This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.
“Mission creep” as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “the gradual broadening of the original objectives of a mission or organization.” Mission creep as practiced by the Federal Communications Commission is wholesale bootstrapping to create any authority to reach to a goal of ever more regulation of innovation.
Bill Gates of Microsoft is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, so when he speaks it is not surprising that the world tends to listen. In a recent interview, Gates has said that capitalism is inherently unable to solve the problem of global warming, and instead there have to be world-encompassing government-business “partnerships” to save Planet Earth.
California lawmakers are proposing to increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 per pack in order to fund increased entitlement spending. Instead of placing faith in the morality of their cause, lawmakers would do better to place their trust in economic and public health realities.
The small and dwindling contingent in favor of the terrible, patent-smashing bills being considered in Congress suffer from an obsessive fetish — “patent trolls.” It’s at once a mantra — and a Pavlovian fervor-inducer. Just say “patent troll” in front of any member of this tiny cohort — and watch them freak out.
Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democrat presidential nominee. (Sorry, Bernie Sanders fans. You too, Martin O’Malley fans – both of you.) Unless – and likely even if – she is indicted for her latest foray into self-defined ethics. She has in her past more than a quarter century of…questionable statements, decisions and actions – so it would appear nothing else in this vein will matter to the Democrat rank and file.
A new kind of business model connecting customers and providers is cutting out inefficient middlemen and reducing costs. Unfortunately, some governments are trying to undercut these new services at the request of the old-economy companies that are displacing them with their greater efficiency.
In this episode of the Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway and Towson University economics lecturer Howard Baetjer talk about how free-market forces are more efficient than government regulatory boards and commissions at “regulating” the quality of consumer goods and services.
Beginning in 1983 the government changed its method of calculation to show lower inflation by excluding food and energy, claiming they were too volatile to be reliable indicators. The result is the so-called “core inflation” CPI, which is a favorite of the Federal Reserve. The latest figure for this CPI reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 0.4% (for August and also July), but if calculated by the method used in 1980 the inflation rate would be 7½ percent, as shown by Shadow Government Statistics (ShadowStats.com).
There is no way to describe current Federal Reserve policy other than as monetary confusion and misdirection. In a nutshell, Janet Yellen and the other members of the Fed’s Board of Governors have no idea what to do. Do they raise certain interest rates over which they have some direct influence? Do they keep them at their current rock bottom levels, as they have for the last six years?
Since the economic downturn of 2008, the critics of capitalism have redoubled their efforts to persuade the American people and many others around the world that the system of individual freedom and free enterprise has failed.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News speaks with E. Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance. Beisner joins Burnett to discuss the nexus between ethics and environment issues and where he believes Pope Francis has gone wrong.
Last year (2014), China overtook the United States in gross domestic product adjusted for purchasing power (GDP-PPP, see point 4 for explanation), according to both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (Note 1). It may come as a surprise, but this is really a matter of China simply reasserting its position as the world’s largest economy, which it had lost around 1890 to the United States. This is based on estimates developed by the late legendary economist Angus Maddison of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
When is the price of some marketable good or service at or near zero? When either the supply of it is so plentiful that virtually any demand, no matter how great, can be satisfied. Or when no matter how large or small the supply of it may be, people’s demand for it is so low that nobody is willing to practically pay anything for it.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News speaks with Norman Rogers. Rogers is a Heartland policy advisor and high tech businessman. Rogers joins Burnett to discuss climate change and the dangers of EMPs, or electro magnetic pulses.
Labor unions are fighting hard to maintain the power to force people to join unions as a condition of work. In June, Gov. Jay Nixon, Missouri Democrat, vetoed a bill banning forced union membership and forced union dues payments in the workplace, and the legislature just upheld his veto.
The Middle East is imploding. Islamic State butchers are annihilating Christian and other communities. Putin is sending arms to Assad. Under the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the mullahs will get $100+ billion to expand their proxy terror war on Israel and the West. Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air-conditioned tents but won’t take any of the millions who’ve been driven from their homes. Neither will most of the other 22 Arab League nations or 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries.
Quite a few GOP 2016 presidential candidates have responded “I am not a scientist” which may come back to haunt them in the future. This GOP response is unsatisfactory because political candidates should be aware of important issues. In particular about climate change; where the Democrat Party’s response is overturning our entire energy supply system by abandoning our abundant, inexpensive, and geographically distributed fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas. The U. S. is the most blessed nation on the planet with abundant fossil fuels.
A recently released study claiming to have found a statistical association between hydraulic fracturing and hospitalization rates in Pennsylvania has been popular in the news. However, just about every aspect of this study is problematic, rendering it to the realm of speculation, not science.
It’s common for people to misunderstand or misconstrue the difference between acknowledging the failure of the ethanol mandate to deliver on its promises of materially increasing energy independence or lowering prices for consumers, and being “anti-ethanol.” It’s entirely possible to see advantages of using ethanol without believing it should be mandated, just as it is possible to see the advantages of having a health insurance policy without supporting Obamacare. All mandates have unintended consequences.