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minimum wage, experiment, Seattle, scientific method, social engineering

Minimum Wage Laboratory

Not every popular idea about government policy is good. Or bad. How do we tell the difference? One way is evidence. The modern administrative state was promoted heavily by social scientists who thought that piecemeal social engineering should be tested. A few even thought that the older experiment in limited-government






democracy, the people, politicians, cowardice, marijuana, asset forfeiture, initiative, term limits, police brutality

Today’s Leaders

We have a new president. Many people put a lot of trust in him — and many more hate him and seek to bring him down. In both cases, presidential politics takes up an inordinate portion of our brain space. Over the weekend I twice wrote about four heroic senators,






Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, ObamaCare, healthcare bill, opposition

The Real ObamaCare Opposition

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has introduced a bill to compromise between the House’s recent Affordable Health Care Act and the current “ObamaCare” Affordable Care Act. Though there seems to be some “what the heck, go with it” enthusiasm for it on Capitol Hill, it’s not coming from Senators






Amazon, monopoly, trusts, antitrust, trade, free trade, big business, economic myths

Serving Consumers? Punish!

New media ballyhooer Douglas Rushkoff made waves this week. Citing an un-named friend who went hysterical about Amazon.com’s purchase of Whole Foods, he asserted that such “unease is widespread, and has raised new calls for breaking up Jeff Bezos’s impending monopoly by force.”* The company has “surely,” he claimed, “reached






stadium, Potomac Nationals, pork, free markets, taxes, referendum, crony, welfare

Go Nats?

Just a few miles away from where I live sits the stadium of the Potomac Nationals. I’m a fan. I’d hate to see the team we call the P-Nats leave. But . . . Hasta la vista. The owner of this minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals






conundrum, employment, unemployment, Gerald P. O’Driscoll, poverty, retirement

The Poverty Retirement Non-plan

A “conundrum” is “an intricate and difficult problem” or “a question or problem having only a conjectural answer.”* In his June 8 article, “The Jobs Conundrum,” economist Gerald P. O’Driscoll focuses on a very big problem that we do not have sure answers to, yet. Unemployment figures are down, but






nanny state, too much government, books, authentication, California, busybody, Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism, Jerry Brown

Signature Nonsense

Did anyone really need this? Last year, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1570, which concerns collectibles, particularly signed-by-author or artist books. But it doesn’t mention books, and is confusingly written. What a mess. Who asked for it? It certainly wasn’t the struggling booksellers who have






James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, came to Alexandria, Virginia, shooting, blame, scapegoat, excuses, rationalizations

Sticks & Stones

James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, came to Alexandria, Virginia, where for the last few months he lived in his van . . . undoubtedly down by the river. Yesterday, he wielded an assault rifle, attempting to massacre Republican congressmen at a park practicing for tonight’s annual charity Congressional Baseball Game.






milk, Institute for Justice, regulations, Ocheesee Creamery, Department of Agriculture, too much government

Legal Not to Lie About Your Milk

Mary Lou Wesselhoeft doesn’t have to lie about the milk she’s selling. The Florida Department of Agriculture has lost in court. Mary Lou has won. Ocheesee Creamery sells pasteurized milk without any additives. One of her products is skim milk. Ocheesee sells skim milk without vitamin additives, which is perfectly






Oregon, housing, rent control, urban, planning, low income, land, property rights

Housing Horror

Housing in Oregon’s north-central urban region is becoming more and more like San Francisco’s — out of the budgetary reach of huge swaths of average workers. “The median rental household can’t comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment in 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties,” Elliot Njus writes for The Oregonian. But it is worst in






Great Britain, Tory, Prime Minister, PM, censorship, terrorism, internet, web

Another Push for Censorship

It’s almost as if politicians are hell-bent on expanding government at the expense of our freedoms . . . and grandstanding to ‘look like they are doing something.’ The two proclivities are not unrelated. Take Theresa May, Great Britain’s Tory Prime Minister. After yet another terrorist attack in her country,






driver's license, voting, registration, paternalism, nanny state, voters, democracy, choice, freedom

The $659,000 Non-Question

The so-called “Motor Voter” law of 1993 created a national mandate: when people obtain their drivers’ licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles, ask them if they’d also like to register to vote. The federal mandate is perhaps heavy-handed, but the underlying idea has merit. Now a new idea is






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