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CATO at Liberty 10/21/2019 10:41
Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed not to “let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy.” Senator Amy Klobuchar claimed we were living through “another gilded age.” “In sector after sector…” Bernie Sanders added, “we need a president who has the guts to appoint an attorney general who will take on these huge monopolies.” showed a clear conventional wisdom in that party: America’s economy is besieged by a monopoly problem. Markets are said to be dominated by ever smaller numbers of firms enjoying rising markups of price over cost. Consumers are supposedly suffering higher prices and less innovation while competitors struggle to stay afloat because of behemoth anticompetitive behavior. The explanation? Supposedly a turn away from anti-monopo.
CATO at Liberty 10/18/2019 17:46
A Wall Street Journal editorial to zero in on Elizabeth’s Warren's “determined refusal to say if her plans would require taxes to increase on the middle class.” In the Democratic presidential debate the other night, the senator repeatedly ducked concerns that the costs of her huge spending plans would land on more than just the wealthy. They surely would. The larger welfare states of Europe and some other high-income economies are not fueled by higher income taxes than ours, but by higher taxes on consumption and worker wages. There are 36 high-income countries in the OECD. Thirty of them than we do as a percent of GDP. How do those higher-tax countries raise revenues? The chart below shows that they raise about the same amount as us in inc.
CATO at Liberty 10/18/2019 14:08
and. The danger posed by illegal immigrant drunk drivers is a major point of contention in the debate over immigration policy. and the contribute to the notion that illegal immigrants commit drunk driving (DUI) offenses at an alarming rate. In a recent interview, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Tom Homan went so far as to label DUI offenses committed by illegal immigrants as a “.” Indeed, and alike continue to state that illegal immigrants are significant DUI offenders, despite that finds no effect of illegal immigration on DUI related deaths or in general. In 2017, nearly were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving accidents, meaning that drunk driving is responsible for almost 29 percent of all traffic deaths. The (NH.
CATO at Liberty 10/18/2019 13:09
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) the RELIEF Act this week. The legislation is their alternative to the , which passed the House this year. Both bills would phase out the employment-based per-country limits that prevent any nationality from using more than 7 percent of the green cards granting permanent residence in any given year (unless they otherwise would go unused). The per-country limits create disproportionately long backlogs for Indian nationals. Both bills also double the family-sponsored per-country caps from 7 to 15 percent. The key difference is that the RELIEF Act would also increase the total number of green cards, while the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act contains no change in the amounts. It is on.
CATO at Liberty 10/18/2019 11:53
Chris Edwards argued that wealth inequality statistics alone tell us little to nothing interesting about the American economy. It seems (see from 8h 27 mins). In a speech at PIIE yesterday, the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton outlined why wealth inequality wasn’t a particularly useful measure to consider the justness of a society. He highlighted, for example, that the arguments about wealth inequality and political power appear to have almost no validity. Interest groups and corporate lobbying are much more important sources of political power than wealthy individuals. In the panel discussion afterward, he pressed economist Emmanuel Saez to give just one example or mechanism of how an extraordinarily rich individual losing a la.
CATO at Liberty 10/18/2019 10:28
Democrats running for president are condemning wealth inequality while calling for an increase in social spending. But expanding social spending would magnify wealth inequality, not reduce it, because it would displace private wealth accumulation by lower- and middle-income households. Evidence comes from by Pirmin Fessler and Martin Schurz for the European Central Bank. The authors explore the relationship between government social spending and wealth distribution in 13 European countries using a survey database of 62,000 households. The database contains household balance sheet information. Regression analyses by the authors confirm that “the degree of welfare state spending across countries is negatively correlated with household net wea.
CATO at Liberty 10/17/2019 14:43
Mark Zuckerberg gave. . I think the speech is important for four reasons. Recently Zuckerberg wrote that. value for Facebook. Paramount means “. .” This speech articulates his understanding of “paramount” for Facebook. Free speech is immensely valuable and just not another value to be traded off against many other values. The limits to speech on Facebook are themselves limited. Second, Facebook is about to launch an independent Oversight Board to consider appeals to its content moderation. The main job of the Board is to independently enforce Facebook’s values. Inevitably the Board will interpret and apply Facebook’s Community Standards. But difficult cases will arise. The Board will need some insight into Facebook’s values to properly interpr.
CATO at Liberty 10/17/2019 14:36
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders continue to blast wealth inequality. But the twin leftists seem oblivious that wealth inequality may reflect starkly differing causes, as I discuss in a . The Warren-Sanders broad-brush denunciations are useless as a guide to policy because high wealth inequality may reflect either the growth benefits of capitalism or the negative effects of cronyism and crowding out. Capitalism here means , entrepreneurship, and innovation. Cronyism means corruption and narrow benefits to particular groups. Crowding out means the displacement of private savings by the welfare state. These causes of wealth inequality are loosely evident in cross-country comparisons. Countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and the United States.
CATO at Liberty 10/17/2019 12:18
The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, delivered a scathing. to Libra, the Facebook-led digital currency initiative, in the Financial Times this morning. Coming on the heels of several U.S. companies' withdrawal from the initiative after they received threatening letters from Senators Sherrod Brown and Brian Schatz, Le Maire's is probably the most forceful attack on the Libra project to date by a high-ranking global policymaker. The Frenchman does not mince words. He calls Libra "unacceptable," its proposed governance "unconscionable," and he rejects "a regulatory response" — hinting that governments should just not allow Libra to launch. Le Maire concludes by stating that financial innovation must "respect the sovereignty of states.".
CATO at Liberty 10/17/2019 09:52
A troubling development that has largely fallen through the cracks while media and public attention is focused on Syria’s turmoil, is the revival of serious political tensions in Spain’s Catalonia region. Pro-independence Catalans pressed their agenda in 2017, attempting to hold a referendum on secession from Spain. In doing so, they badly . The national government in Madrid barred the referendum, and Spanish security forces sent to prevent the balloting mostly peaceful demonstrators in Catalonia’s largest city, Barcelona. Spanish authorities then arrested the referendum’s organizers, taking some into custody while others fled the country. The pro-independence movement has remained largely quiescent since then. Unfortunately, that relative
CATO at Liberty 10/16/2019 17:19
and. Georgia gives the legal resource database Lexis an exclusive copyright to publish the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA), thus restricting its citizens’ ability to access and understand the laws that bind them. Public.Resource.org (PRO) is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the public’s access to government records and primary legal materials. PRO purchased all 186 printed volumes of the OCGA, scanned them, and uploaded them to their website to be freely accessed. The Georgia Code Revision Commission sent letters to PRO demanding that they take the OCGA down, but PRO refused, prompting a lawsuit. PRO argued that the general rule that government codes and judicial opinions can't be copyrighted should also apply to annotated codes.
CATO at Liberty 10/16/2019 15:06
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders continued to bash wealth in the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night. They view wealth as a zero-sum—that people at the top essentially stole their fortunes from the rest of us. Sanders , “And we cannot afford a billionaire class, whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years.”The truth is that many of the richest people in market economies generated their fortunes by raising living standards for working families. Entrepreneurs have continuously slashed prices and improved product quality to the particular benefit of folks at the bottom. I visited a new Aldi grocery store near me in Virginia last night. What a no-nonsense operation! The store wa.
CATO at Liberty 10/16/2019 13:54
If you were expecting big steps forward on the Higher Education Act from the House Committee on Education and Labor, prepare to be disappointed. Yesterday, the Democratic majority released the —which for some reason says “Est. 2019”—and it delivers pretty much what we’ve seen established since about 1969: A general conviction that what higher ed mainly needs is more government money…and no openly for-profit schools. The centerpieces of the bill are federal funds to encourage states to make community colleges free, increases in Pell Grants, cheaper student loans, and cracking down “on predatory for-profit colleges.” Let’s look at each of these very briefly. Free Community College. The nearly , which committee staffers estimate would , would o.
CATO at Liberty 10/15/2019 17:22
Thanks to the work of the Washington Post , we know that American police fatally shoot . Many of these people are armed, some are certainly dangerous, and most of the shootings will be found to be “justified.” Justified can mean many things, particularly because most state laws and federal judicial precedent give police officers extraordinary discretion to use lethal force. Indeed, the legal standard for an officer to use lethal force—nicknamed the “” by defense attorney Scott Greenfield—is so broad that almost every unjustified shooting must be plainly egregious. Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in one such unjustified shooting this past weekend in Fort Worth, Texas. Fort Worth police officers responded to a call for service at Jefferson.
CATO at Liberty 10/15/2019 14:00
Bernie Sanders would in 22,000 companies, distributing the stocks to workers through shared employee ownership funds. His “Corporate Accountability Plan,” announced yesterday, should lay to bed that “democratic socialism” is just about social democracy, or a bigger welfare state. Rather, it amounts to a fundamental attempt to re-order the American economy through federal government edicts. Under Sanders’ “Democratic Employee Ownership Funds,” all publicly traded companies and those with at least $100 million in annual revenue would have to contribute 20 percent of their stock to “workers” over a decade, creating an “employee-controlled fund” that distributes any dividends to employees. Unlike ordinary stocks, workers couldn’t sell or transf.
CATO at Liberty 10/15/2019 09:42
Back in July, I shared here concerning , which was dedicated to a review of its tools, strategies, and communications. Among other things, I said I was disappointed by the short-shrift given to NGDP targeting by Lars Svensson in his paper evaluating alternatives to strict inflation-rate targeting. That paper's dismissive treatment of NGDP targeting met with sympathetic to the idea. In response to these, Professor Svensson has since , moving its original, terse discussion of NGDP targeting from an appendix to the main body, and enlarging upon it. These changes don't alter the paper's conclusion, to wit: that NGDP targeting is inferior to several other possible monetary policy strategies, and particularly to . But they do make it easier to sp.
CATO at Liberty 10/14/2019 15:51
The Trump administration has approved the deployment to Saudi Arabia of Air Force F-15s, new air defense systems, and other military hardware, along with U.S. troops to operate and maintain those weapons systems. These new measures the Pentagon announced on October 11 will bring the total U.S. troop deployment to the kingdom to 3,000 since a mid-September attack on Saudi oil facilities. Speaking to reporters after the announcement, said that it is now "clear that Iranians are responsible" for the attacks and warned that Washington has additional units "on alert" that can provide increased security to both the U.S. forces and Saudi Arabia. "if necessary.".
CATO at Liberty 10/14/2019 11:02
Rhetoric plays an unfortunately large role in public policy debates. Generally, those who are particularly supportive of deporting illegal immigrants tend to call them “illegal aliens” while those who prefer legalization tend to use the term “undocumented immigrants.” As I’ve written before, these are tiresome and don't matter much so I use the term “illegal immigrants” because most people understand that. However, one argument by immigration restrictionists in favor of using the term “illegal alien” is that it is the technical legal term. Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation makes this . Representative Julian Castro (D-TX) introduced the recently to amend U.S. immigration law to, among other things, replace the term “illegal alien.
CATO at Liberty 10/14/2019 09:21
and. Arlene’s Flowers, run by Barronelle Stutzman in the southeastern Washington town of Richland, designs and sells floral arrangements for many occasions in Richland, Washington. Mrs. Stutzman, for religious reasons, believes that marriage is a spiritual union between a man and a woman and doesn’t create floral arrangements same-sex weddings. This case began when long-time clients Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed asked Mrs. Stutzman to create the floral arrangements for their wedding. She respectfully declined and referred them to several nearby florists. To be clear, Mrs. Stutzman serves everyone regardless of sexual orientation or any other category. For nearly a decade, Messrs. Ingersoll and Freed used Mrs. Stutzman for their anniversary.

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