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CATO at Liberty 11/13/2019 14:58
For months, transfixed populations around the world have watched as anti-government, pro-democracy demonstrations continue to convulse Hong Kong. The frequently violent disruptions are producing highly negative economic effects. More than a month ago, data indicated that hotel bookings in Hong Kong were from a year earlier, as both business travelers and tourists sought to avoid being caught up in the turmoil. Demonstrations—and sometimes pitched battles between protesters and police--at Hong Kong’s international airport have produced extensive flight cancellations, and the airport has had to shut down entirely on several occasions. Thus far, the central government in Beijing has adopted a relatively restrained approach and not trampled on
CATO at Liberty 11/12/2019 14:42
As Turkey’s President. Erdogan. is coming to Washington DC to vis. it President Trump in the White House, there are two broad views about Turkey in the U.S. Capital: The more hawkish view, popular in Congress, considers Turkey an authoritarian Islamist regime which. unjust. ly. attacked the U. . S. . allies in Syria. ,. and which mus. t be punished with various U.S. sanctions, and perhaps. even be kicked out of NATO.
CATO at Liberty 11/12/2019 12:07
The Jones Act has been a blight upon the United States for nearly 100 years. That the law survives despite its well-documented costs can in large part be ascribed to frequently-made it is vital to U.S. national security. Such claims should be greeted with a skeptical eye. As I explain in a , decades of evidence suggest any contributions made by the law to national security are vastly overstated. In fact, there is considerable reason to think the Jones Act is a net national security liability. The facts are these: under the Jones Act’s watch the U.S. maritime sector has suffered grievous setbacks. Numerous shipyards have closed, the domestic fleet’s numbers have dwindled, and the pool of mariners that the military draws upon to crew its seal.
CATO at Liberty 11/12/2019 09:59
A issued by Amtrak last week would, if it were published by publicly traded firm, be a violation of securities laws and regulations. The press release claimed that Amtrak's FY 2019 annual financial report, which has yet to be published, would show that passenger revenues covered 99 percent of operating costs. Amtrak officials further projected that the company would for the first time in its history in 2020. Neither of these claims are true because they grossly misrepresent what the annual report will say in two ways. Most important, the annual report will identify depreciation as one of Amtrak's biggest costs, amounting to nearly 20 percent of its budget. Depreciation was $807 million in Amtrak's 2018 annual report, and is projected to be
CATO at Liberty 11/12/2019 08:32
The FOMC should forget about r* for the moment and focus on … the supermassive black hole at the center of global dollar funding markets. –Zoltan Poszar, 21 August, 2019. A few weeks ago, as part of its effort to prevent overnight rates from rising above the Fed's target range, and especially to avoid like the one that occurred in mid-September, that it would soon begin acquiring assets again. Over the course of the next two quarters, the Fed plans to purchase $60 billion in Treasury securities each month, or a total of somewhere between $250 and $300 billion, adding as many reserves to the banking system. By so doing, it will undo about two-thirds of the balance-sheet unwind that began in October 2017 and ended last September. And many expe.
CATO at Liberty 11/11/2019 16:06
Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have each proposed an annual wealth tax on the richest Americans. There are so many flaws with such a tax that it probably would not pass Congress. If it did pass, it would likely be repealed soon after as the damage became obvious even to the politicians. The number of European countries with annual wealth taxes has fallen from 12 in 1990 to just 3 today. The Europeans found that wealth taxes induced avoidance, evasion, and capital flight, . The taxes were also full of exemptions and raised relatively little revenue. Let’s look at that last issue. Warren and her advisors that her wealth tax with rates of 2 and 3 percent would raise 1 percent of GDP in revenues a year, or $2.75 tri.
CATO at Liberty 11/11/2019 11:07
Homeschooling continues to be a popular option for many U.S. families as they seek alternatives to conventional mass schooling. In my September for Cato, I argued that homeschoolers should generally support the expansion of education choice programs, whether or not they personally benefit from such programs, because an environment of education choice empowers parents to consider a variety of options for their children, including homeschooling. I spotlighted four states, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, that have some of the most robust education choice programs in the country, and that also demonstrated increases in the homeschooling population while the K-12 public school population declined. My briefing paper was clearly corr.
CATO at Liberty 11/09/2019 16:19
In what it hailed as a “,” on November 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the results of its of lung fluid samples from 29 different patients hospitalized for vaping related illness in 10 different states. All 29 samples were found to contain vitamin E acetate, the synthetic form of vitamin E. Vitamin E acetate is an oil, and is suitable for ingesting, but can cause severe lung damage if inhaled. Vitamin E acetate is commonly used as the vehicle for delivering THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, in vaping cartridges. The CDC that 86 percent of the patients sampled said they had vaped an illegal THC product. This was based upon self-reporting, so the actual percentage may be higher. As long as federal marij.
CATO at Liberty 11/08/2019 14:21
Two developments in recent days highlight NATO’s mounting crisis of relevance. One was French President Emmanuel Macron’s that ““What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.”It was not a casual, off-hand comment either. When asked whether he still believed in the Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, under which an attack on one ally is considered as an attack on all, Macron answered: “I don’t know.”Indeed, Macron has been in the vanguard of efforts for several years to create an independent “Europeans only” defense capability through the European Union, a move that reflects declining confidence in NATO’s unity or reliability. A statement coming out of Berlin at approximately the same time as Macron’s comment illustrat.
CATO at Liberty 11/07/2019 08:31
The slaughter of an American family (including four children) traveling on a road in northwest Mexico has sparked outrage in both countries. Authorities believe that the attack likely was a case of mistaken identity, with gunmen from one drug cartel believing that the vehicle contained the family of someone . President Trump with a tweet that “this is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR (sic) on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!” He added: "If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively.". Trump’s suggestion is a m.
CATO at Liberty 11/07/2019 08:30
, I explored how federal subsidies induce state and local governments to spend on wasteful projects. Case in point: a new “streetcar named quagmire” in St. Louis. Joe Barrett of the Wall Street Journal :. St. Louis business leaders looking to boost tourism and development spent years bringing the Loop Trolley to fruition, a $52 million streetcar project that runs for 2.2 miles between a historic park and an entertainment-and-business district on the edge of the city. But it has been a bumpy ride, and now it may have reached a dead end. The trolley, after just a year of offering limited service, is out of money. The nonprofit that operates the trolley is seeking $700,000 in local funds to continue, or else the service is set to close this mon.
CATO at Liberty 11/06/2019 16:09
Research has generally found that there is a negative relationship between immigration and crime in the United States. According to those and , all immigrants have a lower criminal incarceration rate and there are lower crime rates in the neighborhoods where they live. . All of those studies research the relationship between crime and immigration in recent years and decades – which is most relevant for setting public policy today. However, I recently came across historical going back to the 18 th century. Although research from over a century ago generally found a negative relationship between crime and immigration too, historical homicide data present a fun opportunity to see the relationship over time. Figure 1 shows a strong negative rel.
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 16:33
A bipartisan group of House members introduced the Farm Worker Modernization Act. The legislation will expand eligibility for the H-2A program to year-round industries, but it also contains several welcomed reforms that will bring down the costs of using the H-2A program, as I’ve detailed in my general review . One set of reforms that will benefit current H-2A users in particular will change the government-established H-2A wage called the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) that employers must pay to all H-2A workers and U.S. workers in "corresponding employment.". The Department of Labor (DOL) the AEWR using the Farm Labor Survey, a quarterly survey of farms conducted by the Department of Agriculture. It has several problems, including that the.
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 16:05
Last week I attended and spoke at a conference hosted by on economic regulation in Prague. During my panel on the regulation of AI and other innovative new technologies, I made five substantive points about the economics and public policy implications of new technologies:. As far as possible, policymakers should allow permissionless innovation rather than be overly precautionary, only intervening when there was a clear need to do so for some specific application in a given product market. Where regulatory oversight occurs and new products compete with existing goods, policymakers shouldn’t automatically try to shoehorn innovations into current regulatory strictures to maintain a "level playing field."
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 13:13
Austin city planners are writing a based on the assumptions that, by 2039, the share of people who drive alone to work will drop from 75 percent to 50 percent while the share who take transit to work will increase from 3 to 16 percent. This is like planning for dinner by assuming that food will magically appear on the table the same way it does at Hogwarts. Because of these assumptions, planners propose to reduce parking spaces and the number of lanes open to cars on major travel routes because they won't be needed anymore. Meanwhile, they want to spent billions expanding transit services to accommodate all of the new transit riders. Yet the reality is that the share of people driving alone to work is growing while the share taking transit
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 10:27
Senator Bernie Sanders has called levels of U.S. wealth inequality Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is pushing for a wealth tax to curb what she describes as “runaway wealth concentration.” Yet despite their rhetoric, it’s not clear, deep down, whether either really cares about wealth inequality per se or that reducing it should be an overriding public policy goal. To see why, consider this. Every year, a wealth “Gini coefficient” for major countries, indicating their level of wealth inequality in a single number from 0 to 100. Higher numbers indicate higher inequality. In 2018, the U.S. really did have a comparatively high figure at 85, as Warren and Sanders lament. But how this number compares to other countries is instr.
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 10:04
A growing number of political leaders consider wealth inequality to be a major economic and social problem. They complain that wealth is being shifted to the top at everyone else’s expense. Is wealth inequality the crisis that some people believe it is? A examines six aspects of wealth inequality and discusses the evidence for the various claims being made. Here are some findings:. Wealth inequality has risen in recent years but by less than is often suggested. Faulty data from economists Piketty, Saez, and Zucman are behind many exaggerated inequality claims. Furthermore, wealth estimates overstate inequality because they do not include the effects of social programs. Wealth inequality tells us nothing about poverty or prosperity. Inequalit.
CATO at Liberty 11/05/2019 09:46
Politico the following on a new EU-China trade agreement:. Beijing and Brussels have struck a deal to protect regional food names such as Gorgonzola, Champagne, Nanjing salted duck and Lapsang Souchong tea. The agreement protects in China and. ... The deal is set to anger U.S. agriculture producers who say the EU is boxing them out of their main growing markets, as its system of geographical indications builds worldwide. Indeed, the agreement means that a cheese, for example, can only be labeled and sold as "Roquefort" in China if it was made in the French commune of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. American blue cheese producers will have to find a different — lesser-known — name for their product. ... People following the accord said that the EU's g.

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