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CATO at Liberty 01/28/2020 14:29
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reaches its 30th anniversary this year, which will touch off a year’s worth of coverage likely to be almost wholly celebratory in tone. Ten years ago, on the law’s reaching its 20th year, I took a view that I think holds up well. Meanwhile, back in the trenches, four law firms and associated clients over a period of about a week last fall of more than 100 putative class actions charging that retailers are violating the ADA by marketing gift cards that do not include Braille versions. Earlier, the same four firms and their associated clients had filed hundreds of New York lawsuits alleging that websites fell short of accessibility to the disabled. “The targets selected by plaintiffs in this new wave
CATO at Liberty 01/28/2020 12:17
The Community Reinvestment Act is to ensure that banks lend to low- and moderate-income households wherever they operate. But there are reasons to doubt its effectiveness. In the this summer, I reported findings (from a forthcoming paper with Andrew Forrester) that more than two-thirds of recent home mortgages in the District of Columbia for which banks can get CRA points went to high- rather than low-income borrowers. This is because current CRA regulations count loans to low-income borrowers and loans made in low-income census tracts (Figure 1a). D.C. has rapidly gentrified in recent years, as young professionals flocked into historically low-income neighborhoods, and many among these “gentrifiers” have bought homes. At present, CRA regul.
CATO at Liberty 01/28/2020 12:03
American government has become much larger and more centralized over the past century. That has created winner and loser states as taxpayer cash floods into Washington and is then dispersed through more than 2,300 federal spending programs. In 2020, the federal government will vacuum $3.6 trillion from taxpayer wallets in the 50 states and borrow $1 trillion from global capital markets. Then it will turn on the leaf blower to scatter $4.6 trillion back across the 50 states, except for the cut the middleman in D.C. will keep for itself. The Rockefeller Institute has released detailing these cash flows. The report calculates a “balance of payments” for each state in 2018, which is federal spending less federal taxes paid by individuals and bu.
CATO at Liberty 01/28/2020 10:49
I recently read by Johann Neem, which in its title delivers the bedrock myth of public schooling: that it is essential to building harmonious, well‐informed, citizens of a democracy. And it’s not just in the title that Neem waxes poetic about the public schools. In his preface he briefly recounts his experience as an immigrant child in Bay Area, California public schools, concluding that “by democratizing access to the kind of liberal arts education that was once reserved for the few, the common schools prepare all young people to take part in the shared life of our democracy.” Neem echoes the rhetoric of , the “father of the common school,” who in the 1830s and 40s brought a missionary zeal to promoting largely uniform, free public schools.
CATO at Liberty 01/27/2020 14:12
“Landlords cannot be allowed to raise rents to whatever they want, whenever they want,” in November. “We need…a national rent control standard.” Now, : under Sanders’ housing proposals, all landlords nationwide would only be able to increase rents annually by one a half times the rate of inflation or 3 percent, whichever is higher. Assuming the current CPI for Urban Consumers is the inflation measure used, that would mean a rent increase cap today of just 3.4 percent. Given the likely unconstitutionality of a truly national rent control law, one suspects Sanders should be taken seriously but not literally. What he is really doing here is endorsing a spate of new rent control laws across states, encouraging left‐wing activists to push for mo.
CATO at Liberty 01/27/2020 11:40
It is , a week dedicated to highlighting the power of choice in education, including public and private school choice. All week, we at Cato’s will be highlighting how choice contributes to social harmony. Today’s focus is tolerance, spurred in part by a growing critique that private school choice programs enable people to select schools that sow in tolerance. Just last week, the Orlando Sentinel ran a attacking Florida’s private school choice programs because parents can select schools that have policies that some people — including the Sentinel —deem “anti‐LGBT.” The schools and the parents that use them, of course, view their policies differently: as upholding important religious teachings. Let’s start with some basic private school facts.
CATO at Liberty 01/27/2020 08:57
In today’s , Cato senior fellow Dr. and I note that once the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptives‐coverage mandate took full effect in 2014, “prices for hormones and oral contraceptives stopped falling and instead skyrocketed. By 2019, they had risen three times as fast as prices for prescription drugs overall.” Here we provide the underlying data. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) dramatically expanded insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives such as “the pill.” From August 2012 through January 2014, the federal government phased in the ACA’s requirement that nearly all private health insurance plans must cover all Food and Drug Administration‐approved prescription contraceptives with no cost‐sharing. In addition, from 2014 through 2.
CATO at Liberty 01/25/2020 11:52
The Health and Medicine panel of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released its report on January 23. The panel consisted of academics, medical professionals, epidemiologists, nurses, and health policy specialists. Among the panel’s were:. Eliminate the mandatory “X‑waiver” requirement for health care practitioners wishing to prescribe buprenorphine for substance use disorder/withdrawal management, and removing limits on the number of patients that can be treated by a given practitioner. Allow methadone treatment to be prescribed in primary care settings. Assure that undergraduate and graduate medical education includes “practical, clinically relevant, harm‐reduction‐focused” training on opioid use disorder a.
CATO at Liberty 01/24/2020 16:12
On her campaign website, Senator Elizabeth Warren reasons why she supports an annual wealth tax. She says, “. Consider two people: an heir with $500 million in yachts, jewelry, and fine art, and a teacher with no savings in the bank.”Is that how an heir would hold $500 million — in yachts, jewelry, and fine art? That perception of the assets of the rich seems to be common. Economist John Cochrane that people think top wealth looks like Scrooge McDuck’s gold vault. Of course wealthy people own personal luxury assets, but most wealth at the top is business assets. In , I look at the holdings of the richest 0.1 percent of Americans, who are people with net wealth above $16 million. Almost 90 percent of that group’s wealth consists ultimately o.
CATO at Liberty 01/24/2020 12:48
Some of the country’s leading ferry systems are facing an increasingly precarious outlook. In Alaska, loom over the state‐run ferry system’s future after the governor and legislature last year endorsed massive subsidies needed to keep it afloat. In Washington state, meanwhile, a spokesman for Washington State Ferries (WSF) last March the ferry system — plagued by old vessels and a numerically insufficient fleet — as “hanging by a thread.” Users of the government‐operated ferries with a fare increase in October and will face another this May. These struggles can be at least partially explained by protectionist U.S. maritime laws. Ferries transporting vehicles — which is most such vessels in Alaska and Washington — are subject to the 1920 , w.
CATO at Liberty 01/23/2020 14:00
The U.S. Department of State announced for tourist visa applicants today: prove you’re not going to give birth in America. The rule will not protect national security, will create more fraud and crime, and will cost America people who will contribute productively to this nation. The tourist visa statute allows noncitizens to visit the United States for “pleasure,” which State has always to mean “legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature.” — in other words, most anything. But now, “The Department is revising the definition of ‘pleasure’” (p. 2) to exclude giving birth in the United States.
CATO at Liberty 01/23/2020 13:49
In 2006, 57 percent of Virginia voters voted to add an amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage. There was of course no same‐sex marriage law in Virginia at the time; and in a state with a Republican legislature and judges appointed by that legislature, there was no prospect of change. But conservatives still insisted that the threat was so severe that a ban must be added to the constitution. Virginia’s marriage ban was more sweeping than in other states. Lawyers at the firm of Arnold and Porter issued a which concluded that the amendment could be interpreted by Virginia courts to invalidate rights and protections currently provided to unmarried couples under domestic violence laws, block private companies from providing empl.
CATO at Liberty 01/23/2020 10:14
G. Gordon Liddy: now there was a man willing to take a bullet for his president! In his autobiography, Will , the former White House “Plumber” the following conversation with White House counsel John Dean after the Watergate caper went bust:. “Just tell me what corner to stand on, Mr. President!”Liddy: “If someone wants to shoot me, just tell me what corner to stand on and I’ll be there, OK?”Dean: “well, uh — I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet, Gordon.”Liddy: “All right. But please remember what I said.”Dean: “Believe me, Gordon, I will.”President Trump’s copartisans in Congress may not be up for the literal drive‐by, but, metaphorically at least, they’ve embraced the Gordon Liddy Model of Impeachment Defense. Trump has but to say the.
CATO at Liberty 01/22/2020 16:50
Florida state Representative Cord Byrd ® and state Senator Joe Gruters ® recently introduced s that would impose a stealth universal E‑Verify mandate on all new hires in their state. Many in the media are reporting their bills as a that will subject state employers to E‑Verify (even though former Governor Rick Scott ), but that will not mandate E‑Verify for private employers. That is simply not true. The bills are a stealth universal E‑Verify mandate. They would force all private employers to either use E‑Verify or a second means of work authorization by January 1, 2021. That second means of work authorization is a more onerous version of the current federal I‑9 requirement that would force the worker to provide a picture identification com.
CATO at Liberty 01/22/2020 14:01
President Trump recently a bill including a measure called the Fair Chance Act, which will restrict federal contractors from asking applicants about criminal records until after a conditional job offer is made. In a in this space last year, Peter Van Doren observed that of this sort do not appear to work as intended. Now there is new evidence that they either fail of effect or harm the intended beneficiaries. A series of economic studies up to now not only a lack of statistical evidence for a positive effect from these laws, but even signs of a negative effect on the employment of young black men with no criminal records (because some employers will assume the worst if not allowed to ask; more from economist Jennifer Doleac of Texas A&M and.
CATO at Liberty 01/22/2020 10:31
and. Regardless of the immigration enforcement practices at any given time, there are people and organizations who urge illegal immigrants to stay in this country and wait for political change. Likewise, immigrants themselves will take proactive steps in an attempt to adjust their status, to come out of the legal shadows. Lawyers will advise some immigrants — quite correctly, in many cases — that remaining in the country illegally will grant them certain constitutional or statutory protections that are unavailable outside the United States. But these advocates and attorneys may be tongue‐tied by a federal law that criminalizes “encourage[ing] … an alien to … reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such
CATO at Liberty 01/21/2020 13:58
Like most public policy issues, immigration is difficult to understand. The issue has complex effects on American society and the world at large. This difficulty doesn’t prevent most people from forming strong opinions on the topic, but unfortunately ignorance guides many of their opinions. And I don’t mean ignorance regarding the findings of peer‐reviewed literature or what social scientists say about immigration. I mean ignorance of basic facts about immigration, such as their numbers and percentage of the population, leads to systematic incorrect estimates. This ignorance matters a lot. Some has found that people significantly overestimate the number of immigrants, their percent of the population, and how culturally distant they are from.
CATO at Liberty 01/21/2020 11:30
Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in , a case addressing state constitutional provisions that bar public funds from going to religious institutions, especially schools. At the crux of the case is the belief that taxpayers should not be forced to take sides on religion. But the oft‐ignored root problem is that public schools cannot be religiously neutral ; no matter what they do they are taking sides on religious matters. Only school choice — what has been quashed in Montana — frees the state from that. The specifics of the case seem minor. The Montana Supreme Court struck down a program offering a $150 tax credit to people who donated to groups furnishing scholarships for students to attend private schools, including r.
CATO at Liberty 01/21/2020 09:31
Looks like another federally backed solar energy plant has gone bust. Bloomberg News , “A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online.”In 2011 the $1 billion [Crescent Dunes] project was to be the biggest solar plant of its kind, and it looked like the future of renewable power. and other financiers invested $140 million with its developer, Steven Chu, the U.S. Department of Energy secretary at the time, offered the company [$737 million in] government loan guarantees, and Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader and senior senator from Nevada, cleared the way for the company to build on public land. The state of Nevada another $119.3 million tax abatements over 20 years. But, Chris Martin and Nic Querolo write at Blo.
CATO at Liberty 01/21/2020 09:10
In some previous posts, I've taken Federal Reserve officials,. , to task for continuing to insist that the Fed's post-2008 "floor" operating system is a "simple" means for keeping overnight interest rates on target. Whatever the floor system's merits may be, simplicity isn't one of them. But in weighing the advantages of the Fed's floor system compared to those of a "corridor system," Fed officials haven't just put their thumbs on the floor-system scale by exaggerating its merits. They've also exaggerated the drawbacks of a corridor system. In particular, they've framed the choice as one between the current floor system (or rather an idealized version of it), and a revival of the Fed's pre-2008 arrangement, with zero interest on reserves, a

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