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March 20th, 2018 at 10:40 am
ALERT: Contact Congress, Demand the Same Protection for Everyday Employers That They Seek for Professional Baseball
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

According to The Washington Post, Congress is considering legislation carving out a special exception from federal labor laws for professional baseball:

A massive government spending bill that Congress is expected to consider this week could include a provision exempting Minor League Baseball players from federal labor laws, according to three congressional officials familiar with the talks.  The exemption would represent the culmination of more than two years of lobbying by Major League Baseball, which has sought to preempt a spate of lawsuits that have been filed by minor leaguers alleging they have been illegally underpaid.

The league has long claimed exemptions for seasonal employees and apprenticeships, allowing its clubs to pay players as little as $1,100 a month, well under the pay that would be dictated under federal minimum wage and overtime standards.  But with those exemptions under legal challenge, Major League Baseball has paid lobbyists hundreds of thousands of dollars to write a specific exemption into the law.”

We at CFIF maintain no opposition to that contemplated provision.  If Congress seeks to carve out exceptions from federal labor laws for professional baseball, however, they have no excuse for failing to finally pass the Save Local Business Act, which CFIF has long advocated, and reverse one of the most egregious abuses of the Obama Administration’s Labor Department:  the Joint Employer Rule.

That activist Obama Labor Department ruling reversed decades of established labor law by holding businesses liable and responsible for employees of franchisees whom they didn’t hire and over whom they exercise no control, as we explained last year:

Under longstanding court precedent and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) interpretation, an ‘employer’ for purposes of applying the nation’s labor laws was generally defined to include only those businesses that determined the essential terms and conditions of employment.

As a textbook illustration, imagine a franchise arrangement whereby the franchisee determines whom to hire, whom to fire, wages and other everyday working conditions.  The distant franchisor, in contrast, obviously doesn’t fly every potential franchisee employee in for an interview at corporate headquarters or micromanage its franchisees’ working conditions.

On that logic, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in NLRB v. Browning-Ferris Industries (1982) that the appropriate standard for defining an employer with regard to a particular set of employees was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Boire v. Greyhound Corp. (1964).  It held that only businesses exercising control over ‘those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment’ were subject to collective bargaining requirements and liabilities.

Two years later, the NLRB formally adopted that standard, ruling in separate cases that ‘there must be a showing that the employer meaningfully affects matters relating to the employment such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision and direction.’  In other words, an ‘employer’ for purposes of labor law mandates required direct and immediate control over the terms and conditions of employment.

That stands to reason, since it makes no sense to impose legal liability upon employers that don’t actually control a bargaining unit’s employment conditions.

In August 2015, however, Obama’s NLRB suddenly and needlessly upended that established legal standard by redefining what’s known as the ‘Joint Employer Doctrine.’  Essentially, the Joint Employer Doctrine now allows multiple businesses to be held legally liable for the same set of employees.

Thus, in the infinite wisdom of the Obama NLRB, even employers with indirect or even merely potential ability to affect employment terms could suddenly find themselves subject to federal labor laws.”

That’s why the Save Local Business Act is of such immediate importance.  That legislation would overturn the Obama NLRB’s recent Joint Employer Rule redefinition, and restore longstanding legal precedent by subjecting only actual employers exercising control over the terms and conditions of employment to federal collective bargaining liabilities.

Today, nearly 800,000 franchise enterprises exist in the U.S., accounting for approximately 8.5 million jobs.  And according to an American Action Forum study, the Obama NLRB decision could reduce private sector employment by 1.7 million jobs, including 500,000 in the leisure and hospitality industry alone.

So if Congress can find the time to address professional baseball labor matters, they can certainly do the right thing by prioritizing language implementing the Save Local Business Act.  We urge all CFIF supporters and activists across America to contact their Senators and Representatives to demand it.

Call your Senators and Representative now at 202-224-3121.

Tell them that the joint employer issue impacts millions of workers in every community in the country.  Therefore, Congressional leaders must prioritize the Save Local Business Act in the upcoming spending bill.

March 16th, 2018 at 12:32 pm
Congress Must Prevent Crony Capitalism and Spending Waste in FCC Reauthorization
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As Congress considers reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it must exercise extreme diligence to prevent it from becoming a vehicle for crony capitalism and waste of taxpayer dollars.

Currently, Congressional FCC reauthorization includes provisions that would reimburse broadcasters in spectrum incentive auctions, which could in turn be exploited to subsidize the upcoming ATSC 3.0 transition, as many had predicted.  By way of background, ATSC 3.0 refers to the upcoming transition to yet another new broadcasting standard, which will force over-the-air viewers to purchase new television sets or converter equipment at their own expense.  If that rings a bell, it’s for good reason.  That’s what occurred in recent years with the last conversion.

Here’s the problem.  Current provisions could constitute a blank check at taxpayer expense to broadcasters so that they could fund new equipment for the transition from the U.S. Treasury, as the legislation creates a new Treasury Fund in an undisclosed amount of money.  Although broadcasters ostensibly must direct the money they receive only toward costs associated with the spectrum auction, the likely scenario remains that the FCC will remain unable to detect and stop waste, fraud and abuse if the funds are used instead to upgrade their equipment in pursuit of ATSC 3.0.

Accordingly, it’s important that Congress not allow this legislation to become a wasteful open account for broadcasters to exploit for their own benefit at taxpayer expense.  At a minimum, they must establish greater safeguards to ensure that waste, fraud and abuse are not allowed, and that American consumers are not deprived of access to over-the-air TV access as a consequence of necessary installation of ATSC 3.0 transition equipment funded by taxpayers, whether in whole or in part.

To be clear, we welcome any and all technological and telecommunications advancement in this field, but we must also remain vigilant against the looming likelihood of crony capitalism and waste of taxpayer dollars in an era of growing deficits and debt.  Congress must therefore ensure that protections against those possibilities are incorporated into upcoming FCC reauthorization.

March 12th, 2018 at 10:26 am
Image of the Day: Unemployment Down, Manufacturing Jobs Accelerate Since 2016
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

From the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM):

[T]he latest jobs numbers confirm that the labor market has tightened significantly, with manufacturers increasing employment by a rather robust 18,876 per month on average since the end of 2016.  That is quite a turnaround from the sluggish job growth in 2016, and it is a sign that firms have continued to accelerate their hiring as the economic outlook has strengthened and demand and production have improved considerably.  Indeed, manufacturers have told us that challenges in recruiting new workers is their primary business concern right now.”


Manufacturing Jobs Up, Unemployment Down

Manufacturing Jobs Up, Unemployment Down


February 27th, 2018 at 2:43 pm
In Fixing the Federal Government, Don’t Forget the U.S. Postal Service
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Earlier this month, the United States Postal Service (USPS) released its latest financial report for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, and its latest loss amounted to $540 million.  Considering the USPS’s pronounced downward fiscal trends over many years, this issue maintains paramount importance in the effort to reform government and restore fiscal sustainability.

By way of background, the USPS continues to operate under the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA).  Since that time and despite the PAEA’s mandates, however, the Postal Service’s leadership has not emphasized fiscal accountability by any measure whatsoever.  Since the start of 2007, losses accumulated by the USPS now amount to $65.6 billion.

With such immense losses detailed by the USPS, it’s indefensible that federal regulators and lawmakers haven’t meaningfully demanded that it control its costs.  Without any clear direction to reign its spending, the Postal Service’s expenses from all operations have grown precipitously from $66.3 billion in total costs in 2014 to $70.5 billion spent in 2017.

Fortunately, the arrival of the Trump Administration last year prompted a campaign of close review and positive restructuring of many facets of the federal government.  In that continuing effort, the USPS, with such severe fiscal problems, offers an ideal entity to address in 2018.

Indeed, during the holiday season President Trump touched on one key postal management issue that deserves particular focus this year – the USPS’s arrangement to undercharge Amazon for completing a large segment of its deliveries.  While the Amazon deal certainly translates to higher package volumes, USPS has a responsibility to the taxpaying public to ensure that it’s making enough to cover its rising costs.

As the costs of providing traditional letter mail service remain relatively flat, the USPS’s rising outlays have been driven through the pursuit of a variety of experimental products areas.  That includes attempts to enter specialized markets like weekend package deliveries, same-day deliveries, and also handling groceries.   Therefore, returning the USPS to a stable fiscal state depends heavily on simplifying what the organization is doing and maintaining an emphasis on core competencies.  Additionally, lawmakers and regulators can only help make these determinations if the USPS is forthright about the financial health of each individual line of service.

Accordingly, CFIF urges for a sensible approach where leaders in Congress and the Administration call for much greater transparency from the USPS.  The agency’s past attempts to grow its footprint and duplicate services already available to consumers has not been a recipe for success.  Identifying where the USPS remains profitable and where it loses money must ultimately become a more simple and straightforward process, and the time for reform is now.

February 26th, 2018 at 9:14 am
Image of the Day: U.S. Falls to 12th in Worldwide Patent Protection
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As we’ve constantly stressed, America’s history of leading the world in protecting intellectual property (IP) explains our status as the most inventive, creative and prosperous nation in human history perhaps more than any other factor.  That includes patent protection, where the U.S. has traditionally led the world.  Unfortunately, over the past eight years the U.S. has surrendered that status and plummeted to 12th in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual ranking of patent protections.


U.S. Falls to 12th

U.S. Falls to 12th


Obviously, many of the nations that now surpass us compete with us for jobs, investment and companies looking to innovate.  It’s therefore critical that we pass the STRONGER Patents Act currently before Congress, which CFIF enthusiastically supports, to restore our status as the world’s leader in patent protection lest we continue to lose ground.

February 16th, 2018 at 12:21 pm
Image of the Day: SpaceX Also Means Lower Cost to U.S. Taxpayers
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Earlier this week, we continued our efforts to highlight how Elon Musk and SpaceX have propelled American space exploration from the private sector.  In that vein, UnbiasedAmerica illustrates vividly how this month’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch also means significant savings for U.S. taxpayers over equivalent predecessors:


SpaceX Success

SpaceX Success

February 12th, 2018 at 3:34 pm
SpaceX: Private Sector Propels Space Exploration
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Quick:  Name some areas in which government outperforms its private sector counterpart.

Give up?  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  It’s difficult, even impossible to recall any.

That includes space technology.

Last week, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the most powerful rocket in the world, the Falcon Heavy, as reported by The Wall Street Journal:

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. successfully launched the Falcon Heavy rocket Tuesday on its initial test flight, marking another coup for founder Elon Musk…   With throngs of spectators on hand, the closely held Southern California company defied industry critics by flying the world’s most powerful rocket since U.S. astronauts landed on the moon almost five decades ago.  The 230-foot rocket, which featured 27 engines with the combined thrust of some 18 Boeing Co. 747 jumbo jets, climbed into clear skies at 3:45 p.m. local time.  It carried a Tesla roadster as a dummy payload and publicity stunt.”

Importantly, the article notes that cost-efficiency stands among the Falcon Heavy’s paramount accomplishments:

Large, reusable rockets such as the Falcon Heavy are ideal for deep-space transport from a cost perspective, according to Howard McCurdy, a space historian who teaches at American University.  ‘That’s where the heavy-lift design truly shines,’ he said before the launch.  Given President Donald Trump’s official policy of combining federal and private assets to explore the Moon, Mr. McCurdy called the SpaceX rocket ‘a very important step in that direction…  SpaceX has revolutionized the launch business by vertically integrating operations, slashing prices and reusing the main engines and lower stage of its existing workhorse rockets, the Falcon 9 fleet.”

Additionally, SpaceX’s success marks further progress in remedying a problem that we at CFIF have highlighted for some time:  the dangerous and embarrassing U.S. reliance upon Russian rocketry to continue our space program.

So congratulations to Mr. Musk and SpaceX.  Going forward, it offers cause for optimism and yet another example of private sector success and superior efficiency.

February 5th, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Music Industry Fairness – 2018 Offers a Perfect Opportunity for Reform
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We at CFIF have long advocated greater fairness for musical performers in securing fairness for their performance rights.

Under byzantine laws, artists receive just compensation whenever their post-1972 recordings are played, but in many cases not for their pre-1972 recordings.  That’s an indefensible and arbitrary artifact that has persisted far too long.  Why should Neil Diamond receive payment whenever “America” is played, but not classics like “Solitary Man?”

Fortunately, the opportunity to correct that unfairness has arrived.  Even better, legislation to correct the existing flawed system arrives alongside other music legislation that galvanizes the coalition to finally correct the situation.  As a result, a broad coalition of music organizations representing everyone from songwriters, composers, performers, publishers and labels support three new pieces of legislation, as summarized cogently by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA):

The Music Modernization Act would be the most significant update to music copyright law in over a generation, and represents unprecedented compromise across all aspects of the music industry.  The bill reforms Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that administers the mechanical reproduction rights for all digital uses of musical compositions – like those used in interactive streaming models offered by Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google and others.  It also repeals Section 114(i) and, consistent with most federal litigation, utilizes random assignment of judges to decide ASCAP and BMI rate-setting cases – two provisions that will enable fairer outcomes for songwriters and composers.

The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) would benefit artists and music creators who recorded music before 1972 by establishing royalty payments whenever their music is played on digital radio.  SoundExchange would distribute royalties for pre-1972 recordings played by Internet, cable and satellite radio services just as it does for post-1972 recordings.  Currently, only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services under federal law.

The AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act) for the first time adds producers and engineers, who play an indispensable role in the creation of sound recordings, to U.S. copyright law.  The bill codifies into law the producer’s right to collect digital royalties and provides a consistent, permanent process for studio professionals to receive royalties for their contributions to the creation of music.”

Unfairness has persisted too long in America’s system of compensating musicians for performance of their songs.  The emerging coalition coalescing around these key pieces of legislation, which CFIF strongly urges all members of the House and Senate to support, and the White House to sign, allow a unified effort to finally bring reform in 2018.

February 1st, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Image of the Day: Good News on Middle-Class Shrinkage
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We often hear lamentations regarding the shrinking U.S. middle class, and toxic prescriptions from people like Senator Bernie Sanders on how to “save” it.  Courtesy of American Enterprise Institute, using U.S. Census data, that shrinkage has actually been a largely positive thing:

Middle Class Moves Up

Middle Class Moves Up

It’s another testament to how America remains the Land of Opportunity, and that Ronald Reagan’s famed optimism remains applicable today.

January 23rd, 2018 at 11:42 am
Myth Versus Fact: Paying “Fair Share” of Taxes
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Are wealthier Americans paying their “fair share” of taxes?

No.  Assuming that one measures “fair share” as a rough equivalency between income earned and income taxes paid, wealthy Americans pay far more than their fair share, as helpfully illustrated by the Tax Foundation:


Fair Share?

"Fair Share?"


January 17th, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Image of the Day: Myth Versus Fact Regarding Corporate Profits
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

An instructive myth-versus-fact visual when it comes to public assumptions regarding corporate profits, courtesy of AEI:


Myth Versus Fact:  Corporate Profits

Myth Versus Fact: Corporate Profits


January 12th, 2018 at 8:16 am
Image of the Day: Obama Apologists Seek Credit for Roaring Trump Economy
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Since World War II, the U.S. economy has averaged 3.3% growth per year.  Under Barack Obama, we never even hit 3%, instead averaging below 2%.  His apologists rationalized that “secular stagnation” had made 3% an unattainable goal, but both quarters under President Trump have already averaged over 3%.  So like clockwork, leftists attempt to credit Obama for something they claimed was no longer possible:



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January 9th, 2018 at 11:05 am
NY Times Continues Its Surrender March to Trump Economic Bump
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In last week’s Liberty Update, we highlighted how when even The New York Times acknowledges how Trump Administration policies have turbocharged the sluggish economy he inherited, the debate  over whether the economy benefits from more federal regulation or less federal regulation is won.  This is the same Times that features far-left economist Paul Krugman, who predicted upon Trump’s election that markets would crash and “never” recover.

Well, we’re happy to highlight how the slow surrender march at the Times continues under the headline “Companies Are Handing Out Bonuses Thanks to the Tax Law.  Is It a Publicity Stunt?” Their snarky addendum is understandable coming from them, but their introduction acknowledges reality:


The big corporate tax break that became law last month is great news for companies and their investors.  But what about employees?  How much of the corporate windfall will go to workers via higher wages?

Since President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut into law on Dec. 22, nearly 20 large companies have announced some form of bonus or wage hike for their employees.”


It proceeds to list some of those companies, including AT&T, Comcast, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and others.

In last week’s Liberty Update feature we noted how their January 1 story admitted that  the good economic news it detailed occurred before the tax reform legislation had even passed.  Now that it has, we’re glad to see that the Times at least continues its sudden trend of acknowledging reality.

January 4th, 2018 at 9:42 am
Image of the Day: Gallup Illustrates Trump Economic Bump
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our weekly Liberty Update, we highlight how in just one year, the deregulatory Trump economic bump is now so inescapable that even The New York Times acknowledged it in its January 1, 2018 edition.  Given that consumer spending accounts for approximately two-thirds of the U.S. economy, Gallup’s annual average U.S. economic confidence index is similarly illustrative.  For 2016, despite years of supposed prosperity under Barack Obama, the index stagnated at -10.  In just one year since Trump’s deregulatory and lower-tax administration began?  Already +6 for the year, the first time in over a decade:


Instant Trump Bump

Instant Trump Bump


December 5th, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Image of the Day: Leftist Net Neutrality Illogic
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

This actually captures the illogic among those who advocate tighter federal government control over the internet fairly well:


Net Neut Illogic

Net Neut Illogic


November 16th, 2017 at 11:21 am
FCC Should Preempt Individual State Attempts to Regulate the Internet
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration and the arrival of the Trump Administration, perhaps none surpass those brought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under new Chairman Ajit Pai.

And the most welcome and beneficial change undertaken by the new FCC is its action to rescind Obama FCC decisions to begin regulating the internet as a “public utility” under statutes passed in the 1930s for old-fashioned, copper-wire telephone service.  The Obama FCC’s action instantly began to stifle new broadband investment, and was subject to legal reversal.  The internet thrived for two decades under both the Clinton and Bush administrations precisely due to the federal government’s “light touch” regulatory policy, and there was simply no rational justification for reversing twenty years of success in the name of even more federal government regulation and crony capitalism.

As the new FCC approaches completion on restoring regulatory sanity to internet service, it’s important that it include a preemption against future state efforts to regulate the internet in the same way that the Obama FCC hoped to make permanent.  We at CFIF take a backseat to no one in terms of valuing America’s federalist system, and the ability of individual states to serve as “laboratories of democracy.”  But there’s an important limit, one that is specifically included in the text of the Constitution.  Namely, matters of interstate commerce.  Our Founding Fathers recognized, based upon  economic warfare that they’d witnessed under the Articles of Confederation, that individual states cannot act in ways that disrupt truly interstate commerce in ways that contravene federal policy.  Accordingly, the Constitution specifically and rightfully empowers the federal government to protect interstate commerce against destructive state interference.

And there are few, if any, sectors of our economy more “interstate” than the internet.  Indeed, the internet is interstate by its very nature.  Doug Brake of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation summarized the logic well in a commentary this month:

National and regional networks should be subject to uniform rules to keep compliance costs low and reduce complexity.  To the extent the upcoming changes to net neutrality regulation see any changes in business practices, which would be more minor than many expect, a uniform policy that allows for broad scale would be an important benefit…   Network applications now depend on economies of scale independent of the individual state in which they are consumed.  Technological advances are simply erasing the importance of state and local boundaries.  It is in the national interest to give these technologies room to grow unimpeded by artificial borders.

As such, beyond simply declaring broadband an information service, the FCC should make clear that broadband policy is made at the national, not state, level.  Former Chairman Kennard put it well in a 1999 speech titled ‘The Unregulation of the Internet:  Laying a Competitive Course for the Future.’   There he laid out why it was ‘in the national interest that we have a national broadband policy … a de-regulatory approach, an approach that will let this nascent industry flourish.’”

That’s exactly right, and it’s no less true today than it was in 1999.  The internet needed room to grow then, and it needs room and regulatory predictability to continue growing as it plays a progressively important role in  our lives and globally competitive economy.

We cannot allow a spaghetti bowl of individual state regulations to inhibit future internet expansion and innovation, and the FCC should act to preempt that destructive possibility.

October 31st, 2017 at 6:15 pm
Concerns Over Air Traffic “Privatization” Continue to Accumulate
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Alongside numerous other conservative and libertarian organizations, CFIF has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding an effort underway in Congress to “privatize” our nation’s air traffic control system (H.R. 2997, the “21st Century AIRR Act”), which doesn’t appear to constitute true privatization at all.  In fact, it may actually make the situation worse.

Among other concerns, the proposed legislation would:

-  Increase the power air traffic controllers’ unions by not only maintaining current centralized monopoly power over air traffic control, but actually expanding their authority over such matters as personnel changes, salary caps and mandatory retirement age (currently 56, compared to 65 for pilots), thus explaining unions’ support for the bill;

-  Increase the federal budget deficit by $20 billion between now and 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO);

-  Upend U.S. Department of Defense practices.  According to the Defense Department, “The establishment of a new entity separate from the FA raises serious concerns regarding the disposition of certain unique National Defense procedures, programs and policy,” adding that, “it is significant to note that the DoD relies on FAA ‘command and control’ capabilities in the execution of the national defense mission”;

-  Create an air traffic control entity that would possess authority to impose new taxes and user fees without Congressional oversight, meaning higher costs for American consumers, which is far from the sort of market competition that true ‘privatization’ would offer.

And now, the concerns have grown.  As noted by The Hill, according to the Congressional Research Service, the proposal would trigger automatic cuts from other programs due to its impact in raising the deficit, including Medicare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Fund and the Military Retirement Fund, among others:

A memo from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), released Monday by Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) and Rick Larsen (Wash.), found that legislation to hand over the country’s air navigation system to a private entity would trigger budget sequestration, which automatically cuts some mandatory spending programs if a piece of legislation exceeds certain budget caps.

In the case of the air traffic control (ATC) spinoff plan, it would result in across-the-board spending cuts of $49 billion over the next 10 years.  That would include cuts to Medicare, the Military Retirement Fund, the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Fund and other critical programs, DeFazio and Larsen warned.”

As stated by our friends at the American Conservative Union Foundation, we “would gladly stand in support of true policy efforts to privatize our air traffic control system that better reflect the ideals of privatization – those that align with a more robust free market and exhibit a true transfer of power from public to private hands.”

Until all of these defects are resolved, however, Congress mustn’t act in a way that would make matters worse.

October 30th, 2017 at 11:52 am
Image of the Day: More Freedom, More Growth
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We’ve often highlighted the direct statistical relationship between economic freedom and prosperity, but typically the comparison is between countries.  Courtesy of Adam Millsap of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, however, we can visualize the same freedom/prosperity relationship among individual U.S. states.


More Freedom, More Growth

More Freedom, More Growth


To paraphrase Dr. John Lott, more freedom, more growth.

October 20th, 2017 at 11:57 am
Stat of the Day: Everywhere Guns Are Banned, Murder Rates Increase
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

John Lott, our favorite economist at least in the arena of criminology and Second Amendment scholarship, cogently summarizes the actual, real-world, data-based sociological effect of “gun control” laws:

While gun bans (either a ban on all guns or on all handguns) have been imposed in many places, every time guns have been banned, murder rates have gone up.

One would think that one time, just out of simple randomness, murder rates would have gone down or at least stayed the same.  Yet in every single case for which we have crime data both before and after the ban, murder rates have gone up, often by huge amounts.”

It’s almost as if more guns mean less crime.

October 13th, 2017 at 11:43 am
Stat of the Day: Trump & McConnell Quickly Reshaping Judiciary
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Whatever one’s opinion of Donald Trump, his tweets or his legislative accomplishments to date, he has unmistakably achieved great progress on the issue perhaps foremost among his supporters’ minds.  Along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky), whose efforts began while Barack Obama was still president after Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing, Trump is already reshaping the nation’s judicial branch, as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel details:


Mr. Trump has now nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year.  There are another 160 court openings, allowing Mr. Trump to flip or further consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes.  This project is the work of Mr. Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Every new president cares about the judiciary, but no administration in memory has approached appointments with more purpose than this team.”