It seems the news these days is nothing but bad. Through the media, we are told crime and violence rates are rising, rich cronies are getting richer and low-income earners are getting poorer, and war or rumors of war between countries across the globe run rampant.
What do Michelangelo, LeBron James, Steve Jobs, and Bernie Sanders have in common? In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Yaron Brook, the president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute to find out!
Political campaign years are filled with candidates’ promises to solve people’s problems. Government policies will “create jobs,” will reduce or even block the “unfair” competition of market rivals in foreign lands, will restore or create prosperity for all, and will assure “fairness” for everyone, even if it means imposing regulatory or special tax burdens on some to guarantee politically provided privileges and benefits for others who are deemed “deserving.”
Mississippi took a step in the right direction when, at the beginning of the month, the Mississippi Department of Human Services announced it would implement work requirements for single people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. Although this is a positive development, there is still much that could be done to better help the State of Mississippi move people in poverty from government dependency to self-sufficiency.
If you want to know why millions of Republicans voters hate their party politics in Washington, D.C., consider what massive GOP majorities in both the House and the Senate did in December of 2015. Not only did GOP majorities pass the catastrophic Omnibus bill, but they also extended and give new life to the failed “No Child Left Behind” bill signed by President George W. Bush in 2002.
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.
Roadsnacks.net recently identified its candidates for “The Ten Worst Places to Live in Illinois,” and although the article is basically infotainment—the written word’s equivalent of reality TV—and plenty of people disagree with the rankings, it does highlight an undeniable fact: The Illinois towns cited in the article suffer from high unemployment, low incomes, and high poverty rates, which in turn are associated with higher rates of robberies, theft, and even murder.
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.
According to the new United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, the population of the world is projected to rise from 7.3 billion in 2015 to 11.2 billion in 2100. This represents a 53 percent increase. However, over the period, population growth will moderate substantially. This is indicated by the annual growth rate the first year (2015 to 2016), at 1.1 percent, compared to the last year (2099 to 2100) at 0.1 percent. Annual population growth is projected to decline 90 percent from the beginning of the period to the end (Figure 1).
For decades, California’s housing costs have been racing ahead of incomes, as counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings. This has been documented by both Dartmouth economistWilliam A Fischel and the stateLegislative Analyst’s Office.
One of the challenges the seemingly never-ending list of Republican presidential candidates must face in what is sure to be an all-out political brawl in 2016 is finding a unique way to explain that America does not have a tax revenue problem; it has a massive spending addiction.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has made the United States the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil. The country is producing record amounts of natural gas and crude oil production has increased by 80 percent since 2008. This increasing production has helped the United States drill its way to lower energy prices, which has resulted in large savings for every American, especially those who need it most.
In today’s edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Environment and Climate News H. Sterling Burnett talks with Randy Simmons. Simmons is a professor of economics at Utah State University. Simmons and Burnett discuss two studies he and his colleagues have done examining the economic impact Renewable Energy Mandates have had on the economies and people living in Kansas and North Carolina.
Important attention has been drawn to the shameful condition of middle income housing affordability in California. The state that had earlier earned its own “California Dream” label now limits the dream of homeownership principally to people either fortunate enough to have purchased their homes years ago and to the more affluent. Many middle income residents may have to face the choice of renting permanently or moving away.
We live in an era in which few can even conceive of a world without the welfare state. Who would care for the old? How would people provide for their medical needs? What would happen to the disadvantaged and needy that fell upon hard times? In fact, there were free market solutions and non-government answers to these questions long before the modern Big Government Welfare State.
University of Michigan student Jesse Klein made headlines across the Internet on February 19 when her article insisting her parents are “middle class” despite having a combined annual income of $250,000 was covered by several major media outlets. Virtual sparks flew throughout the blogosphere, Twittersphere, and everywhere in between as debaters on both sides of the issue lined up to defend or denounce her allegedly controversial claim.
One of the great myths about the capitalist system is the presumption that businessmen make profits at the expense of the consumers and workers in society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
City and state officials across the nation often use tax increases on tobacco, alcohol, plastic bags, sugary drinks, and other “sin products” to help fill their budget gaps or fund pet projects. By taxing products that some governments claim have a negative effect on society, officials are able to raid taxpayers’ wallets without having to face the same level of scrutiny that normally goes hand-in-hand with proposals to raise taxes.