The Canada-U.S. Relationship Is All Smiles. For Now.
Inu Manak andColin GrabowIn his first bilateral visit with a foreign leader, President Joe Biden had a virtual sit ‐​down with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The stakes were high, not least because Bidencancelled the permit for the Canadian ‐​backed Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, forcing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to delicately balance his country’s economic interests and the need to rebuild a fractured relationship with the United States.Surprisingly, scant attention was paid during the meeting to the bilateral trade relationship and repairing damage suffere...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 25, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Inu Manak, Colin Grabow Source Type: blogs

Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Texas Electricity Meltdown
Peter Van DorenAlternating current electricity systems require that demand equals supply in real ‐​time. Any supply‐​demand imbalance must be remedied in minutes to avoid collapse of the system that would take weeks to repair. And the Texas system was very close tocollapse.So what went wrong in Texas? The shortanswer is that demand was about 69,000 megawatts (and estimates of what demand would have been had supply been available were 74,000 MW) while available supply was about 46,000 megawatts. When supply is unexpectedly reduced, the remaining generators must work harder. If demand is not reduced wi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 25, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Peter Van Doren Source Type: blogs

COVID Is Killing The Private Schools for Everyman
Neal McCluskeyOver that past couple of months, we have seen an uptick inpermanent private school closures that are at least partially due to COVID-19 – 9 in the last 60 days, after just 3 in all of September through December – and we are likely to see many more soon, as schools take stock of enrollment numbers for next year and decide if they will be viable. And who do these closing schools tend to serve? Almost certainly “regular,” or even low‐​income, families.From the outset of our tracking we have published the average tuition of closing schools, which currently sits at $7,032...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 25, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

Ro Khanna and the $23 Minimum Wage
Ryan BourneOn CNN earlier this week,Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna said:“If you look at the minimum wage, it increased with worker productivity until 1968 and that relationship was severed. If workers were actually getting paid for the value they were creating, it would be up to $23.”This claim is frequently made in minimum wage debates. It implies that over the past 52  years, the failure of politicians to raise the federal minimum wage in line with aggregate productivity (output per worker hour) has caused a disconnect between worker’s production and their pay. And this is taken as evidence of compan...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 25, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Ryan Bourne Source Type: blogs

Annabel Edith Villagra, RIP
Michael F. CannonAnnabel Edith Villagra hasdied.If that name doesn ’t ring a bell, you may have known her as Annabel Battistella. Or Fanne Foxe. Or the “Argentine Firecracker.” Or “the Tidal Basin Bombshell.” Or the 38‐​year‐​old exotic dancer with bruised eyes who jumped out of a car and into Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin after a row with her lover, 65‐​year‐​old House Ways and Means Committee Wilbur D. Mills (D‐​Ark.), in 1974.Mills was the father of Medicare. In his 2006 bookMedicare Meets Mephistopheles, Cato adjunct scholarDavid Hyman writes, &ldquo...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 24, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

On Medical Supply Chains, First, Do No Harm
Scott LincicomePoliticoreports that President Biden will sign an executive order today to review the global supply chains for medical goods and other “key industries,” in order “to determine whether U.S. firms in these sectors are relying too much on foreign suppliers, particularly those in China.” As I explain in a newPandemics and Policypaper (coincidentally) out today, the federal government should not embrace economic nationalism to “fix” global supply chains that wobbled during the pandemic because–The nation ’s overall productive capacity and its medical goods...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 24, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome Source Type: blogs

The Feds ’ Sorry Record on COVID-19
David BoazThey say journalism is the first rough draft of history. With the Covid pandemic now a year old, we are starting to seebooks on the topic. And variouslibertarianstudies andarticles, critically examining government andprivate-sector responses to the crisis, have appeared. But some of those rough drafts in the major media add up to a pretty strong critique of government failure by themselves. Just consider the disappointing, even tragic, analyses that have been appearing over the past year:The federal government hadreports andwarnings andwar games aboutpandemic danger at least as far back as 2001, butwas apparently...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 24, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David Boaz Source Type: blogs

Foreign Policy Is Supposed To Be Transactional
Justin LoganOne criticism of Donald Trump ’s foreign policy is that it was “transactional.” In 2020, Joseph Nyelamented Trump ’s “transactional myopia.” And last week in his speech to the Munich Security Conference,President Biden argued that “our partnerships have endured and grown through the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values. They’re not transactional.”They should be.To get this out of the way up front, transactional isn ’t a perfect synonym for Trumpy. Complaints about Trump ’s habit of describing alliance...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Justin Logan Source Type: blogs

When the Going Gets Tough, Federal Testing Gets Lame
Neal McCluskeyYesterday, the U.S. Department of Educationannounced that the Biden administration will not lift the federal requirement that public elementary and secondary schools administer state standardized tests this year. Well, sort of: The feds will allow numerous changes to how tests are given from previous years – they can be shorter, administered remotely, and states can apply for waivers from federal accountability measures, including for the share of students tested. So states will still have to test, but the conditions will be very different from previous years. (Note that last year the Trump administ rat...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

The “Telehealth Modernization Act” Overlooks The Main Obstacle to Modernization
Jeffrey A. SingerIf there is a silver lining to the dark cloud COVID-19 has cast over this country these past twelve months, it is that we are discovering previously under ‐​used technologies that enable us to work and socialize without even leaving our homes. An example is telehealth—a technology that is actuallynot new. Tele ‐​radiology, for example, which taps the skills of the world’s experts in diagnostic imaging, has been in use since thebeginning of this century. Yet telehealth has only received theattention it deserves with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.As emergency measures, most sta...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey A. Singer Source Type: blogs

A Return To Rule By Guidance Document?
Walter OlsonIn a step backward for due process, the Biden Department of Labor has revoked a Trump ‐​era policy meant to rein in the use of informal guidance documents to issue regulatory commands. PerAllen Smith at the Society for Human Resource Management, this raises the likelihood that the department will move to reshape the American workplace through a rapid “stream of informal guidance” intended to be received as binding. These snap edicts, unlike more formal regulations, can be issued without the period of notice and comment that often allows employers or other regulated parties to orga...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

Biden ’s Bill Won’t Solve Future Illegal Immigration Without Guest Workers
David J. BierPresident Biden endorsedthe U.S. Citizenship Act last week that would create a  path to citizenship for most noncriminal illegal immigrants in the United States. Republicans were quick to criticize the bill’s lack of money for border security. But more funds for the border bureaucracy won’t stop illegal immigration. Sadly, however, the better solution—more guest workers —also didn’t make the cut.The failure to include guest workers violatesa  campaign promise by Biden. Hisimmigration platform states that his proposed legislation would “expand opportunities for indi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David J. Bier Source Type: blogs

Eleventh Hour for WTO Reform
James BacchusThe next ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization, scheduled for June in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, may be the last chance for the WTO to reclaim its central role in the multilateral trading system. With all too few successes in the 21st century about which to boast, WTO members must prove anew there that they can negotiate new rules and put them into effect. To improve their prospects for success in Kazakhstan, they must agree now on the issues most likely to have chances to generate consensus by June and pursue negotiations on those issues immediately.In the countdown to Kazakhstan, five issues se...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: James Bacchus Source Type: blogs

What to Make of the Growing Opposition to Biden ’s OMB Pick?
William Yeatman andChristian TownsendThe president ’s pick to manage the administrative state is “on the rocks” after three centrist senators announced their opposition to Neera Tanden for director of the Office of Management and Budget.The OMB is a crucial part of the executive branch. It functions as the brain of administrative policymaking through its control of agency budgets, spending, and analytical methodology.Biden nominated Tanden last November. Two weeks ago, the Senateheld confirmation hearings. Last week, however, her prospects started to unravel —and, surprisingly, a Democrati...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 23, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: William Yeatman, Christian Townsend Source Type: blogs

Biden Can Get Most of His Immigration Bill Done on His Own
David J. BierPresident Biden and Democrats in Congress unveiled the U.S. Citizenship Act last week. The353-page bill is more modest than the sweeping 1,000-page comprehensive bill that passed the Senate in 2013, but it nonetheless proposes some significant changes in the operation of the U.S. legal system. Given that Democrats never bothered to try to get their support, even moderate Republicans universally denounced the effort as a partisan messaging bill, and so it has almost no chance of becoming law.But the fact is that Congress has already given President Biden authorities to carry out much of the agenda on his own wi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 22, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David J. Bier Source Type: blogs

Department Store Nostalgia Is Misguided
Scott Lincicome andRevana SharfuddinThe pandemic has caused or accelerated thedemise of numerous U.S. companies, and your local department stores are among the hardest hit. Government lockdowns and consumer reluctance in 2020 intensified longstanding pressures on the brick ‐​and‐​mortar retail industry, pushing many iconic names, such as Nieman Marcus, J.C. Penny, and Belk, over the edge and into bankruptcy – events that have elicitedlaments about not only the companies and workers involved but the broader, long ‐​term decline of brick‐​and‐​mortar retail and, by extension, the American middle cla...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 19, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome, Revana Sharfuddin Source Type: blogs

Biden ’s Posturing on Iran Complicates Diplomacy
John GlaserDiplomacy with Iran has been stalled since President Biden came into office, largely as a result of Biden ’s tough opening position. The administration has insisted that, although Trump abrogated the nuclear deal when Iran was fully compliant, Iran must make the first move in bringing its nuclear program back within the limits of the JCPOA before the United States will even consider lifting sanctions. In response, the Iranians proposed a step ‐​by‐​step process by which each side simultaneously puts an end to their violations and restores the agreement. Biden’s hardline position, pr...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 19, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: John Glaser Source Type: blogs

Wages Did Not Rise in Arizona After SB1070
Alex NowrastehNational conservatives have latched onto the idea that cutting immigration will increase wagesdespiteallof theevidenceto thecontrary. One of the pieces of evidence they cite most is a  2016article in theWall Street Journalthat states that wages for construction and farm occupations in Arizona went up by 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in the 4  years after Arizona passed its immigration enforcement lawSB1070 in 2010. BothOren Cass andChristopher Caldwell use this data point.The only problem is those claims about wages are not true. Wages did not rise in Arizona after the passage of SB1070. ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 19, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

The Global Chip Shortage Doesn ’t Demand Supply Chain Nationalism
Scott LincicomeThe global semiconductor shortage roiling the U.S. automotive industry has become the latest pandemic ‐​induced supply chain disruption embraced by economic nationalists to justify their preferred trade and industrial policies — policies that would renationalize global supply chains and supposedly improve America’s economic “resilience” during future emergencies. President Biden is alsoreportedly considering an executive action to address the issue. Leaving aside the fact that the auto industry ’s semiconductor problems are in large part “self ‐​inflicted” (a...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 18, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome Source Type: blogs

COVID Highlights California ’s Education Failures
Michael D. TannerOne of the most interesting things about the COVID-19 pandemic is the way it has exposed previously existing flaws in so many government institutions.Many of California ’s long-standing problems, from housing to the criminal justice system to business regulation have been both exacerbated and highlighted by COVID.In particular, the pandemic has made it difficult to ignore problems with the state ’s public school system.For example, nearly all California public schools remain closed, and most cities have no plans for when and how to reopen.As a result,almost six million California children are c...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 18, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Michael D. Tanner Source Type: blogs

Against Prolonged Unemployment Benefit Supplements
Ryan BourneHouse Democrats ’proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill includes a weekly pandemic unemployment benefit supplement of $400 per week through August 29. The generosity and duration of that uplift is a mistake —it will restrain an employment recovery through 2021 by disincentivizing returns to work.Democrats cite recent studies which suggest that the $600 supplement introduced at the height of lockdowns in 2020 did not much harm job findings.The level of benefits then was truly massive: the median unemployed recipient obtained 145 percent of their previous wage income from unemployment insurance, with a f...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 18, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Ryan Bourne Source Type: blogs

ObamaCare: Democrats Promise Throwing $36 Billion at Health Insurance Companies Will Work This Time
Michael F. CannonHouse Democrats are proposing a  temporary but massive $34 billion increase in subsidies for ObamaCare plans. The proposal would offer its largest subsidies to high‐​income earners. It would offer more subsidies on behalf of men than women. It would cover few previously uninsured individuals, and at a very high cost. Perhaps worst of all, in the name of “affordability,” it would push health care prices and health insurance premiums even higher.ObamaCare currently issues premium subsidies for Exchange plans on behalf of enrollees who earn between 100 –400 percent of thefedera...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 17, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

“Crime Battens On Prohibition”
Walter OlsonWriting in the New Yorker on the mystique of the Mob, Adam Gopnik makes a point long familiar here at Cato:The former Mafia prosecutor John Kroger, in his 2008 book, “Convictions,” details his team’s victories against the Mob but admits, with some chagrin, that the Mob was really defeated not by charges but by changes. Crime battens on prohibition. The lotteries stripped the numbers racket of its appeal; Internet porn took a toll on the prostitution and smut business; easily obtained credit cards robbed the loan sharks of their monopoly. A more permissive society —with gam...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 17, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

Tariffs (That Biden Won ’t Remove) Threaten the U.S. Manufacturing Recovery (That Biden Wants)
Scott LincicomeBloombergreports that American steelmakers are imperiling President Biden ’s goal of boosting the U.S. manufacturing sector and might, in fact, causemore industrial offshoring:Producers that shut furnaces in response to falling demand during the early stages of the coronavirus are still operating plants at well below pre ‐​pandemic levels, even as recovering economies and tight supplies drive prices higher. The benchmark price for American steel is at an all‐​time high.Companies including Cleveland ‐​Cliffs Inc. and U.S. Steel Corp. have kept blast furnaces idled on expectations that prices...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 17, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome Source Type: blogs

Six Principles for Misunderstanding Free Speech and Section 230
ConclusionIt is the First Amendment, not Section 230, that allows social media companies to disassociate with users and moderate content. Although often discussed in debates about the state of social media, Section 230 is a  liability shield, not a law that allows websites to remove content. Section 230 changes will do nothing to infringe on website’s right under the First Amendment to remove content. They will likely make Silicon Valley companies more dominant.At the heart of freedom of speech is the freedom of association. The right of a  white supremacist to write and submit an op‐​ed toThe Wash...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 17, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Matthew Feeney, Will Duffield Source Type: blogs

Sens. Romney and Cotton Propose Universal E ‐​Verify and Minimum Wage Hike
Alex NowrastehSenators Romney (R-UT) and Cotton (R-AR)announced that they intend to introduce a bill to raise the national minimum wage and mandate E ‐​Verify for all new hires in the United States. Immigration restrictionists have tried to useminimum wages to reduce immigration for more than a century. Combining a high minimum wage with E ‐​Verify is not as surprising as it first seems. Restrictionists assume that higher minimum wages will increase unemployment for lower‐​skilled workers,which it will, and that will mostly force lower skilled immigrant workers out of the country entirely.E ‐​Veri...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 16, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Senators Portman, Whitehouse, and Klobuchar Think They Know Better Than The CDC About How To Treat Acute Pain
This study came one year after a largerstudy of more than 568,000 “opioid‐​naïve” patients treated for acute postsurgical pain from 2008–2016 found a total “misuse” rate of 0.6 percent.The press report onCARA 2.0 issued by Senator Portman ’s office states the three‐​day limit is recommended by the CDC in its 2016Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (recommendation number 6). But these guidelines were aimed at treatingchronic pain, and were based on what the CDC stipulated was very limited evidence. The CDC also emphasized the guidelines were meant to ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 16, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey A. Singer Source Type: blogs

Tech Companies Face the Mikulski Principle
David Boaz“State lawmakers across the country are exploring a range of new taxes targeting Amazon, Facebook, Google and other Internet giants, ”reports Tony Romm in the Washington Post, “seeking to capture some of Silicon Valley’s eye‐​popping profits and soaring share prices in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”Why should there be special taxes on large technology companies, beyond normal corporate and personal income taxes? Because, as the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton probably didn ’t really say, that’s where the money is.There are many theories of taxation, ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 15, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David Boaz Source Type: blogs

More Evidence That Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Might Increase Overdose Deaths
Jeffrey A. SingerAt a Cato Institutepolicy forum in October 2019, Columbia University public health researcher David Fink presented data showing that Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), designed to surveil opioid prescribing by health care practitioners to their patients in pain, have no appreciable effect on the fatal or non ‐​fatal opioid overdose rate, but may have the unintended consequence of increasing overdoses from heroin. I havecited his work, along with the work of others, that draw similar conclusions.Now researchers at Indiana University are providing even more evidence that PDMPs, alon...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 14, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey A. Singer Source Type: blogs

Will Biden Repeat Trump ’s Automotive Mistakes?
Scott LincicomeThe New York Times yesterday provided anin-depth look at the Biden White House's plans to " transform the economy " through " dramatic interventions to revive U.S. manufacturing " - heavy on economic nationalism, industrial planning, and manufacturing jobs. If that approach sounds familiar, it should: it's essentially the same gameplan that Biden's predecessor used, with the only major difference being Biden's emphasis on " green " industries like wind turbines, as compared to Trump's love of steel and other heavy industry.Both presidents, however, seem to share a soft spot for ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 12, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome Source Type: blogs

The Trial of “Citizen Trump”
Gene HealyEven if some senators started totune out yesterday, the House impeachment managers got off to a  very strong start in the second impeachment trial of (now‐​ex) president Donald Trump. Their first‐​day presentations were so compelling, in fact, that one Republican senator, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, briefly forgot the line of work he’s in, actually listened to the arguments, andpronounced himself convinced. At the end of January, Cassidy had voted for Sen. Rand Paul ’s motion to kill the proceedings on the grounds that you can’t try an ex‐​president; on Tuesday, however, he switc...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 12, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Gene Healy Source Type: blogs

More Federal Aid to States Not Needed
Chris EdwardsPresident Biden and the Democrats are including $350 billion in aid for the states in their $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. But state and local budgets are in decent shape, and finances will continue to improve as the economy recovers. Further state handouts are not needed.Policymakers may think that state and local budgets are in crisis because that is what news reports have been claiming most of the past year. Unfortunately, reporters have been misled by spending advocates overstating state and local budget challenges. The same thing happens with spending on infrastructure, defense, and education. Advocates fra...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 12, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Archaic Protectionism Is Set to Sink Alaska Cruises
Colin GrabowAnyone considering a  cruise to Alaska this summer should probably make alternate plans. Even as the global cruise industry has gradually begun torestart operations after a  lost year due to the pandemic, the large ships typically found in Skagway, Ketchikan, and other Alaskan towns during the summer months will likely be absent this year following Canada’sdecision last week to ban cruise ships from its ports through February 2022, citing ongoing COVID concerns. That’s a blow not only to the economy of Alaska, but alsoSeattle where many of these cruises depart from.But that raise...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 12, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Colin Grabow Source Type: blogs

Federal COVID Education Funding: Too Much and Inequitable?
Neal McCluskeySince March, the federal government has enacted two big COVID-19 relief bills affecting elementary and secondary education, and there is another, colossal bill on the way. The combination of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and developing Biden plan would provide nearly $212 billion for K-12 education according to the estimate itemized below. This is a  huge sum considering that in a normal year – 2018 – we spenta  total of $832 billion on elementary and secondary education.I am...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 11, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

This Time Is NOT Different
Jeffrey Miron andErin PartinAnew report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects a $2.3 trillion budget deficit in 2021. This is $900 billion less than the 2020 deficit, but as a percentage of GDP it is still the second largest since World War II. In addition, the report states that the national debt will reach 102 percent of GDP this year and rise to 107 percent by 2031 – an all‐​time record.Critically, this reportdoes not account for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that President Biden is proposing, which will further worsen the U.S. fiscal imbalance. The CBO report does project s...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 11, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey Miron, Erin Partin Source Type: blogs

Minimum Wages and Federalism
Chris EdwardsThe Democrats are proposing to double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. That would be a  damaging policy as it would eliminate entry level jobs and make it harder for young people to gain work experience. Earlier this week, the CBOestimated that a $15 minimum wage imposed nationally would eliminate 1.4 million jobs.The damage from imposing a  higher minimum wage would vary across the country because the states have different economic structures. To illustrate the large differences, the chart showsaverage hourly wages for all nonfarm wage and salary workers in 2019. The avera...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 11, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Biden ’s Buprenorphine Blunder?
Erin Partin andJeffrey MironPer theWashington Post, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has senta letter to President Biden calling for the elimination of the X ‐​waiver requirement, which mandates that physicians undergo training before being allowed to prescribe buprenorphine as a treatment for opioid ‐​use disorder.From the letter:This burdensome requirement does not improve patient safety, but does lead to treatment bottlenecks and a lack of providers across the country, particularly in rural areas. This outdated waiver requirement continues to limit access to treatment even as medical profe...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 10, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Erin Partin, Jeffrey Miron Source Type: blogs

South Dakota Judge Rules Against Voters
Erin Partin andJeffrey MironThe forward march of marijuana legalization encountered a roadblock yesterday when a South Dakota judgeruled against the will of voters and declared an amendment legalizing the use and sale of recreation and medical marijuana and hemp unconstitutional. Last November South Dakota voters approvedAmendment A by a margin of eight points but strong opposition to the voter ‐​driven initiative from within the highest levels of state government – including the governor – have led to this recent ruling.The basis for the unconstitutionality argument rests on the 2018 adoptio...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Erin Partin, Jeffrey Miron Source Type: blogs

Economics In One Lesson: Minimum Wage ‐​Federal Finances Edition
Ryan BourneThe art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.That is the key takeaway from Henry Hazlitt ’s classic bookEconomics In One Lesson.In the past week, we ’ve seen a clear example of policymakers failing to appreciate that lesson when advocating for a $15 minimum wage increase.Senator Bernie Sanders (I ‐​Vt) is leading the legislative charge for the $15‐​per‐​hour federal minimum wage. But rather than just support it on t...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Ryan Bourne Source Type: blogs

Don ’t Let Judges Lie to Juries about Conscientious Acquittal
James CravenJuror #112 had serious reservations about the case in front of him. The defendants were each charged with no less than 42 offenses. “Do we have the right to use jury nullification of a charge? ” the juror asked.The trial court ’s answer was evasive, but the juror was insistent. “Can you answer the jury nullification with a yes or no response? ” came the second note. After the third such inquiry, the circuit judge made the following declaration:“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury you may not use, implement, or resort to jury nullification. It is improper, it’s co...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: James Craven Source Type: blogs

New Cato Research on Immigration and Espionage
Alex NowrastehCato released my newpolicy analysis about espionage and immigration. It is the culmination of many months worth of original research to meticulously document and quantify every espionage and espionage ‐​related criminal conviction in the United States from 1990–2019 – including those convicted of economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, and other related commercial crimes. Although my goal was to find each one, I undoubtedly missed a few, but the sample provided here is still large enough for analysis. Espionage is a serious issue that impacts American national security and t...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Minimum Wage Effects
Chris EdwardsPresident Biden has proposed doubling the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. Democrats havepushed to include the increase in their $1.9 trillion relief bill being debated in Congress. But with millions of people unemployed and small businesses struggling, now would be an awful time to impose such a costly mandate. Fortunately, the president now suggests that a minimum wage increase may not be included in the current relief bill.Yesterday, the CBOestimated that a minimum wage increase would eliminate 1.4 million jobs. Entry level workers would be hard hit.Milton Friedmannoted...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Confirmed: Private Schools Are Suffering under COVID-19
Neal McCluskeyNewdata on Roman Catholic school enrollment is out, and it confirms what Cato CEFsurvey andclosure tracker data have suggested since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns: private schools, especially Catholic, are hurting.The National Catholic Educational Association just announced a  6.4 percent enrollment drop in Catholic schools between the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years. That is basically what we found in our survey of private schools generally: the average school reported roughly a 6 percent enrollment loss, though notably Catholic schools were only 20 percent of ou r respondents. And t...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

How Is Biden ’s Covid Relief Bill like the Patriot Act?
David BoazPresident Biden seems determined to pass his “American Rescue Plan” without any Republican votes. It’s $1.9 trillion or bust, he says, on top of the unprecedented $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill from March and another $900 billion in December, some of which still hasn’t been spent. In fact, Republicans don’t have the clout to sto p the bill. But the plan is also drawing some sharp criticism from non‐​Republican sources. Two big articles in the Washington Post Thursday and Friday urged that the plan be pared back to presumably necessary measures, with other components to be co...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 9, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David Boaz Source Type: blogs

Biden Fumbled in His Superbowl Interview
Justin LoganIn his first discussion of the Iran nuclear deal since taking office, President Biden stepped on his toes. The question is whether it ’s indicative of something amiss with the policy substance, or if he just misspoke. Or both.In a brief exchange with Norah O ’Donnell, the only discussion of Iran in their interview,this happened:NORAH O ’DONNELL (CBS EVENING NEWS): Will the U.S. lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table?PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN (CBS EVENING NEWS): No.NORAH O ’DONNELL (CBS EVENING NEWS): They have to stop enriching uranium first?At that point ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 8, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Justin Logan Source Type: blogs

Laws Against Discussing Pandemics, Cont ’d: Privacy
Walter OlsonIwrote last week in this space about government ’s longstanding tendency during dangerous outbreaks of contagious disease to assert control over public discussion of medical matters on the rationale of preventing the spread of misinformation. (Some members of Congressare currently trying to browbeat platforms into taking down social media posts that promote erroneous notions about vaccines.) Citing the flu pandemic of 1918 –19, I pointed out that “rather than quieting the rumor mill and the popular spread of false ideas about the virus, the tight control of information [often does] the re...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 8, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

A Global Leader in Obsolete Technology
Randal O'TooleSecretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg wants to make the United States the “global leader” in high‐​speed rail. That’s like wanting to be the world leader in electric typewriters, rotary telephones, or steam locomotives, all technologies that were once revolutionary but are functionally obsolete today. High‐​speed trains, in particular, were rendered obsolete in 1958, when B oeing introduced the707 jetliner, which was twice as fast as the fastest trains today.Slower than flying, less convenient than driving, and more expensive than either one.Aside from speed, what makes hig...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 7, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Randal O ' Toole Source Type: blogs

Algorithmic Bias Under the Biden Administration
Matthew Feeney andRachel ChiuThis is the third and final entry analyzing technology policy issues (the gig economy,online speech, and algorithmic bias) under the Biden administration.Algorithmic Bias in the Public and Private SectorPrivate companies, federal agencies, and law enforcement are increasingly using Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to evaluate information. According to theNational Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, AI refers to the “ability of a computer system to solve problems and to perform tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. ” AI‐​powered ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 5, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Matthew Feeney, Rachel Chiu Source Type: blogs

Antidumping, China and “Deindustrialization”
Scott LincicomeWhether it ’s due to the “China Shock” or “deindustrialization, ” a common refrain from those seeking to support American manufacturers and workers via U.S. trade restrictions and subsidies is that these groups have been the helpless victims of “unfettered trade” and “free‐​market fundamentalism.” As I’ve explained in a series ofrecentpapers, however, this narrative ignores (among other things) the panoply of U.S. laws that already exist to boost the manufacturing sector — laws that, despite their frequent and continued use, just...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 5, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: Scott Lincicome Source Type: blogs

Biden Tells the State Department to Launch Private Refugee Sponsorship
David J. BierPresident Biden issuedan executive order providing for a  number of changes to the U.S. refugee program that President Trump hadgutted during his four years in office. One important change followsa  recommendation from Cato ’s compilation of 30 executive actions to restore legal immigration (andmany other times): private refugee sponsorship. The president states:To meet the challenges of restoring and expanding USRAP, the United States must innovate, including by effectively employing technology and capitalizing on community and private sponsorship of refugees, while continuing to partner with ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 5, 2021 Category: American Health Authors: David J. Bier Source Type: blogs