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potluck, food, inspection, safety, regulations, government, folly, Common Sense, illustration

Potluck Rites, and Rights

Progressives are becoming increasingly defensive about nearly all forms of Big Government, relentlessly telling us that we need government for everything from money and roads to food inspection and subsidies and . . . well, the list is endless. Food safety is one of their favorite subjects, but I’m increasingly






donkey, grinning, dentist, laws, Common Sense, illustration

Law in the Tooth

Why did Dr. Ben Burris give up his orthodontic license? Where did he go wrong? Dr. Burris broke the law. He flagrantly violated the hallowed precepts of the Arkansas Dental Practices Act. Let me rinse and spit out the truth: This dentist illegally cleaned people’s teeth. Not just once —






Uber, car, ride, London, taxi, regulation, waiting, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

The Uber-Huge Mistake

Uber’s challenge to old-fashioned ride service — to the taxi industry — is at least twofold. One, it shows government regulation to be counterproductive and kind of witless. Two, it shows that innovation — particularly by decreasing transaction costs — can rapidly transform a market for the good of consumers.






Little Free Library, illustration, Common Sense, Paul Jacob

Worth a Crackdown?

Charming. That is the best word to describe the “Little Free Library” movement. Haven’t heard of it? It is the practice by which just plain folks share their books by building these little birdhouse-sized free lending libraries that they place in their yards by the curb. Usually, the little “libraries”






Pain Medicine Police

Pain Economies

Looking for a new doctor, a colleague of mine called his friend’s primary care clinic, and was told, “We are taking all patients except pain management cases.” He was thankful his health issues were not pain-related. After reading Leslie Kendall Dye’s Salon piece, “But what if I actually need my






dollars, cents, questions

Townhall: The Cynics and the Minimum Wage

This weekend at Townhall, a recurring subject, but with a British twist: why support a minimum wage if it doesn’t do the good claimed for it? Maybe the backers don’t uniformly want the good. Could they want the bad? Which brings up the question of cynicism. We who aim to






Water Shortage

All Wet

Which is worse, paying for stuff you use . . . or being constantly harassed for using it? One consequence of widespread failure to charge market rates for water turns out to be hyper-regulation of hydro-usage, and the penalizing — even criminalizing — of using “too much” H2O. To deal






Government Fixes

The Latest Big Fix

Transformer-in-Chief Barack Obama is at it again. The president’s latest tune is a variation on a very old theme: whatever government breaks “requires” a new government program. See a problem; propose and enact a government solution; the problem gets worse, some new ones pop up; blame everything on the voluntary,






ILLUSTRATION_neutrality

Non-neutral Net Neutrality

Worried about its costs, Netflix has asked millions of customers to support so-called “net neutrality” policies to curtail the freedom of action of broadband companies like Comcast. Netflix, a huge suck of bandwidth, doesn’t want to have to make deals with ISPs like Comcast to deliver service to its customers.






Why The Tiny Domicile by Paul Jacob

Why the Tiny Domicile

he “tiny house” movement has gained momentum. More and more people — especially young people and childless people — see the virtue of very small houses. They are cheaper, can be made energy-efficient, have an almost necessarily smaller “environmental footprint,” and are mobile. And I can see the attraction. For






Bye-Bye, Community Banks

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Its supporters said that would increase financial stability and transparency, prevent bailouts, and protect consumers from “abusive practices.” I’m dubious the new regulatory regime will accomplish any of these goals.  What






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