It’s planting season, and farmers are taking to the fields to put food on our tables. Even though Ted Cruz has withdrawn from the presidential race, his victory in the Iowa Caucuses caused political pundits of all stripes to speculate about the future of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the corn ethanol mandate, largely because someone, Cruz, had finally campaigned against the ethanol mandate and managed to win in Iowa. While some wonks in Washington, DC may talk about a political end for the ethanol mandate, for the nation’s farmers, the biofuel bubble has already burst.
In today’s Health Care News Podcast, Brian Blase, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, joined Health Care News Managing Editor Michael Hamilton to discuss the disparity between promises many Americans were told the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would fulfill, and the stunning reality three years into the ACA’s implementation and six years after President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law.
During March 22 hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, under questioning by West Virginia Rep. David McKinley (R), EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted (once again) the Obama administration’s climate efforts will do nothing to protect public or environmental health. McCarthy instead acknowledged the efforts are merely a symbolic attempt to get other countries’ leaders to join the Paris climate agreement.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, New Hampshire State Rep. Allen Cook joins Michael Hamilton, Managing Editor of Health Care News to talk about why medicaid expansion is a bad idea. Cook explains why he doesn’t support Medicaid expansion, stating that the price of this expansion is likely to far exceed the projected costs.
Environmental issues were discussed in detail at a recent Democratic debate, held in in Flint Michigan on March 6. Sadly, when asked whether the candidates support hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” a technique that has greatly increased oil and natural gas production in the United States, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) showed they are both fracking clueless.
Researchers have found that some buyers are willing to pay for environmentally friendly products because those products are “status symbols.” A report in the Atlantic states: “Environmentally-friendly behaviors typically go unseen; there’s no public glory in shortened showers or diligent recycling. But when people can use their behavior to broadcast their own goodness, their incentives shift. The people who buy Priuses and solar panels still probably care about the environment—it’s just that researchers have found that a portion of their motivation might come from a place of self-promotion, much like community service does good and fits on a résumé.”
A Leftist governmental principle is the Butterfly Effect: “A property of chaotic systems…by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.”
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Todd Myers, director of the environment program at the Washington Policy Center in Washington State, joins host H. Sterling Burnett to talk about his new paper showing the failure of “green schools” to be energy-efficient.
In this episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Salisbury University associate professor of economics Dustin Chambers about a new paper published by the Mercatus Center, examining how federal regulations affect the prices of consumer goods, and consumers themselves.
Many energy-producing states are currently struggling in the wake of falling oil and natural gas prices. Thousands of people are losing their livelihoods in the energy sector, and lower severance tax payments are projected to produce numerous state budget shortfalls, which could end up reducing state spending on social programs.
Fracking has dramatically lowered the cost of gasoline and natural gas, giving single people more resources to find a potential partner and relieving financial tension for people in established relationships. Who knows how many eHarmony accounts have been funded with cash left over from cheap fill-ups and how many divorce lawyers were never hired when suddenly making ends meet became less of a struggle.
Independent Communications Consultant Jessica Sena and research fellow Isaac Orr give the The Heartland Daily Podcast listeners the information they need to debunk advocates of this policy, which is impossible to accomplish from a practical standpoint, and incredibly expensive. “Keeping it in the Ground” will lead to higher prices for low income families in the developed world, and premature death in developing nations.
There is one thing that supporters and detractors of Bernie Sanders might agree on: he seems to be honest about his convictions. He is an avowed socialist, instead of pretending to believe in a role for private insurance. Unlike Barack Obama, his answer to the question “Do you get to keep your insurance plan?” is plainly No. There won’t be any more insurance plans. Everyone will be on Medicare.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the progress of technology that improves the human condition, about how regulators both at home and abroad are using the power of the state to combat zero-rating, a kind of sponsored-data plan where access to popular web applications like Facebook or streaming video services is made available to consumer at no cost.
Environmentalists like a good crisis. Spreading fear is a proven fundraising technique—with manmade climate change as the fear du jour. But, back in 2005, the “looming crisis,” according to the Kansas Sierra Club, was the end of cheap oil. The post concludes: “The end of cheap oil, followed by the end of cheap natural gas, threatens to cripple strong economies and devastate weak ones.” The author posits: “The world burns oil faster than new oil is discovered.”
Like it or not, lawmakers’ decisions have a large effect on our everyday lives. From increasing the cost of a car people need to take their children to soccer practice or go to work, to restricting job opportunities using occupational licensing rules (which reduce the supply of providers and raises prices), lawmakers’ actions have a serious and quantifiable effect on how much Americans pay for the things they need and want.
A growing number of people have begun to appreciate the damage done to small business and innovators by so called “patent trolls.” Some of the arguments about those who take advantage of the patent system have been conjecture, some no more than name calling, but much has been well grounded with empirical studies. A recent literature review of all the studies has brought into a clear bright light the damage of the marauding trolls.
There is a growing body of research on the consequences of excessive land use regulation. The connection between excessive land use regulation and losses in housing affordability, has been linked to the doubling or tripling of house prices relative to incomes in places as diverse as Hong Kong, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
A fundamental function of domestic policy is to facilitate better standards of living and minimize poverty. Yet favored urban planning policies, called “urban containment” or “smart growth,” have been shown to drive the price of housing up, significantly reducing discretionary incomes, which necessarily reduces the standard of living and increases poverty.
Chicago faces a significant and growing public pension problem. Instead of tackling the problem head-on by holding down cost increases, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes several new or expanded taxes, which he says will slow down the debt growth from the revenue end. Emanuel’s half-billion-dollar property tax hike is getting most of the headlines, but he has also been pushing for taxes on e-cigarettes, ridesharing, and cloud computing.