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minimum wage, closure, restaurant, business, prohibition, wages, pay, Berkeley, San Francisco

Minimum Shock

“Three restaurants vacated the Bay this week, with Berkeley’s Bistro Liaison getting the most attention,” the San Francisco edition of Eater informs us. “It’s a bittersweet exit for the owners, who plan to start new careers.” The week in question was in February. But this was not an isolated event.






CATO, FEE, crony, cronyism, Washington, corruption, elites, lobbyist, politicians, privilege, power

Cronyism Pays

Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow in fiscal policy at the Cato Institute, is a nice guy. But he’s sort of depressing, too. Weeks ago, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Mitchell offered that “The Washington, DC Gilded Class Is Thriving.” He even provided a “depressing chart” graphing “median






New York Times, taxes, tax, libraries, tax cuts, big government, public services, free markets

Ballots & Books

The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, “Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.’” “For generations in America,” readers are informed, “small cities . . . declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries






Connecticut, taxes, revenue, budget, tax and spend, wealth, common sense

No Rich No More

Connecticut has a budget problem. There’s not enough money to spend. WTNH-TV in New Haven paraphrased the situation along with the response of Connecticut’s very progressive governor: “Income tax revenue collapses; Malloy says taxing the rich doesn’t work.” The news story explains, “Connecticut’s state budget woes are compounding with collections






France, French, election, Macron, Le Pen, democracy, press, freedom, right, left, centrist

French Beacon

“Since the French Revolution,” the New York Times pontificated online, “the nation has often been viewed as a beacon of democratic ideals.” Really? Can a nation of constitutional turnovers — kings and republics and revolutions and foreign occupation — be a beacon? Most often we in America compare our Revolution






separation of power, conflict of interest, politician, interests, balance of power, civil asset forfeiture, legislative, executive, judicial

Separation of Senators

The separation of powers doctrine has been a bedrock principle of small-r republican government. Each branch — legislative, executive, judicial — should be independent, and check the power of the other branches. This requires that no person hold positions simultaneously in more than one branch of government. Which brings us






cronyism, pork, stadium, Tom Hanks, ballot initiative, welfare

A Wall of Separation

Whatever you think of Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, wherein he celebrated the First Amendment for “building a wall of separation between Church & State,” let’s agree that it would have been nice had he penned another letter — to the Waterbury Methodists or someone — urging a






Oregon, traffic light, license, licensing, government, regulations, engineer

The Oregon Fail

My children used to play “The Oregon Trail,” an early computer game where one navigated the amazingly dangerous wagon trip out west — often dying of dysentery or drowning while crossing a river. Oregon remains treacherous. Yesterday, we bemoaned the cancellation of a parade because a Republican Party group’s participation






UN, U.N., United Nations, Obamacare, socialism, socialists

UN-appealing

Like E.F. Hutton, when the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” talks, people listen. In disbelief, perhaps. Or amusement. But they listen. Well, at least Washington






Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, France, French, elections, immigration, government,

Forwards ! Backwards ?

France held an election over the weekend. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen came out on top, and will face each other in a runoff on May 7th. Current polling puts Macron over Le Pen, 62-38. But a SkyNews reporter cautions: there is no certainty. We in America have reason






Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho, veto, asset forfeiture, term limits,

Ida-Heave-Ho

“Is there any chance the vetoes can be overridden?” asked a reader in response to yesterday’s commentary on Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of two pieces of common-sense legislation. It’s a good question, because the bill reforming civil asset forfeiture and the bill easing regulations that block employment in cosmetology






Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho, asset forfeiture, licensing, veto

A Bad Haircut

Eric Boehm over at Reason excoriated Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for giving libertarians “the double bird salute.” Boehm wondered if the governor, in vetoing two bills earlier this month, had been merely “trying to make libertarians mad.” That’s not exactly fair. The two blocked bills, one reforming unjust civil asset






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