Fed ’s Powell Is Asked Little, Responds Less
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was before theSenate Banking Committee today to present the semiannualMonetary Policy Report to Congress. Unfortunately, there was little discussion of monetary policy during the proceedings.The Senators spent nearly all of their time asking the Chairman about the recent stress tests,changes to the tax code, and concerns over additional tariffs. On tariffs, Powell deserves credit for plainly stating that “in general, countries that have remained open to trade and haven’t erected barriers, including tariffs, have grown faster, have had higher incomes, [and] higher productiv...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 17, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Tate Lacey Source Type: blogs

Adapting to When the Heat Is On
The heat and humidity are now on the rise again after a quite pleasant respite. But the last heatwave was exceedingly uncomfortable and prompted an examination of just how miserable Mid-Atlantic summers can be. My own weather equipment, in Marshall VA, showed the maximum heat index —a weighted combination of temperature and humidity that’s akin to heat stress—topped out at an astounding 125°F late in the afternoon of July 3.This wasn ’t a nationwide event, unlike the dust-bowl summers of 1934 and 1936. Instead, as shown on climatologist Roy Spencer’sblog, the unusual heat was rather circum...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 16, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick J. Michaels Source Type: blogs

Early Thoughts on the Trump-Putin Meeting
As a historian of the Cold War, I have a passing knowledge of a number of meetings between Soviet/Russian leaders and U.S. presidents. Some are famous for getting relations off on the wrong foot (e.g. Kennedy and Khrushchev atVienna in 1961); others set the stage for great breakthroughs, but were seen as failures at the time (e.g. Reagan and Gorbachev at Reykjavik in 1986); still others are largely forgotten (e.g. Johnson and Kosygin atGlassboro, NJ in 1967). It is impossible to predict how we will remember the first substantive meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.We can see, however, what President Trump wants...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 16, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Christopher A. Preble Source Type: blogs

The Fed's Recent Defense of Interest on Reserves
As regularAlt-Mreaders know, I ’ve been saying for over a year now that, despite their promise to “normalize” monetary policy, Fed officials have been determined to maintain the Fed’s post-crisis “floor” system of monetary control, in which changes to the Fed’s monetary policy stance are mainly achieved by means of adjustments to the rate of interest the Fed pays on banks’ excess reserve balances, or the IOER rate, for short.Until recently the Fed ’s intentions had to be inferred by reading between the lines of its official press releases, or by referring to personal pr...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 13, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: George Selgin Source Type: blogs

Methadone and Mixed Messages
As a physician licensed to prescribe narcotics, I am legally   permitted to prescribe the powerful opioid methadone (also known by the brand name Dolophine  ) to my patients suffering from severe, intractable pain that hasn ’t been adequately controlled by other, less powerful pain killers. Most patients I encounter who might fall into that category are likely to be terminal cancer patients. I’ve often wondered why I am approved to prescribe methadone to my patients as a treatment for pain, but I am not allowed to prescribe methadone to taper my patients off of a physical dependence the...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 13, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey A. Singer Source Type: blogs

Kavanaugh, Klayman, and the Fourth Amendment
This report does not directly recommend the bulk collection surveillance at issue inKlayman, nor does it make the argument that such a program would have prevented the 9/11 attacks.   In fact, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board ’s (PCLOB) 2014report on the NSA ’s bulk telephony surveillance program, published before Kavanaugh’sKlayman concurrence, found that the program was not a critically important part of the ongoing War on Terror:Based on the information provided to the Board, we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 13, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Matthew Feeney Source Type: blogs

May Transit Ridership Down 3.3 Percent
Nationwide transit ridership in May 2018 was 3.3 percent less than in the same month of 2017. May transit ridership fell in 36 of the nation ’s 50 largest urban areas. Ridership in the first five months of 2018 was lower than the same months of 2017 in 41 of the 50 largest urban areas. Buses, light rail, heavy rail, and streetcars all lost riders. These numbers are from the Federal Transit Administration ’s monthly data report. I ’ve posted an enhanced spreadsheet that has annual totals in columns GY through HO, mode totals for major modes in rows 2123 through 2129, agency totals in ro...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 13, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Randal O ' Toole Source Type: blogs

Streaming Music and Copyright
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted in favor of a bill that would update copyright law and apply new regulations to interactive streaming services, such as Spotify. The Music Modernization Act (MMA) addresses the issues of non-payment to copyright holders —the basis of a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify—and undefined unenforceable music property rights stemming from the lack of a comprehensive database that records the ownership of copyrights. In thecurrent issue ofRegulation, Thomas Lenard and Lawrence White recount the history of music copyright law and discuss some of the shortcomings of the MM...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Peter Van Doren Source Type: blogs

Followup: The Company That Took The FTC To Court
Readers who watched the  Cato forum last November on prosecutorial fallibility and accountability, or my coverage at Overlawyered, may recall the story of how a Federal Trade Commission enforcement action devastated a thriving company, LabMD, following a  push from a spurned vendor. Company founder and president Mike Daugherty, who took part on the Cato panel, wrote a book about the episode entitled The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Expos é of the U.S. Government’s Surveillance and Overreach into Cybersecurity, Medicine and Small Business.Last month two separate federal appeals cou...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

Supreme Court Should End Class Actions that Don ’t Help the Class
When a user clicks on a Google search result, the web browser transmits a “referral header” to the destination website, unless a user has disabled them. The referral header contains the URL of the search results page, which includes the user’s search terms. Websites use this information for editorial and marketing purposes.In 2010, Paloma Gaos filed a class action in the Northern District of California, seeking damages for the disclosure of her search terms to third-party websites through referral headers, claiming fraud, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract, among others. She eventually settled wi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

Do Not Take the Wrong Lesson from Baltimore ’s Police and Homicide Data
This morning,USA Today publishedan article by Brad Heath that examined data showing Baltimore (City) Police Department (BPD) activity slowed at the same time Baltimore homicides infamously spiked since 2015. The piece is worth reading in full and the data deserves a more detailed response, but at the outset it ’s important to note what the data do not say.Several comments by current and former members of the BPD quoted in the piece say that front line officers are unwilling to do their jobs because of the public backlash to Freddie Gray ’s death. Recall that, following a chase, several Baltimore police officers...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jonathan Blanks Source Type: blogs

Jeff Sessions Stonewalls Permission for Medical Marijuana Research
Even as public opinion shifts in favor of marijuana legalization, withsixtypercent of Americans supporting broad legalization andninety percent supporting medical use, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice (DOJ) continue to stonewall efforts to expand availability of cannabis and cannabis-derived treatments for medical research.Intestimony to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee in April, Sessions argued that althoughrecentstudies have shown that access to medical marijuana reduces opioid overdose deaths, the evidence to support expanding access is still insufficient.This is simply untrue. While DOJ ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey Miron Source Type: blogs

Navarro Misses the Boat on the Jones Act
In a recentPhiladelphia Inquireropinion piece White House economic advisor Peter Navarro hailed the christening of a new transport ship in the nearby Philly Shipyard as evidence of the “United States commercial shipbuilding industry’s rebirth.” As is typical of Navarro’s pronouncements, the reality is almost the exact opposite. In fact, a closer examination of the ship’s construction reveals it to be symptomatic not of a rebirth, but of the industry’s long downward sli de.Named after the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, Navarro describes the 850-foot Aloha-class vessel as “...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Colin Grabow Source Type: blogs

Trade Deficit Confusion Is Bipartisan
President Trump and his trade advisers are the most vocal in putting forward misguided views on the trade deficit, but, unfortunately, their position is a bipartisan one. Here ’s something Congressman Brad Sherman of Californiasaid recently:But Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Asia and the Pacific subcommittee, told  Inside U.S. Trade he would be “surprised if any [bilateral] deal is finalized in the next 12 months.” Sherman met with Gerrish late last week, he said.“Look, we spent 50 years telling the world that the only moral and correct thing to do wa...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 12, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Simon Lester Source Type: blogs

Climate Change: What Would Kavanaugh Do?
In a 2012 dissent from a District of Columbia Appellate Court opinion, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaughacknowledged that “dealing with global warming is urgent and important” but that any sweeping regulatory program would require an act of Congress:But as in so many cases, the question here is: Who Decides? The short answer is that Congress (with the President) sets the policy through statutes, agencies implement that policy within statutory limits, and courts in justiciable cases ensure that agencies stay within the statutory limits set by Congress.Here he sounds much like the late justice Antonin Scalia,...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 11, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick J. Michaels, Trevor Burrus Source Type: blogs

Leading Scholars and Most Diverse Amici Ever Assembled File Briefs Challenging Qualified Immunity
I ’vepreviously blogged about  Allah v. Milling, a case in which a  pretrial detainee was kept in extreme solitary confinement for nearly seven months, for no legitimate reason, and subsequently brought a civil-rights lawsuit against the prison officials responsible. Although every single judge in Mr. Allah’s case agreed that these defendants violated his consti tutional rights, asplit panel of the Second Circuit said they could not be held liable, all because there wasn’t any prior case addressing the “particular practice” used by this prison. Cato filed anamicus brief in suppo...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 11, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jay Schweikert Source Type: blogs

Free Trade Agreements Don't Increase the Number of Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the recent winner of a Democratic primary for Congress in New York, argued that free-trade agreements (FTAs) have caused the number of refugees and asylum seekers to the United States to grow.   This is a somewhat common claim among somecritics of trade or FTAs in particular.  To test this claim, we gathered a list of all the FTAs that the United States has signed and how many asylum seekers and refugees they sent to the United States since the year 2000.   We combined all asylum seekers, affirmative and defensive, that were counted by the United Nation Human Rights Commission. ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 11, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Stopping Risk-Adjustment Payments and Cutting Navigator Grants Make ObamaCare Harms More Transparent
The Trump administration hasannounced it is suspending so-called “risk adjustment” payments to insurers who participate in ObamaCare ’s Exchanges, andcutting spending on so-called “navigators,” who help (few) people enroll in ObamaCare plans.  TheWashington Post’s Catherine Rampell and other ObamaCare supporters are calling these stepssabotage. In fact, what these steps will do is make the costs of ObamaCare ’ssupposedly popular preexisting-conditions provisions more transparent.Risk-Adjustment (Bailout) Payments to InsurersObamaCare ’s so-called “risk adjustm...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 11, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

On the Purpose of NATO & the Cost of European Defense
The anxiety leading up to this week ’s NATO summit is unusually intense, thanks in large part to President Trump’s fractious relationship with European allies. Trump’s political values are often in tension with that of his transatlantic counterparts, and the White House is inching ever closer to an all-out trade war with Europe and Canada, but the real drama of the NATO summit will center on Trump’s brash accusations of allied free-riding. He recently sent letters to many European capitals berating them for not meeting their pledge to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense.In apost at the Intern...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: John Glaser Source Type: blogs

Public Schooling Battles: June Dispatch
The “fighting season” for public schools, not surprisingly, is roughly September through May, with summer vacations in June through August keeping the clash-rate down. So June doesn’t have as many new values and identity-based battles as most other months—15 wereadded to the Map—and we won’t be posting dispatches for August and September, unless something surprising happens. Of course, you can follow theBattle Map Twitter feed–@PubSchoolFights–for new and updated conflicts whenever news breaks, and you can also search #WWFSchool, or post battles you find using that hashtag. A...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

The Growing U.S. Trade Surplus in Services: Part Two
President Trump and others who are mistakenly troubled by trade deficits with specific countries should at least get the facts straight.   To fret about trade deficits ingoods alone (ignoring services) is hopelessly old-fashioned in a world where the most exciting business and investment opportunities are typically in the service industries.    U.S. businesses are famously outstanding in software and communications services, health and education services, food and lodging services, legal, financial, accounting and marketing services, and so on.  Hollywood, Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas and D.C....
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Alan Reynolds Source Type: blogs

Price-Level Movements, Fixed Nominal Contracts, and Debtor-Creditor Equity
RecentlyDavid Beckworth andMartin Sandbu, among others, have drawn attention toan interesting paper by James Bullard and Riccardo DiCecio unveiled in Norway earlier this year. In it, Bullard and DiCecio investigate a model economy possessing both a large private credit market and “Non-state contingent nominal contracting (NSCNC).” They conclude that, in such an economy, NGDP targeting is the “optimal monetary policy for the masses.”Here is David Beckworth ’s intuitive explanation for that finding:The basic idea is that in a world of fixed-price nominal debt contracts (i.e. the real world), a N...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: George Selgin Source Type: blogs

CFPB Remains Unconstitutional
Just as no single person can be judge, jury, and executioner, no single bureaucratic agency head may create rules and enforce them, and do so without meaningful oversight from Congress or the president. In a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Fifth Circuit, Cato has filed abriefarguing that the director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has been granted both rule-making and rule-enforcing powers far beyond what is constitutionally permissible —and the vague and arbitrary way in which he’s been using them violates the due-process protections of the Fifth Amendment.Because the structure of the C...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

Proper Judging Means Principled Engagement, Not Judicial Deference
We at Cato, as at all think tanks, are engaged daily in the battle of ideas —and it never ends. As an illustration, consider a basic issue that from the outset has animated our work at the Center for Constitutional Studies, the constitutional role of the courts. We’ve encouraged judges to be neither “activists,” in the mold often of the Warren and Burger Supreme Cou rts, nor “restrained” and deferential to the political branches, as many conservatives had urged in response, but “engaged” in limiting governments to their authorized powers while securing rights consistent with ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Roger Pilon Source Type: blogs

Why the Legal Immigration System Is Broken: A Short List of Problems
In no particular order, here is a list of a few problems that comprehensive immigration reform should address (a few of which are mentioned in the immigration chapter of the  Cato Handbook for Policymakers):1. A far too restrictive system overall. 2. Static immigration quotas. 3. Quotas on nationalities —the law micromanages immigrant demographics. 4. Immigrants wait in line for decades. 5. Immigrant workers are counted against multiple quotas. 6. There ’s a limit for immigrants with “extraordinary ability”. 7. Workers without college degrees only get 5,000 green cards. 8. The president can end...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: David Bier Source Type: blogs

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: A Strong Supreme Court Pick
Brett Kavanaugh is a strong pick for the Supreme Court.In his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a devotion to legal text and constitutional principle. I admire his dedication to the Constitution ’s structural protections for liberty, his steadfast defense of the rights of speech and religious conscience, and most notably his willingness to question the excesses of the regulatory state. He has repeatedly affirmed that judges serve not as the champions of faction, but as the readers of laws and adjudicators of disputes.While there will no doubt be cases where the future Justice Kavanaugh an...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 10, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

Trade Warriors Exclude a Third of U.S. Exports from “Trade Deficits”
Private services account for 69% of GDP, and 128.2 million jobs in June. In theBureau of Economic Analysis industry accounts,private service industries“consist of utilities; wholesale trade; retail trade; transportation and warehousing; information; finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing; professional and business services; educational services, health care, and social assistance; arts, entertainment, recreational, accommodation, a nd food services; and other services (except public administration).”Goods-producing industries, by contrast, “consist of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunt...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 9, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Alan Reynolds Source Type: blogs

The Hidden Costs of Tariffs
Thisnews report from the Washington Post is a striking example of the absurd costs of complex tariff systems:Brand-new Ford Transit Connect vans, made in Spain, are dropped off at U.S. ports several times a month. First, they pass through customs — and then workers hired by the automaker start to rip the vehicles apart. The rear seats are plucked out. The seat belts in back go, too. Sometimes, the rear side windows are covered with painted plates. Any holes left in the floor are patched over. Why? Because there ’s a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks and work vans, but only a 2.5 percent tariff on...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 9, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: David Boaz Source Type: blogs

Why is NSA Deleting Call Records?
On Tuesday,Donald Trump took to Twitter to draw attention to an important story about a large scale National Security Agency surveillance program —though largely for the wrong reasons.  Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)July 3, 2018There are two significant errors here and one important truth.  The first error is that NSA is in the process of deleting “Call Detail Records”—ormetadata—about phone calls and text m...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Julian Sanchez Source Type: blogs

For-Profit Charters Are Effective Too
One of the benefits of school choice is that it allows students with varying needs and backgrounds to choose which schooling model helps them achieve the best educational outcomes. An extensive literature on charter schools, one of the most visible alternatives to traditional public schools, has found that charters with certain characteristics and policies tend tohavepositiveresults. Most of this literature focuses on non-profit schools, but a recent study finds that the advantages of charters extend to for-profit schools.  Intheir recent paper, University of Michigan economists Susan Dynarksi, Daniel Hubbard, Brian J...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey Miron Source Type: blogs

A New Podcast on Free Speech: Many Victories, Many Struggles
In 1996 John Perry Barlow pennedA Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, a radical call for complete online freedom. The document begins with an optimistic word of caution for states the world around; “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us.”The internet did not develop as Barlow had hoped, as Jacob Mchangama illustrates in the latest episode of his podcast,Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.He notes that the &ldqu...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: John Samples Source Type: blogs

The Fed Sticks to Its Plan, the Market Moves
Theminutes of the Federal Reserve ’s June FOMC meeting were released yesterday and there were few, if any, surprises. The minutes show a policy discussion hewing close to the Fed’s normalization plan. Members view the current economic expansion as “progressing roughly as anticipated” and see the risks to the economic outlook “as roughly balanced.” Though the Fed continues to undershoot its preferred measure of inflation, the Committee continues to expect 2% inflation “on a sustained basis over the medium term.” Two rather new developments received attention at the meetin...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Tate Lacey Source Type: blogs

Senate Appropriations Committee Report Criticizes Barriers to Marijuana Research
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee filed a report along with the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.The reportmostly consists of broad policy recommendations and guidance for how to spend the appropriated money. On page 108 of the 273 page report, however, is a discussion of “barriers to research,” specifically, how the “Committee is concerned that restrictions associated with Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act effectively limit the amount and type of research that can be conducted on certain Schedule 1 drugs, especially marijuana...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Trevor Burrus Source Type: blogs

What's Next for the EPA?
So EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is gone, the environmentalists ’ noirestbete noire since James Watt ran the Interior Department early in the Reagan Administration.   He will be replaced (at least temporarily) by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a longtime Washington insider with a keen knowledge of the Agency.  He served as chief of staff for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees all EPA activities, and he also has extensive a nd diverse experience as a lobbyist.He ’s likely to be lower key than Pruitt, but also very effective, given his thick rolodex.  He’...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick J. Michaels Source Type: blogs

An Otter Travesty by the Administrative State
In the 1980s, there was concern regarding the endangered sea otter population in California, so Congress passed a law by which a group of otters would be relocated to an island off the coast where they might flourish. Congress was concerned, however, that the relocated otters might cause problems for the fishermen who made their living in those same waters, and so the legislation mandated that the agency in charge set up a management zone which would prevent the otters from damaging the fisheries. It also gave legal protection to well-meaning fishermen who accidentally caused the death of a sea otter —an accident whi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

Gulf States Are Still Sponsoring Many Syrians
A persistent myth surrounding the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis is that the wealthy Gulf States are not sponsoring Syrian refugees.   As Iwrote in late 2015, the Gulf States did not host refugees but they were sponsoring almost 1.4 million Syrian emigrants in 2013 – about a million more than they were sponsoring in 2010 before the Syrian civil war began.  The recently releasedWorld Bank bilateral migration index for 2017 shows that Gulf Countries are still sponsoring about 1.2 million Syrians, a 12 percent decline relative to 2013 (Table 1).Table 1: Syrians Living in Gulf StatesThese Syrians are technically...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 5, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

North Korea Revelations Should Neither Surprise the U.S. Nor Derail Talks
Several media reports citing theU.S. intelligence community andarms control experts indicate that North Korea has upgraded its infrastructure for building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in recent months. The revelations counteractTrump ’s optimistic tweet that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat [sic] from North Korea” following his summit with Kim Jong Un last month.The United States should not be surprised by these developments. The Trump-Kim summit was not the culmination of a long, arduous diplomatic process as most summits are, but a high-profile meeting that had far more symbolic value than...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 3, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Eric Gomez Source Type: blogs

The Six Trillion Dollar Chairman
AsThe Wall Street Journal,The New York Times, and several other news outlets reported recently, although it has managed to avoid setting off anothertaper tantrum like that of 2013, the Fed is having a bad case of unwind jitters, thanks to unanticipated tightening in the market for fed funds.That tightening has manifested itself in a considerable narrowing, since the Fed began unwinding in late October 2017, of the gap between the Fed ’s IOER rate and the “effective federal funds” (EFF) rate — meaning the actual rate banks have had to pay other banks, or GSEs with Fed accounts, for unsecured, overnig...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 3, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: George Selgin Source Type: blogs

An Education Proposal to Chew on this 4th of July
If government is going to establish public schools, which must be secular, the U.S. Constitution requires that it also provide school choice for religious Americans. Soargued Corey DeAngelis and I last week in aDetroit News op-ed, and it ’s something you might mull over this 4th of July as you watch over your grilling burgers or, hopefully, even more satisfying smoked brisket or bacon-wrapped hot dogs. (It ’s always a good time to raise your outdoor cooking game!) Government must not inculcate religious beliefs, but it also must not elevate non-belief over religion, hence the need for choice.If you want to seri...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 3, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

" Excessive " Fines Are Unconstitutional, Regardless of Their Target
Is an “excessive” fine constitutional if it’s levied against someone other than a human being? According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, yes it is.Mrs. Soon Pak manages Dami Hospitality, LLC, a company that runs hotels and motels in Colorado. Pak is a Korean immigrant with minimal proficiency in English. She relies on third-party professionals to assist her in maintaining compliance with the myriad of regulations that even native English speakers struggle to understand. Between 2006 and 2014, Dami ’s insurance agent failed to renew the company’s worker’s compensation ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 3, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro, Matthew Larosiere Source Type: blogs

FDA Commissioner Gottlieb ’s Sunday “Tweetorial” Is Both Encouraging and Frustrating
A fair reading of Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb ’s “Sunday Tweetorial” on the opioid overdose crisis leaves one simultaneously encouraged and frustrated. First the encouraging news. The Commissioner admits that the so-called epidemic of opioid overdoses has “evolved” from one “mostly involving [diverted] prescription drugs to one that’s increasingly fueled by illicit substances being purchased online or off the street.” Most encouraging was this passage:  Even as lawful prescribing of opioids is declining, we ’re seeing large in...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Jeffrey A. Singer Source Type: blogs

Short-Term Plans Would Increase Coverage, Protect Conscience Rights & Improve ObamaCare Risk Pools
Conclusion Giving consumers the choice of purchasing renewal guarantees, either in conjunction with a short-term plan or as a standalone product protecting enrollees from underwriting in that market, would produce significant benefits well in excess of any costs. It would increase the number of Americans with health insurance, allow Americans to purchase insurance that respects their religious beliefs, and improve ObamaCare ’s risk pools. (Source: Cato-at-liberty)
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

Weaponizing the First Amendment
Ina page-one piece in yesterday ’sNew York Times, Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak offered up a generally even-handed account, misleadingly headlined “How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment,” about how liberals and the left have increasingly abandoned the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. No less than Justice Elena Kagan invoked the weaponizing charge on the Court’s last day last week when she dissented vigorously fro m the Court’s decision that Illinois could no longer compel a public-sector non-union member to support union activity he opposed. “There is no...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Roger Pilon Source Type: blogs

Arms Sales: Pouring Gas on the Fires of Conflict
Do arms sales cause war? Or do wars cause arms sales? Critics of arms salesoften argue that selling weapons abroad fuels conflict. And indeed, one can point to one or more sides using American weapons in many recent conflicts including Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. Skeptics argue,on the other hand, that weapons don ’t start the fire and that conflicts would arise whether or arms exporters like the United States sell weapons abroad.The debate has important implications for foreign policy. If selling or transferring weapons abroad makes conflict more likely, or intensifies conflicts already in process, then the United States...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: A. Trevor Thrall Source Type: blogs

A Moderate Two-Point Plan for Reducing ICE ’s Power
ConclusionMembers of DHS have proposed spinning off HSI and ERO into different agencies because of their largely different responsibilities.   Those DHS bureaucrats believe that ERO’s bad reputation is hindering the ability of HSI to fulfill its more important mission.  The reform I propose above would accomplish the overall goal of protecting HSI’s important work, a DHS goal, while also offering up a bureaucratic sacrifice in the form of a disbanded ERO.  Combined with replacing all criminal immigration violations with civil infractions, these two reforms would largely accomplish the goals of th...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Technological Progress Freed Children from Hard Labor
It ’s summertime and across the United States, children are away from school. The custom of long breaks in the school year dates to when most Americans worked in agriculture and often needed their children’s help on the farm. Of course, most children simply didn’t attend school, instead helping with housework and grueling farm labor year-round. In 1820, for example, primary school enrollment in the United States was just over 40 percent. That percentage rapidly shot upward in the coming decades, reaching 100 percent by 1870. But even then, many children didn ’t make it past elementary scho...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Chelsea Follett Source Type: blogs

Pregnancy discrimination? Don ’t rely on government for additional protection
A couple of recentNew York Times articles discuss pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. In its most recent spread, theTimesoutlines a variety of stories of expectant mothers losing jobs or job responsibilities and  cites the growing number of pregnancy-related Equal Employment Opportunity complaints to imply rates of pregnancy discrimination may be increasing.[1]As a solution, the article ’s authors propose pregnant women would be better off with additional government protection, perhaps similar to the protection afforded to Americans with disabilities. TheTimesshould be careful what it wishes for.While arg...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - July 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Vanessa Brown Calder Source Type: blogs

The Trump-Putin Summit: Opportunities and Pitfalls
Domestic and international politics surrounding the Trump administration ’s planned summit with Moscow are largely overshadowing the tangible U.S. national interests at play. Trump’s frequently expressed esteem for President Putin, along with his apparent admiration for authoritarian strongmen from Kim Jong Un to Rodrigo Duterte, rubs much of Washington and many U.S. allies, particularly in Europe, the wrong way for two reasons. First, it suggests that Trump is abandoning America’s purported role as a global defender of democracy. Second, it suggests that Trump is unwilling to take a tough stance toward M...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - June 29, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: John Glaser, Ted Galen Carpenter Source Type: blogs

Defenses of Separating Children from Parents —And Why They’re Wrong
President Trumpordered the end of his child separation policy, and a courthas ordered the reunification of parents who were separated from their children. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)has said it will stop referring parents, but many conservatives felt that the family separation was a positive development in the fight against illegal immigration and even required by law, so here is a review of nine of their most common defenses of the policy.  1. “It’s the law, and that’s what the law states.” -White House Press SecretarySarah Huckabee SandersNo, it doesn ’t, and in many cases...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - June 28, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: David Bier Source Type: blogs

0.1% of Border Patrol Arrests Are MS-13
President Trumprecently said, “Our issue is strong borders, no crime; their issue is open borders, let MS-13 all over our country.” But according tostatistics from Border Patrol, the government made arrests of just 275 MS-13 gang members at the border so far in 2018 —that’s just 0.11 percent of the 252,187apprehensions in this year. That ’s hardly any different from prior years. Apprehensions of individuals in any gang made up just 0.2 percent of all Border Patrol arrests in 2018, meaning that 99.8 percent of all arrests were not gang members.The figure below shows the trends in these apprehen...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - June 28, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: David Bier Source Type: blogs