laws against Prostitution

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Aside from voting for candidates for federal, state, and local offices, residents of California recently had the option of voting on a most unusual measure on their election ballots. There were seventeen initiatives on the general election ballot in California this year. Proposition 60, the Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative, would have required “adult film producers to ... [click for more]

Republicans and CAFE Standards

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The auto industry won’t be meeting the U.S. government’s 54.5-mile-per-gallon (mpg) fleet average fuel economy target in 2025. But neither will it have to. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) last month released for public comment a draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) for light-duty vehicle ... [click for more]

Government Licensing or Private Certification?

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Everyone understands the need for children to obtain permission from their parents before undertaking certain activities: sleeping over at a friend’s house, viewing a particular movie, going on a field trip, participating in some sport, attending a particular party, staying up late, playing a particular video game, making a major purchase at a store, surfing the Internet, or having ... [click for more]

Getting It Backwards on Welfare and Tax Deductions

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Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) is “sick and tired, and sick and tired of being sick and tired, of the criminalization of poverty.” She explains in a recent press release, As a strong advocate for social programs aimed at combating poverty, it deeply offends me that there is such a deep stigma surrounding those who depend on government ... [click for more]

Regulatory Tyranny

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Having considered the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the 1937 case of West Coast Hotel v. Parrish in the March 2016 issue of Future of Freedom, a case in which the jurisprudential tide turned in favor of deference to comprehensive social and economic legislation, a look at the earlier case of Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States is in ... [click for more]

The Great Sugar Robbery Continues

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Seventeen years ago, The Future of Freedom Foundation published my piece “The Great Sugar Shaft.” That article hammered federal sugar policy as one of the most brazen interventionist failures in American history. Unfortunately, the political looting of sugar consumers and food producers continues unabated. Federal price supports and import quotas combine to drive U.S. sugar prices far above the ... [click for more]

The Fiscal and Ethical Stranglehold of the Welfare State

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The welfare state threatens to fiscally weaken and morally undermine the United States. In the Federal government’s fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2015, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid expenditures, alone, made up over 48 percent of all of Uncle Sam’s spending. And it will only get worse. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in fiscal year 2015, Social ... [click for more]

The Problem Is the State Not the Standard

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The Federal Denture Act (18 USC 1821), enacted in 1942 and amended in 1996 (PL 104-294) and 2002 (PL 107-273), prohibits the interstate transport “by mail or otherwise” of “any set of artificial teeth or prosthetic dental appliance or other denture” made by an unlicensed dentist. Violators are subject to a fine and/or imprisonment of not more ... [click for more]
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