Denton, Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

The city council of Denton, Texas rejected a proposed citywide ban on producing oil and natural gas...

New Book Documents Hydraulic Fracturing's Promise for America

Review of Groundswell: The Case for Fracking, by Ezra Levant (Signal 2014), 272 pages, ISBN- 978-...

The 20th Was the Failed Welfare State Century – The 21st Must Be About Less Government

The Twentieth was the Century of the Welfare State.  Governments the world over built and then...

No Benefits, Big Costs to Common Core

EDITOR: Sen. Julie Lassa is correct in stating Common Core State Standards were created by...

Greenpeace Blasts China’s Coal Plans

Greenpeace sharply criticized China for unveiling ambitious plans to construct 50 coal gasification...

Using Tax Code to Influence Behavior Is the Wrong Path

REGARDLESS OF one’s view on carbon dioxide emissions, using the tax code to influence the...
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Education

The More They Know, the Less They Like Common Core

School Choice Weekly #50 It’s poll season, and two annual education polls find most public attitudes about education policies are consistent with past years, but this year shows a sharp change on Common Core national education mandates. Now, finds the annual Pi Kappa Delta/Gallup poll, for the first time a majority of Americans--81 percent--has heard of Common Core. And 60 percent oppose it. The...

Environment

Denton, Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

The city council of Denton, Texas rejected a proposed citywide ban on producing oil and natural gas through hydraulic fracturing techniques. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, entails injecting water, sand, and small amounts of other chemicals deep underground under high pressure to open seams in rock formations, thereby releasing oil and gas deposits for production. Denton sits atop...

EPA’s McCarthy: New CO2 Restrictions Not About Climate

EPA’s recently announced restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with reducing pollution, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted in Senate hearings. Instead, said McCarthy, EPA imposed the restrictions based on a belief imposing expensive renewable energy on the electricity marketplace will stimulate the economy. ‘Not About Pollution Control’“The great thing about this...

New Book Documents Hydraulic Fracturing's Promise for America

Review of Groundswell: The Case for Fracking, by Ezra Levant (Signal 2014), 272 pages, ISBN- 978-0771046445 The new book Groundswell is a highly recommended read. It is more an economics and politics book than a science treatise, and there are plenty of issues in fracking economics and politics to discuss. In an easy conversational writing style, Ezra Levant powerfully debunks a litany of myths...

Finance & Insurance

Don’t Assume the ‘Unseen’ Does not Exist

The use of the ceteris paribus, or “other things equal” assumption is an essential aspect of economic education. It is an important caveat that helps make sense of a complicated world by clarifying the incentive stories that comprise the core of economics.  Unfortunately, the often unthinking acceptance of that phrase has also provided an opening for misrepresenting economic reality in...

Opponents Hope to Loosen Grip of Government’s ‘Choke Point’ Program

Two federal agencies have backed off – slightly – from a program that critics say has been intimidating banks into canceling services for legitimate, law-abiding businesses, making it difficult if not impossible for them to operate. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and US Department of Justice launched “Operation Choke Point” with no warning or public discussion in March 2013. They...

How Wall Street Tobacco Deals Left States With Billions in Toxic Debt

[Editor’s note: “Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced.” So reads the teaser headline on this report from the independent, non-profit ProPublica news organization. The beginning of the article follows, with a link to the full story.] By Cezary...

Health

Obamacare Is More Unpopular than Ever

Consumer Power Report #431 The latest poll numbers are in for Obamacare, and they are worse than ever. Turns out the more people are exposed to the law, the less they like it. And more and more people are saying they are directly hurt, not helped, by the law. The latest numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Family Foundation, which has done arguably the best and most consistent...

A New Plan to Replace Obamacare

Consumer Power Report #432 Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute has been one of Obamacare’s most prominent critics over the past several years. On Wednesday he released his new plan – The Universal Exchange Plan – to replace Obamacare. He has been advocating for this plan in general terms for some time, and it could prove to represent the most realistic path for future reform if the politics of...

CBO Is Playing with Obamacare’s Numbers Again

Consumer Power Report #430 One of the ongoing debates about policy formation in Washington that has become far more prominent since the passage of Obamacare is the role of the Congressional Budget Office and the weight given its estimates and predictions for the ramifications of legislation. CBO always has been at the center of a debate about how much we should trust these estimates and how much...

Taxes

The Changing Nature of State-Federal Relations in Transportation

(Editor’s note: Excerpted from remarks by Ken Orski at the Legislative/Fiscal Plenary Luncheon, Council of Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas, July 27. On July 31, Congress approved a $10.8 billion 10-month "patch" to the Highway Trust Fund, thus averting what could have become significant delays in state reimbursements during the height of the construction...

Job Announcements Don’t Equal Job Gains

The campaign season has been filled with claims from candidates that they will create jobs. A common strategy is to target a business or an industry for special state support and to claim credit whenever jobs are added by companies receiving support. A quick look at the job creation and loss figures for the economy as a whole shows this approach is not a workable one. There is a surprising amount...

Don’t Assume the ‘Unseen’ Does not Exist

The use of the ceteris paribus, or “other things equal” assumption is an essential aspect of economic education. It is an important caveat that helps make sense of a complicated world by clarifying the incentive stories that comprise the core of economics.  Unfortunately, the often unthinking acceptance of that phrase has also provided an opening for misrepresenting economic reality in...

Tech

Debunking Consumerist Bogus Claim Mobile Data Does Not Compete with Cable

Pro-regulation interests often resort to highly misleading arguments to advance their cause. Fortunately that kind of deception ultimately exposes the weakness of their underlying argument and public policy position. To promote Netflix’ “strong” version of net neutrality regulation and to oppose the Comcast-TWC acquisition, Consumerist just framed a very deceptive whopper competition...

Maryland Rules Uber is a Common Carrier - Will FCC Agree?

The Daily Record reports that the Maryland Public Service Commission ruled that Uber is a common carrier subject to its regulatory jurisdiction.   The PSC stated:  “[W]hen viewed in their totality, the undisputed facts and circumstances in this case make it clear that Uber is engaged in the public transportation of persons for hire. Thus, Uber is a common carrier and a...