” Applying old-school utility regulation to the Internet would be a disaster according to Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom.”
” A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that after being presented with a description of the Common Core, 59 percent of Americans “strongly” or “somewhat” support “adoption and implementation,” while 31 percent oppose it. Of course, as we’ve seen before, the description is key. The WSJ/NBC pollsters used the following:
The Common Core standards are a new set of education standards for English and math that have been set to internationally competitive levels and would be used in every state for students in grades K through 12.
This is first biased in favor of the Core in what it says. It is, in fact, highly debatable that the Core is set to top international levels, while the use of “competitive” might suggest that the standards aren’t just benchmarked to top countries, but will help us to compete with them, an empirically hollow suggestion.”
Cato Institute has more on the slanted poll
” Last summer, I stumbled across a clever 1993 paper by education statisticians Mark Dynarski and Philip Gleason that proved it was possible to adjust average state SAT scores for variations in the test participation rate and demographic factors, making them comparable to one another. Barely able to contain my excitement (hey, don’t judge), I set about extending their method so that it could discern trends in state SAT scores over time, and improving the validity of its estimates by using more data, fewer assumptions, and more exhaustive methods. Last week, I released the technical paper presenting those extensions. Yesterday, I released a paper that uses them to chart academic achievement and spending trends, for every state, back to 1972. How did your state do? Find out here.”
As the reader can see from the graph of New York above , while education spending has skyrocketed the concomitant results put the lie to the Liberal mantra of “more spending” . Lest our readers think that NY is an outlier we leave you with another state as further proof that the ever-increasing spending is not benefiting the children …
The trend is widespread and hardly unique to the northeast . It’s quite simple really . In the past 40 years as education spending has grown exponentially nationwide and our taxes have gone through the roof the benefit to the students has been nil . See where your state stands here courtesy of the Cato Institute .
” Picking the year’s worst op-eds — an annual tradition in this space — wasn’t easy in 2013. There’s the Slate writer who announced you’re “a bad person if you send your children to private school”; the New York Times piece arguing that conservative Dallas “willed the death” of JFK (by getting a communist to shoot him?); and the fellow who worried that allowing more high-skilled immigration would exacerbate “America’s Genius Glut.”
If you’ve been losing sleep over the genius glut in American punditry, rest easy. That threat’s a long way off.
To narrow the choices and give this pudding a theme, I’ve decided that 2013’s malicious listicle will focus on the perverse affinity for executive power of our alleged “Thought Leaders.” In a year when presidential incompetence and power lust ruled the headlines — when record numbers of Americans feared big government — the leading lights of the American commentariat clamored for more presidential power. Go figure.”
” Last week, A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case was released, of which I am proud to be the editor. The book compiles the discussions and debates about the Affordable Care Act that occurred on the legal blog the Volokh Conspiracy, supplemented with new material. The posts are stitched together into a narrative structure. As a result, you can see the constitutional arguments against the Affordable Care Act develop in real time, from before the law was passed all the way to the Supreme Court.”
The contributing author’s roster in a virtual who’s who of the libertarian legal movement and as such this book is destined to become a classic in the history of the fight against Statism.
Buy it … Read it .
” People shouldn’t be surprised about the botched roll-out of Obamacare and all the damaging effects of the law that are now generating headlines. Over the decades, federal efforts to subsidize and manipulate the economy have failed over and over again.
That lesson has been driven home to me in researching Downsizing Government. Farm policies, for example, have been an ongoing boondoggle for more than eight decades. President Herbert Hoover’s Federal Farm Board blew $500 million trying to stabilize crop markets, but it did the opposite by inducing overproduction and depressing prices. Every farm bill since then—including the one moving through Congress right now—has been based on two very dumb ideas: that farm businesses need welfare and that agriculture needs government central planning.
I recently came across “The Sickness of Government,” (PDF) a 1969 essay by famed management theorist Peter Drucker. It is strikingly relevant to the problems we see in Washington today from Obamacare, to farm programs, to IRS abuse, to NSA spying. Unlike, say, Ayn Rand–who at the time was writing about government from the standpoint of individual freedom–Drucker was writing from the practical perspective that Big Government simply wasn’t working.
“Modern government has become ungovernable. There is no government today that can still claim control of its bureaucracy and of its various agencies. Government agencies are all becoming autonomous, ends in themselves, and directed by their own desire for power, their own narrow vision rather than by national policy.” “
In simple terms , big government runs contrary to human nature . Competition , ambition and self-interest are the motors of the human spirit and government is the antithesis of all . Big government , by it’s very nature , contradicts the natural order of things as it attempts to do FOR the individual that which should be done BY the individual .
” The history of libertarianism is more than a series of scholarly statements on philosophy, economics, and the social sciences. It is the history of courageous men and women struggling to bring freedom to the lives of those living without it. The works on this list give important context to the ideas found on the others.
A FIRST STEP
“A History of Libertarianism” by David Boaz
This essay, reprinted from Libertarianism: A Primer, covers the sweep of libertarian and pre-libertarian history, from Lao Tzu in the sixth century B.C. to the latest developments of the 21st century. Because it’s available for free on Libertarianism.org, the essay also includes numerous links to more information about major thinkers and their works. For a general sense of the rich history of the movement for liberty, this is easily the best place to start.”
Readers might also enjoy :
The major thinkers and events in the long struggle for liberty.
” Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 9, 2013:
- Pierre, South Dakota: The police chief is defending an officer’s use of a taser against an 8-year-old girl who was threatening to harm herself. The child was holding a knife against her chest at the time of the incident. Parents of the child, who was with a babysitter at the time, want the officer disciplined for using excessive force. argusne.ws/17nFlGh
- Hazel Green, Wisconsin: The police chief resigned after he showed up under the influence of alcohol for an investigative interview into allegations that he had been working while impaired. bit.ly/1bHmn61
- Trenton, New Jersey: A veteran police officer and his father have been indicted on charges of fourth-degree false swearing and workers compensation fraud. They made false statements while under oath.bit.ly/19eyl1c
- Update: Smith County, Texas (First reported 07-12-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty in a drug dealing case that involved selling crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine out of his patrol car. The count against him alleged that he was caught in possession of more than 50 grams of meth and less than 28 grams of crack. ow.ly/pElRJ
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested and charged with committing fraud by requesting compensation for military leave even though he had retired from the military. He has been suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss. ow.ly/pEkI9
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A city police officer has been convicted of drunken driving and involuntary manslaughter in an off-duty motorcycle crash that killed his fiancé’s friend. He was found not guilty of a more serious charge that carried a mandatory minimum of three to six years in prison. ow.ly/pE5Mf
- Tulare County, California: A deputy has been arrested on charges of sexual assault after he allegedly assaulted a woman he had pulled over.ow.ly/pE5i7
- Update: Springdale, Pennsylvania (First reported 07-05-13): A man who claimed a police officer used a stun gun on him while he was handcuffed was paid $225,000 by a borough’s insurance carrier to settle a lawsuit. The officer has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of violating the man’s civil rights by punching and tasing him when he was not resisting. ow.ly/pE37O
- Portsmouth, Virginia: The sheriff is under more scrutiny after he paid inmates in his custody to work on his home. Now he is accused of allowing inmates to do work on a political campaign. He admitted that he violated state law and paid inmates to do the work on his house. However, that offense happened more than a year ago. and the statute of limitations has run, so he will not be charged. ow.ly/pDXBB
- New York, New York: An undercover police detective was arrested; investigators say he was shown on video hitting and kicking an SUV before bikers attacked the driver. He was off-duty when he joined a motorcycle rally that spiraled into violence. ow.ly/pE0lj “
See the toll on a day by day basis here at Cato
Published on Oct 5, 2013
” “We’ve noticed in the last fifteen months an uptick in the number of people who are actually self identifying as libertarian,” says Freedomworks’ David Kirby.
Kirby sat down with Reason magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch to talk about why more people describe themselves as libertarian, how politicians like Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Justin Amash have come to think of themselves as libertarian and whether Glenn Beck calling himself libertarian is a good thing.
Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. Reason TV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. Go here for an ever-growing playlist of this year’s interviews.
About 6:16 minutes.
Produced by Paul Detrick. Camera by Detrick and Tracy Oppenheimer.
Subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube channel and get automatic notifications when new videos go live.”
Maybe the Real Lesson Is That It’s Best to Shut Down the Federal Government Before a New Fiscal Year Begins
” The politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and interest groups in Washington are hyperventilating that the federal gravy train may get sidetracked for a day or two by a shutdown fight between Republicans and Democrats.
I’m not sure why they’re so agitated. After all, the shutdown is really just a slowdown since only non-essential bureaucrats are sent home. And everyone winds up getting paid for those unplanned vacations, which is why the bureaucrats I know are crossing their fingers for a lengthy confrontation.
But that describes what may happen when the new fiscal year begins tomorrow. What’s been happening in recent days, culminating today, is a feeding frenzy of end-of-the-fiscal-year wasteful spending.
Here are some details from a Washington Post expose.
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork. In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges. And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.” …All week, while Congress fought over next year’s budget, federal workers were immersed in a separate frantic drama. They were trying to spend the rest of this year’s budget before it is too late. …If they don’t, the money becomes worthless to them on Oct. 1. And — even worse — if they fail to spend the money now, Congress could dock their funding in future years. The incentive, as always, is to spend. So they spent. “
Illustrations By Jeff McNelly
” Politico reports that U.S. education secretary Arne Duncan will address the Business Roundtable today, calling on the nation’s CEOs to “step up and promote the Obama administration’s education agenda.” That agenda is essentially a doubling-down on the policies of the past 50 years—further increases in federal pre-K spending, further centralization of school standards and testing, etc.”
Welfare Pays More than Minimum Wage in 35 States:
Q&A with Cato’s Michael Tanner
Published on Sep 19, 2013
” “If you came to me and offered to pay me what I’m making now and tell me that I could stay home I’m certainly going to think about it,” says Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
In his most recent study, The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013, Tanner reveals how welfare participants can earn more than working a minimum wage job in 35 states.
“There’s no evidence to show [welfare recipients] are any lazier than the rest of us, but they also aren’t dumber than the rest of us,” Tanner explains. “If you offer them the same incentives that’s what they will do.”
Tanner sat down with Reason’s Nick Gillespie to discuss his report, the mixed legacy of welfare reform, and his recommendations to fix the system.
About 7 minutes. Cameras by Amanda Winkler and Joshua Swain. Edited by Swain.
Click the buttons below for downloadable versions of this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Reason TV’s Youtube channel for more content like this.”
Cato Chairman On Nullification: An Amalgamation of Revisionist History Covered in Judicial Fairy Dust
” Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy’s recent article, “The Limits of Nullification” is nothing less than an amalgamation of revisionist history covered in judicial fairy dust. His assertions are premised upon a flawed understanding of certain fundamental principles and constitutional history. Levy conveniently ignores them and, consequently, drawn inaccurate conclusions.
Let’s dissect this piece by piece.
Levy implies the Constitution was ratified by the people acting in their aggregate political capacity – a single unitary body politic. In fact, many people believe this falsehood because they rely on the words “We the People of the United States” in the Preamble. The initial drafts of the Constitution named each and every state. They said, We the people of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, etc. But, Article VII of the Constitution states, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same”.
Each state is independent, free, and sovereign. The ratification happened within each State by the people acting in their highest political capacity. Each state voted up or down on the ratification. There was no popular vote across all thirteen states. There was no majority of people (50%, 75%, or 95%) of the people that could ratify the Constitution. The people of each free, independent, and sovereign State ratified the Constitution independent from every other state.
Moreover, New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution. The nine states ratifying the Constitution could not bind any of the remaining states. In fact, the Virginia and New York ratification conventions were aware that New Hampshire had ratified thus putting the Constitution into effect for the states so ratifying. Both states continued their conventions and proceeded with their votes for or against the Constitution.”
Published on Sep 3, 2013
” James Carafano (Heritage Foundation) and Jim Harper (CATO Institute) discuss police state measures taken by law enforcement after the Boston Marathon bombing and the NSA. Also, John looks at civil asset forfeiture, the practice of policing for profit.http://www.LibertyPen.com “
” The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs.Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.
Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation.
While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits aren’t taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare.That’s more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher.“
Published on Aug 15, 2013
” Fox News meteorologist Maria Molina, oceanographer John Englander and climatologist Pat Michaels (CATO) join John to knock down or bolster popular myths. http://www.LibertyPen.com”
” Belatedly, I’ve come across the review by Jonathan Martin of Politico of the book Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn’t by Robert Kaiser, a 50-year reporter and editor at the Washington Post. What struck me was that both of these very knowledgeable Washington journalists seem very clear-eyed about the deficiencies of the legislative process, and yet their understanding doesn’t cause them to question the idea of having government manage every facet of our lives. Here are some excerpts from the review:
Congress is dominated by intellectual lightweights who are chiefly consumed by electioneering and largely irrelevant in a body where a handful of members and many more staff do the actual work of legislating. And the business of the institution barely gets done because of a pernicious convergence of big money and consuming partisanship.”
” I’m delighted to report that Miss Liberty’s Guide to Film is available again—on Kindle. My friend Jon Osborne worked for years on this project, but the 2001 book has been out of print for years. It’s the best available guide to movies with libertarian themes, with more than 250 short reviews.”
Note : The previous post identified the UVa student arrested as Ann Downey while this article names her as Elizabeth Daly . Barton Hinkle covers the young lady in question’s arrest as well as detailing other recent flagrant abuses of government authority while providing a link to an interactive map of botched police raids nationwide .
” Daly understandably panicked. With her roommate in the passenger seat yelling “Go, go, go!” Daly drove off, hoping to reach the nearest police station. The women dialed 911. Then a vehicle with lights and sirens pulled them over, and the situation clarified: The people who had swarmed Daly’s vehicle were plainclothes agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The agents had thought the sparkling water was a 12-pack of beer.
Did the ABC’s enforcers apologize? Not in the slightest. They charged Daly with three felonies: two for assaulting an officer (her vehicle had grazed two agents; neither was hurt) and one for eluding the police. Last week, the commonwealth’s attorney dropped the charges.
These are not isolated incidents; for more information, visit the interactive map at www.cato.org/raidmap.
” Many Americans are curious about the impact of immigration on the wages of other Americans. The best research on this focuses on the period between 1990 and 2006, when almost 17 million people immigrated to the U.S. lawfully and a net 12 million came unlawfully. The first major study is by Borjas and Katz (B&K) and the second is by Ottaviano and Peri (O&P). O&P borrowed much of B&K’s methodology. Here are the long run findings:”
Published on May 15, 2013
” The I.R.S. targeting of tea party groups in the United States is par for the course. It’s not the first time the agency has been used for partisan political ends. Whether or not the targeting was undertaken as a directive from the White House, the agency’s broad latitude in determining what constitutes partisan political activity is very problematic. The solutions offered by campaign finance reformers would unfortunately only give the agency more power.
Featuring: David Keating, President of the Center for Competitive Politics / Michael W. MacLeod-Ball, Chief Legislative and Policy Counsel, ACLU / John Samples, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Representative Government / Gene Healy, Vice-President, Cato Institute
Related podcast/video with David Keating:http://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily-… /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8V_9c…
Related podcast with Michael MacLeod-Ball:http://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily-…
Video produced by Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg. Additional footage gathered by Lester Romero.”