Must-Reads August 3
Engage America: How public sector unions became the tail that wags the dog
Few on either truly understand the unique bargaining chips that government unions hold when they negotiate their contracts. The system affords them advantages that would be the envy of any private-sector employee. But more than this, the unions are actually able to subvert the delicate balance between competing interests that founding father James Madison argued was necessary for the public good.
The American: Why Citizens United has nothing to do with what ails American politics
Political money is like water: It’ll flow somewhere because what government does matters and people want to speak about their concerns. To the extent that "money in politics" is a problem, the solution is to reduce the political scope that the money can influence. Shrink government, and you’ll shrink the amount people spend trying to get a piece of the pie.
Forbes: There's no mystery to slow economic growth: progressives are the problem
Similarly, Progressives believe in Keynesian economics not because it works to promote economic recovery and growth. Borrowing a trillion dollars out of the private economy for the government to spend a trillion dollars back into it does nothing to promote economic recovery and growth on net. Obamanomics just proved that again.
Reason: What the Anaheim riots can teach other American cities
Changing a bureaucratic culture sounds naïve, perhaps, but Anaheim had beginning in 2002 gained national attention for putting into place some unusually kind and freedom-friendly public policies that no other major city in the country had embraced.
Must-Reads for August 2
The Daily Beast: Three easy ways to end cronyism
Right now cronyism is an "issue." Recognizing that people are fed up and have a total lack of faith in their governing institutions, candidates are trying to use cronyism as a cudgel against their opponents. No doubt these issues test well with focus groups. But with cynicism rampant, most informed voters are going to look past the words and posturing and look for individuals who actually are willing to institute and embrace transparency and reject cronyism.
Real Clear Markets: The U.S. is on India's horrid energy path
EPA's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants rule, issued last December, will make electricity generation more complex and expensive, especially in the eastern half of the United States. It will lead to the closure of many coal- and oil-fired power plants that would be too expensive to bring into compliance. Ultimately, power users will bear these costs.
Washington Free Beacon: The great millennial meltdown
On Friday, the Labor Department will release its jobs report for July. Their June report put the unemployment of young adults (18-29) at 12.8 percent, but 1.7 million young adults went uncounted because they have stopped looking for work. Taking account for them increases the jobless rate to 16.8 percent.
Must-Reads for August 1
National Review: The Feds' war on...buckyballs!
Obama’s big-business pals sit on do-nothing jobs councils and host countless dog-and-pony shows touting their commitment to "Startup America." But when a three-year-old startup that has earned $50 million in sales all on its own faces ruthless bureaucratic extinction, the government-jobs blowhards are nowhere to be found.The Wall Street Journal: No internet taxation without representation
Such online sales tax proposals are taxation without representation. The proposed federal law tells businesses that there is no escape from the clutches of tax-hungry politicians. That concept is antithetical to our federalist system, which promotes competition among our states for the best economic policies.
Reason: Stop complaining about outsourcing
Adam Smith observed, "The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market." If the extent of the market is artificially constricted by politicians (no one else has such power), the division of labor and its concomitant progress are stunted—and we are poorer than we would have been.
Must-Reads for July 31
The Wall Street Journal: The man who saved capitalism
In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that "there's no such thing as a free lunch." If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical "multiplier effect" by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul.Chicago Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's summer of discontent
For Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it's been the summer of discontent on the big issues of crime and schools. The first-term mayor has spent much of it trying to avert a teachers strike and struggling to get a handle on the rise in homicides.
Washington Post: Social Security Disability Insurance’s incentive not to work
The disability trust fund, financed by a portion of the Social Security payroll tax, is set to run out of cash by 2016, though the government will undoubtedly borrow to meet its obligations.
Reuters: U.S. loves cops and firefighters - but not their pensions
In some cases, contracts that may once have seemed fair are helping to bankrupt cities and leading to severe cuts in services, including fire station closures and reductions in police forces. Eight municipalities have sought protection from their creditors so far this year, following 13 that filed in 2011, and many others are having to slash their budgets.
Must-Reads for July 30
Quad Cities: State judges will decide own benefits
National Review: Penniless in paradise
At first blush, one might wonder why on earth the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit would be someone pulling in almost a six-digit pension. After all, that's not someone who is going to draw a whole lot of public sympathy. But this isn't a case that will be decided by the public.
The Wall Street Journal: The 1.5% presidency
On the front door of the San Bernardino city hall is a sign that reads: "Out of Order." Broke city, broken door: There’s a certain pleasing symmetry in the fact that the San Bernardino city council meets behind a door that, like the city government itself, does not work and is in need of replacement.
It's important to understand how unusual this kind of weak recovery is. Deep recessions like the one from December 2007 to June 2009 are typically followed by stronger recoveries, as there is more lost ground to make up.