Donald Trump

Donald Trump has no Respect for Property Rights

Since his entrance into the crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump’s campaign has caught fire. He is polling above 20 percent, nearly double the support of his closest rival, Ben Carson, and energizing conservatives who believe his brash personality and business experience could transform Washington. Trump’s popularity among those on the right is understandable from a populist perspective, but lovers of free markets should beware “The Donald.”

Trump has a troubling relationship with property rights. He has consistently abused government power by using eminent domain to seize land for his own business endeavors, running roughshod over the rights of nearby residents and businesses.

Read Patrick Holland’s full article about Donald Trump and hisabuse of eminent domain here.

Obama Katrina

Obama praises New Orleans’ educational progress, doesn’t credit school choice

President Obama traveled to New Orleans Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall on the city. As part of his remarks at a community center, Obama praised the incredible educational progress New Orleans has made without crediting the cause: School choice.

“Working together, we’ve transformed education in this city,” Obama said. “Before the storm, New Orleans public schools were largely broken, leaving generations of low-income kids without a decent education. Today, thanks to parents and educators, school leaders, nonprofits, we’re seeing real gains in achievement with new schools, more resources to retain and develop great teachers and principals.

“We have data that shows before the storm the high school graduation rate was 54 percent. Today it’s up to 73 percent. Before the storm, college enrollment was 37 percent. Today it’s almost 60 percent. We still have a long way to go but that is real progress.”

One hundred percent of that progress is thanks to New Orleans’ all-choice school system, Center for Education Reform President Kara Kerwin told the Washington Examiner Thursday. In New Orleans, every family has a say in where their child will go to school, something few other cities can claim. Before Katrina, most students were trapped in their public school, regardless of quality.

Read Jason Russell’s full article at the Washington Examiner.

relaxation, holiday, pool-690034_1280

Thank Capitalism for the Weekend!

Productivity and free markets created the weekend.

Every year or two, we see renewed calls for laws mandating a 30-hour workweek. The latest is by Harlan Green, editor of populareconomics.com. It’s time to put this issue to bed: laws mandating a shorter workweek hurt the very workers they intend to help.

The idea that we need maximum-workweek laws to protect workers is a myth: capitalism has driven down worker hours even in the absence of such laws. Economist Robert Whaples notes that the average workweek has been decreasing since the 1830s.

By 1938, when President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandating a 40-hour workweek, such a law was virtually unnecessary. Over the previous century, market forces had driven the average manufacturing workweek from almost 70 hours to just over 50. Other industries were even lower. In 1930, for instance, railroad workers worked an average of 42.9 hours per week. Coal miners worked an average of only 27 hours.

Henry Ford implemented a 40-hour workweek in 1926 because he believed that consumers with more free time would buy more products. Other large companies followed suit; just one year later, 262 large companies had adopted five-day workweeks. For the first time, people experienced work-free weekends.

This shift wasn’t the product of labor legislation.

Read the full article at FEE, here.

Plastic Bags

Plastic bag bans doing more harm than good

The last couple months, the war on plastic bags has seemingly gained key victories in the city of Chicago and the state of Hawaii, where plastic bag bans have gone into effect.

When the Hawaiian island of Oahu implemented a ban on plastic checkout bags in July, Oahu became the last island in the state to implement a plastic bag ban, making Hawaii the first state with a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. However, residents of the Aloha State and Chicago are now realizing that plastic bag bans come with an assortment of unintended consequences that may end up doing more harm than good to residents and the environment.

While retailers in Hawaii can no longer provide customers the kind of “single-use” plastic bags you typically get at a grocery store, the law allows for thicker plastic bags or paper bags to be given out to customers. The thicker plastic bags are durable enough to be considered reusable under the patchwork of county laws, but these bags have the potential to be much more harmful to the environment.

The thicker bags can take up to 10 times longer to deteriorate than thin plastic bags. Thicker plastic and paper bags also take more resources and energy to create, transport, and recycle — meaning that they have a much larger carbon footprint than traditional plastic bags.

While all this may be an inconvenient truth for environmentalists, at least beaches and parks will have the appearance of being cleaner, right?

Read the rest on The Daily Herald here.

Anthony Weiner

The Beginner’s Guide to #Gamergate

If you had to describe the emergent media phenomenon known as #Gamergate in one sentence, it would be this:

#Gamergate is a media scandal surrounding collusion between left-wing journalists and the people they are supposed to cover, in some cases including the interaction between a sexual relationship and positive media coverage.

However, as with most one sentence descriptions, this fails to capture the essence, so here is a hypothetical situation that may help conservative readers understand #GamerGate better:

Imagine that tomorrow, news broke that Anthony Weiner had been sleeping with Melissa Harris Perry during the summer of 2013, just before Harris Perry devoted a lengthy segment to bemoaning the sexting scandal as a distraction from “real issues.”

Got it? Now, imagine that the mainstream media absolutely refused to cover news of the relationship. No, I don’t mean “buried it on page A6,” I mean didn’t cover it at all.

Now, imagine that when media consumers started protesting to ask why the relationship was never mentioned, the media smeared everyone asking about the story as anti-Semites for badmouthing Anthony Weiner.

Now, imagine news came out that the reason they didn’t cover it was because there was a secret email list being maintained by prominent media members, where Weiner allies were threatening anyone who talked about the subject into silence.

Now, imagine that even after these revelations came out, everyone still pretended the only issue was anti-Semitism.

And finally, imagine that the few times that people decided to get together to talk about the scandal, or just to socialize with each other, left-wing activists, allies of our hypothetical Anthony Weiner, called in bomb threats to stop them.

Read the rest on The American Spectator here.