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We’re Hiring!

In collaboration with the Charles Koch Institute (CKI), Young Voices is recruiting talented individuals that will work full-time at our organization while participating in the Media and Journalism Fellowship Program at CKI.  This program will provide a year of continuing professional education for creative professionals in media and journalism who are passionate about fostering a free press in society. Below are the open roles:

Interested candidates may learn more about the program and apply here. They are also encouraged to reach out to Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given by emailing [email protected].

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Young Voices Podcast – The wrong way to repeal Obamacare

Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Advocate Charlie Katebi on the future of Obamacare. Charlie weighs in on the potential negative consequences of letting the insurance market fall into disarray.

The Young Voices donate page is now up and running, and be sure to follow Young Voices on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t miss out on our future podcasts – subscribe on iTunes here!

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Trump should protect Dreamers, pass broad immigration reform

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump brought immigration to the forefront of the public debate, and for good reason. Our immigration system is in dire need of improvement. Millions of undocumented immigrants are currently living in the shadows with neither an accessible path toward legal status nor clarity about what lies ahead for them under a new administration.

Trump has an opportunity to fulfill his campaign promise and improve America’s broken immigration system while allaying the concerns of his political adversaries. With the nation still torn after a hard-fought election, he should demonstrate his intention to be a unifier by taking steps to protect vulnerable immigrants. In particular, he should allow industrious, nonviolent immigrants to stay in the country and pursue a more permanent status as part of a broader comprehensive reform package. That way, he can focus on true national security threats at the border without jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of peaceful, productive immigrants working toward a brighter future.

The major looming question is how the Trump administration will approach the immigration policies that President Obama put in place by executive order. If these programs are terminated without replacement, millions of immigrants with no criminal history could face the threat of deportation. Lately, though, Trump has shied away from his hardline campaign rhetoric and recently expressed interest in extending the protections President Obama granted via executive order under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Continue reading at Arizona Capitol Times.

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Call Off the Anti-Fun Crusade

Paternalists don’t always have nefarious designs when they place bans on unhealthy activities, but a “take your medicine” attitude toward improving people’s health has unintended, sometimes deadly consequences. And, too often, there is an illegitimate purpose to legislating lifestyle politics: ill-gotten gains for rent-seekers.

For those who thought the baptists and bootleggers coalitions of yesteryear disappeared along with Prohibition, consider its longevity.

Bans on Popular Activities

Rent-seekers and anti-fun lifestyle enforcers (still) make strange bedfellows. For example: The State of New York taxes cigarettes at a rate of $5.85 per pack, banned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for twenty years, and has an Attorney General obsessed with shutting down Fantasy Sports. And in nearby Pennsylvania, century-old Blue Laws prohibit hunting on Sundays and limit liquor sales to government-run stores.

On the federal level, the FDA announced that it would begin to regulate e-cigarettes. So we have the baptist, in this case, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy calling for tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes, despite the evidence that youth smoking has declined and that “[r]educing youth access to e-cigarettes appears to increase youth smoking rates.” Then, we’ve got the bootleggers, tobacco companies whose profits are threatened by e-cigarette manufacturers.

Similarly, in Pennsylvania, anti-alcohol activists, or “new prohibitionists,” joined hands with government-liquor-shop unions to halt Blue Law reform.

Only through collusion could those new prohibitionists and their legislative allies manage to keep otherwise popular activities illegal. Before the legalization of MMA in New York and the modest reform of Pennsylvania’s Blue Laws, both changes had overwhelming support.

If the politician and the rent-seeker can line their pockets while simultaneously keeping competition out of the market, why wouldn’t they?

Continue reading at FEE.

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When Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Talk

Over the last couple of months, North Korea seemed to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. As the little Hermit Kingdom toiled away on its nuclear arsenal, many in the West have remained focused on what President-elect Donald Trump and the resurgent Republican Congress could mean for trade, taxes, and health care.

Yet according to the latest reports, President Barack Obama warned Trump that a nuclear North Korea may be the greatest foreign policy concern of the next four years. For all the focus on domestic issues, the Trump administration may find its first challenge in the dangerous game being played by Kim Jong Un.

As many have pointed out, a Trump administration could lead to major changes in U.S. foreign policy. While some of Trump’s proposed policy changes may disrupt the international status quo, an area of welcome policy change may involve how the U.S. and its allies handles North Korea. Despite an on-again, off-again policy of military exercises, foreign aid, and sanctions, the oppressive Workers’ Party of Korea and Kim family continue to rule North Korea, and the country’s nuclear capacity keeps growing every year. In the interest of securing our East Asian allies and improving the lives of average North Koreans, it’s time for three big changes in our foreign policy.

First, the Trump administration should explore withdrawing conventional U.S. military forces from the Korean Peninsula, a move he called for multiple times along the campaign trail. As foreign policy scholar Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute has argued, the 28,500 U.S. troops on the peninsula likely do more harm than good. There is wide agreement that the advanced South Korean military is more than capable of defeating the poorly equipped North Korean military and the Kim regime knows this.

Continue reading at The Hill.

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France’s Choice: Reform or Decline

In the upcoming French presidential election, Marine Le Pen will likely face off against main contender François Fillon, a center-right free market reformer. François Fillon is the true conservative, a candidate who is proposing economically sound reforms, is distrustful of government, and appeals to common human decency.

Marine Le Pen instead wants to prevent free movement of goods and people, plans to withdraw from trade pacts, and is fixated with increasing state control of the economy. Her policy proposals ironically echo those of the French Communist Party of the 1950s and 1960s. French conservatives should therefore remember what conservatism means, and French liberals ought to unite with the center-right for the greater national good — just as they did in 2002 when they voted to stop Le Pen’s father.

The French economy has many structural problems that threaten both future French prosperity and the survival of the Euro currency and European Union. French voters have a rare chance to address some of those long-standing issues with a dose of basic economics and fiscal realism. The alternative would be the twin dangers posed by Le Pen’s National Front: an ethnic and economic nationalism that would threaten civil liberties and worsen the economy rather than restore it.

Continue reading at Reaction.