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Archive for December, 2014
Obesity Can Be a Disability, Says European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has just issued an opinion holding that obesity can be a disability requiring employers to “take appropriate measures . . . to enable a person with a disability to have access to, participate in, or advance in employment, or to undergo training, unless such measures would impose a disproportionate burden…
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If You Like Rights, Liberty, and Economic Opportunity, Celebrate Christmas

Those of us enjoying the multiple benefits of societies built upon respect for our human and economic rights ought especially to pause to give thanks for God’s incarnation as Christ, celebrated this week. There is thankfully now a rich literature from which we can learn how the many principles and laws we take for…
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High Taxes, Lack of Federal Bailout Make Vermont Cancel Single-Payer Plan

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has cancelled his longstanding plan to impose government-monopoly health care in the Canadian border state: Tax hikes required to pay for the system would include a 11.5 percent payroll tax as well as an additional income tax ranging all the way up to 9.5 percent. Shumlin admitted that in the…
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Oil and Dictators

Will the collapse of oil prices benefit or erode petrodictators in the Middle East, Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America? At first glance, the answer would seem obvious. Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iran need crude prices as high as $110 per barrel to fund their states in their present condition. Russia, half of whose government budget…
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CROmnibus and Cronyism for Blue Health Plans?

Despite the end of Obamacare’s “bailout” for health insurers, some of our friends who seek to repeal and replace Obamacare insist on finding a crony capitalist under every bed and in every closet. Yuval Levin, at National Review Online, appears to have been the first to identify an adjustment to an insurance regulation, buried in the…
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Katniss Everdeen and the Paradox of Revolution

“Historically, the common form of revolution has been a not-too-efficient despotism which is overthrown by another not-too-efficient despotism with little or no effect on the public good. Indeed, except for the change in the names of the ruling circles, it would be hard to distinguish one from the other.” —Gordon Tullock For the past…
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Normalizing Relations with Cuba: Good Policy

President Obama announced that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is a good move for both countries. The economic impact of the policy will be limited, however, because the economic embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba can be removed only by Congress. This presents the obvious political…
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Student Debt and Default Explode While U.S. Department of Education Fiddles

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) examined what steps it had taken from fiscal years 2011 through 2014 to improve student debt and loan repayment rates. In a nutshell, a big fat nothing—and taxpayers will be stuck paying off tens of  billions in bad loans as…
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Economics 101: Uber’s Prices Don’t “Exploit” People

The past few weeks have been full of travel—between Denver, Atlanta, Louisville, and Washington, D.C., I’ve had more than my fair share of layovers and flight delays. (I was also forced to contemplate what terrible thing I might have done to deserve sitting next to the woman who let out a scream every time…
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The Program No One Dares to Question: Social Security

I recently exchanged letters with Joe Davidson, columnist for the Washington Post, about the Social Security program, in which I raised a central problem with this program, a defect consistently ignored by all its supporters. (Incidentally, the $1,000 reward I promised Mr. Davidson—which he did not attempt to claim—remains open to any staff member…
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