• central-banks

    It’s Time to Dump Most Central Banks

    On March 16th, the New York Times carried reportage by Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough, which was titled “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer.” The theme of their extensive reportage is that U.S. monetary policy is the elephant in the room. It is the elephant that swings exchange rates and capital flows to and fro in emerging-market countries, causing considerable pain.

    Emerging-market countries should dump their central banks and local currencies. READ MORE...

  • separate-art-and-state

    Separate Art and State

    As the husband and stepfather of accomplished artists, I take art very seriously. It is, in the words of President Kennedy, “close to the center of a nation’s purpose and a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.” But for all that, Donald Trump is absolutely right in his desire to defund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

    According to its supporters, without the NEA, art in America would cease to exist. They have a point. Absolutely nothing can happen in this country unless the federal government funds or mandates it. Without Washington we are a wasteland. After all, the NEA wasn’t established until 1965, and before that there was hardly an American artist to be found. Well, except maybe people like Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe, John Singer Sargent, Edmonia Lewis, Charles Sheeler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer … READ MORE...

  • trumps-wars

    Trump’s Wars

    President Donald Trump is no stranger to conflict escalation. In his short time in office, he has managed to successfully escalate disputes against the mediaimmigrants and the intelligence community. Yet Trump’s most important escalation has been in the War on Terror, substantially increasing the U.S. commitment to wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. Unfortunately, these steps are likely only to draw America deeper into some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

    Trump’s foreign policy approach during the campaign can be charitably described as incoherent. On the one hand, he openly admitted that the Iraq war had been a mistake, and repeatedly criticized the money wasted on pointless Middle East conflicts. These ideas, unorthodox for a Republican candidate but popular with the general public, helped to win him votes. READ MORE...

  • Outrage on Wheels | Cato Institute

    It made for great copy — irresistibly clickable and compulsively shareable. “Trump’s Budget Would Kill a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens,” blared Time’s headline. “Trump Proposed Budget Eliminates Funds for Meals on Wheels,” claimed The Hill, in a piece that got 26,000 shares.

    But it was false. And it wouldn’t have taken long for reporters to find and provide some needed context to the relationship between federal block grant programs, specifically Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and the popular Meals on Wheels program. READ MORE...

  • Trump’s Embrace Puts Taiwan in a Tough Spot

    Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have been rising since the electoral landslide by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan’s January 2016 presidential and legislative elections. DPP president Tsai Ing-wen has endeavored to chart a delicate middle course. She seeks to enlarge her country’s diplomatic links with other nations and assert key Taiwanese strategic and economic interests in such places as the South China Sea. At the same time, Tsai has thus far sought to avoid truly provocative moves that would infuriate Beijing and lead to a crisis. READ MORE...

  • What to Ask Neil Gorsuch at His Confirmation Hearing

    Things are looking good for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as he prepares for his confirmation hearings, which begin March 20. Judge Gorsuch has continued to be his charming and disarming self, leaving Democrats with little to latch onto in opposition and only increasing his already-solid chances for securing a seat on the high court. Indeed, a recent survey showed that 91% of Democratic congressional expect Gorsuch to be confirmed—and only 41% expect there to be an attempted filibuster. READ MORE...

  • californias-cap-and-trade-train-wreck

    California’s Cap-And-Trade Train Wreck

    Californians like to brag they are the nation’s pioneers, pointing to freeways, Disneyland and In-N-Out Burger. They’ve started construction on a 118-mile high-speed rail segment, the first in the nation, from Madera (population: 61,416) to Shafter (population: 16,998). They’re paying for it with revenues from a statewide cap-and-trade system, which sells “permits” allowing industry to emit carbon dioxide.

    That first segment, which is over land as flat as a table, requiring very little bulldozing and very few superelevated curves, was supposed to cost $6.4 billion, but that’s already ballooned to $10 billion. As Steven Greenhut at Reason.com wrote earlier this year, “it’s costing the train to nowhere a lot to get there.” READ MORE...

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