Sierra Club Facing Investigations

Sierra Club Facing Investigations By H. Sterling Burnett The Energy and Environment Legal Institute...

Union Organizes Home Health Workers in Minnesota

When the Service Employees International Union in Minnesota announced its victory in unionizing 27,...

Maine Reforms, Cuts Medicaid Rolls

While most states are either deciding whether to expand Medicaid or whether it was a good idea to...

'Self-referral' Problem Can Be Solved by Self-Pay

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article regarding a chain of cancer clinics that may be...

Housing Affordability in China

Finally, there is credible housing affordability data from China. For years, analysts have produced...

FCC's Secret Meetings Raise Significant Process Concerns

A little-noticed article in the Wall Street Journal over Labor Day Weekend...
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Education

What the Research Really Says about Government Preschool

School Choice Weekly #59 While 15 states this week begged the Obama administration to direct programs for their youngest children, Indiana decided to chart its own course, with Gov. Mike Pence (R) refusing to sign off on an expensive, intrusive federal preschool grant application. Concurrently, the Cato Institute issued a highly useful review of the major and highest-quality research on...

Environment

Obama to Avoid Senate Vote on New Climate Treaty

Obama to Avoid Senate Vote on New Climate Treaty Making the announcement first on August 26 and confirming it in his speech before a United Nations climate summit in New York City on September 23, President Obama has committed the United States to forging an international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, without Senate ratification...

The Rationale for Wind Power Won't Fly

[NOTE: This piece was first published in the Wall Street Journal.] To understand the folly that drives too much of the nation's energy policies, consider these basic facts about wind energy. After decades of federal subsidies—almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm—nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a...

Klein Makes a (Fact-Poor) Case for Environmental Socialism: Review of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate

Klein Makes a (Fact-Poor) Case for Environmental Socialism Review of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, by Naomi Klein; Simon & Schuster, September 16, 2014, 576 pages; ISBN-10: 1451697384 ISBN-13: 978-1451697384, $22.89 on Amazon. This is one of the strangest books I have ever reviewed. Naomi Klein is an avowed socialist who apparently wants her work to appear on bookshelves...

Finance & Insurance

Toxic “Consumer-Friendly” Insurance Laws More Bane than Boon to Homeowners

Reflexively responding to the 2008 financial crisis, many government regulators moved to reduce the burden of toxic assets in the financial market, after widespread speculation instigated a credit crunch and contributed to the economic slowdown. Yet, despite the consensus that it was these firms’ inability to shed these assets which instigated their failure, many state governments continue to use...

Private Companies Mimic Government’s ‘Choke Point’ Program

Earlier this year, an innovative new credit-card processing service company quietly changed its terms of service to exclude legitimate firearms transactions, seemingly falling into compliance with federal law-enforcement agencies’ crackdown on certain “high-risk” — but legal — industries. Square, the card reading mobile app which allows payment processing for merchants through their cell phones...

Federal Reserve’s Policies Spur Morph from Central Bank to Central Planner

A common concern among the Federal Reserve’s critics is that there is not an adequate exit strategy to shrink its balance sheet. Since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, the value of its assets has risen nearly five times, from less than $900 billion to nearly $4.5 trillion. This ongoing quantitative easing appears to create a looming monetary overhang that could unleash very high inflation,...

Health

Maine Reforms, Cuts Medicaid Rolls

While most states are either deciding whether to expand Medicaid or whether it was a good idea to have already done so, the state of Maine stands out by continuing to offer health care to the poorest citizens while paring back on the state’s risk of future financial meltdown caused by unsustainable enrollment growth. Key to the reforms is reduced eligibility for MaineCare, as the joint state-...

Union Organizes Home Health Workers in Minnesota

When the Service Employees International Union in Minnesota announced its victory in unionizing 27,000 home health care workers in August, it celebrated under a rapidly changing political environment. Union plans to bolster membership rolls by classifying home health care workers as state employees were dealt a blow when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in Harris vs. Quinn in June that unions...

John Kasich Tries to Have It Both Ways on Obamacare

Consumer Power Report #441 When it comes to making the case for Obamacare’s persistence, few Republicans have been as insistent as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is in a bit of hot water after talking it up recently to the Associated Press: Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he doesn’t think there will be a repeal in Washington, even if Republicans win a Senate majority and consolidate their hold on the...

Taxes

Private Toll Roads Present Better Options for States’ Consumers, Budgets

As some states look more and more at toll roads as a solution to paying for neglected highways, one transportation export is warning about using toll roads as “cash cows.” Instead, other states are privatizing their toll roads, and reaping the benefits. Robert Poole, the director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, said the privatization of toll roads is a good way to prevent...

Toxic “Consumer-Friendly” Insurance Laws More Bane than Boon to Homeowners

Reflexively responding to the 2008 financial crisis, many government regulators moved to reduce the burden of toxic assets in the financial market, after widespread speculation instigated a credit crunch and contributed to the economic slowdown. Yet, despite the consensus that it was these firms’ inability to shed these assets which instigated their failure, many state governments continue to use...

Regulators Attack Popular Home-Sharing Startup, Alleging Housing Violations

Airbnb, a web-based startup company connecting private individuals with travelers, has become popular among travelers of all ages who are seeking to meet new people, in cities across the world. Fans of the online service say that Airbnb provides rooms that are remarkably less expensive, and far more interesting, to consumers than traditional hotels.  By connecting homeowners with unused...

Tech

HBO Streaming Is Good News for All Entertainment Consumers

Acting on plans reported here a month ago, entertainment channel HBO has decided to end its thirty-plus-year dependence on cable and satellite distributors, announcing it will offer an online streaming video service beginning next year. Following a trail blazed by Netflix, Amazon.com, Acorn Media, and others, HBO will offer the service without a cable subscription in an effort to reach the...

Federal Investigators Get Caught 'Catfishing' with Woman’s Seized Pics

Social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter, or online dating sites are sometimes littered with fake profiles of attractive young women, tempting lonely users. Representing themselves with photographs of someone else, such confidence artists sometimes trick unwary Internet users into divulging their personal information, or even their financial information. This kind of scam — nicknamed “...