Category Archives: United States

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 his abuse of eminent domain here.

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.

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.