Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Cato Institute

Want a Raise? Work for the Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 9, 2015:  

It used to be that the way to get ahead was to work harder, work smarter, find your passion (à la Tony Robbins), marry the boss’s daughter, or be the boss’s daughter (or son). But, according to the latest study from the Cato Institute, the best way is to “sell your soul to the company store” (apologies, Johnny Cash): Work for the government. Preferably, the federal government.

Since the 1990s, federal government employees have enjoyed greater increases in salary growth than those in the private sector, with federal workers in 2014 earning 78 percent more, according to the latest report from Cato, entitled “Downsizing the Federal Government.”

In 2014, based on numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the average federal worker in 2014 made

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Does California Have a Death Wish?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, October 8, 2015: 

Cato Institute

A year ago, when the Cato Institute published its Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, the best governor, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, scored 78, giving him an “A” rating by Cato. The country’s worst governor, Jerry Brown of California, scored 19, earning him an “F.” His rating was seven full points behind Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper, who scored a 26. At the time, Cato said this about Governor Brown:

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United States Falls Further in the Human Freedom Index

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 24, 2015:  

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

The fifth annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index,” showed the United States falling further in a global measurement of personal, civil, and economic freedom, from 17th place in 2011 to 20th in 2012 (the latest year for which reliable data is available). Ahead of the United States are Canada in 6th place and the United Kingdom, in 9th place. The United States barely edges out the Czech Republic and Estonia, in 21st and 22nd places respectively.

Wrote Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s co-authors:

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Environmentalists Lose More Credibility With Global-warming Claims

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 3, 2015:

Global warming graphic

While the national media was focused on California Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of his state’s first mandatory cuts in water use by residents due to the ongoing drought (allegedly caused by man-made climate change), little was said about two Gallup polls and a study out of Germany showing those concerns about global warming to be greatly overblown.

The paper out of Germany’s Max Plank Institute for Meteorology concluded that gases blamed for the earth’s allegedly continuing climb in temperature have far less impact on that climb than previously estimated. Those estimates have, as a result, been thrown into serious doubt, according to two climatologists from the Cato Institute who reviewed the study: 

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Patriot Act’s Illegal Section 215 due to Expire June 1

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 18, 2015:

The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire June 1, and each side in the upcoming battle to renew, reform, or let expire this unconstitutional abridgement of freedoms is rolling out its arguments.

Section 215 is often referred to as the Patriot Act’s “library records” provision because it allows the FBI to order a library or any other source to produce, without a warrant showing probable cause (as required under the Fourth Amendment), all “tangible things” belonging to its target of interest including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items.” That includes books borrowed and websites visited by the target while at the library. Niceties demanded by the Fourth Amendment are ignored in Section 215 as long as the FBI “specifies” that its order is “for an authorized investigation … to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

One of those favoring renewal of Section 215 is Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

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United States Remains in 12th Place in Economic Freedom

English: The 2010 Heritage Foundation Index of...

The 2010 Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 30, 2015: 

Except for a modest and temporary decline in federal government spending, the United States would have fallen even further from its current 12th-place spot in the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom just released this week. The authors were brutal in their assessment of the reasons behind the country’s frightful fall from near the top of the index a decade ago: 

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A Billion Dollars to Elect Good Conservatives?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, January 29, 2015:

The assumption behind raising and spending a billion dollars, as the Koch brothers Charles and David seem to support, is that with enough money, enough grassroots action, and sufficiently elegant voter software, election successes like that of last November can be repeated in 2016. This past weekend, Freedom Partners, the Koch’s equivalent to a chamber of commerce for wealthy conservatives (each of its 200 members pays a minimum of $100,000 in annual dues), announced at its Palm Springs winter meeting that it was going to raise $900 million to pour into the upcoming presidential election.

Part of the money would go into advertising,

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Koch Brothers’ Network to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Elections

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 27, 2015: 

Spokesmen for Freedom Partners, the Koch Brothers-funded “chamber of commerce” and sponsor of their annual winter meeting in Palm Springs, announced last weekend that its network of over 200 wealthy conservatives is planning on raising nearly $900 million to invest in the 2016 elections. This is more than double what the network raised and spent during the 2012 presidential campaign, and exceeds what both political parties spent that year put together. 

Freedom Partners is building on the momentum from the November elections that gave Republicans control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House of Representatives. As Freedom Partners President Marc Short remarked, “2014 was nice but there’s a long way to go.” He noted that his group’s ultimate goal is to make the ideals of a free market “central” in American society, adding, “Politics is a necessary means to that end.” Freedom Partners invested more than $400 million in those midterm elections. 

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Human Progress Is Accelerating, Says Cato

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 31, 2014: 

Cato Institute

The Cato Institute continues to update its Human Progress website with sources from around the world showing graphically the enormous progress human beings have made in every conceivable area of their lives, especially over the last 50 years. 

From communications to the environment, from housing to transportation, there’s a data set that shows how far the human race has come in a very short period of time. 

Cato’s primary purpose in continuing to develop its HumanProgress.org website, already remarkably robust, is to dispel the common myth that things are getting worse, and at an accelerating rate: 

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Governor Corbett’s Last Chance: Signing a Pro-gun Bill into Law

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 30, 2104:

English: Tom Corbett at the McCain rally at th...

Tom Corbett at the McCain rally at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport

On Tuesday, one week before the election which will determine whether Pennsylvania’s Republican Governor Tom Corbett (shown) gains a second term, he signed into law a state-wide “preemption” law that ensures that all gun laws across the state’s 2,639 counties and municipalities cannot be more restrictive than the state allows. In its announcement of Corbett’s signing of the bill, the National Rifle Association (NRA) urged its members to “thank Governor Corbett for being a steadfast advocate of your Second Amendment rights and for signing [the bill] into law.”

The NRA might better have asked its members to show their appreciation by voting for him next Tuesday: He’ll need every vote he can get.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gets a “B” from Cato

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 29, 2014:

In a remarkable display of pure unadulterated pragmatism, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law in 2014 an unheralded tax reform bill that has won approval from two conservative think tanks: the Cato Institute and the Tax Foundation. In Cato’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors” released earlier this month, the authors were positively ecstatic about him:

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Eric Cantor Handily Defeated by Virtually Unknown College Professor

Eric Cantor headshot

In a primary election that Paul Rothenberg, a non-partisan political analyst, called “the political version of the San Francisco earthquake,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost overwhelmingly to obscure economics professor Dave Brat. This is the first time since 1899 that a House Majority Leader has lost his reelection bid in his party’s primary. Despite being outspent by Cantor by more than 25-to-1, Brat breezed to victory on Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent.

Virtually ignored by establishment Republican groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action, Bart won by basing his campaign on

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The War on Poverty Continues to be a War on the Family

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 6, 2014:


Family 1

In less than three months, the War on Poverty announced by then-President Lyndon Johnson in August 1964 will be 50 years old. There ought to be some victors in this war that has cost the American taxpayer more than $17 trillion. And indeed, there are: the initial program, the Economic Opportunity Act, was funded by (in today’s diluted money) $178 billion. Today, there are 126 federal welfare programs and numerous state ones spewing forth taxpayer monies at the rate of a trillion dollars a year. That means government jobs for millions to monitor, track, follow, and spend, and then request additional funds for next year.

But what about the intended beneficiaries? How are they doing?

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The NRA, 19 States, 34 Congressmen sue New Jersey over its gun laws

On February 12, 2014, the National Rifle Association (NRA), 19 states and 34 members of the House of Representatives asked the Supreme Court to review a New Jersey court’s decision restricting Second Amendment rights of its citizens. Leading the requests is Attorney General of Wyoming, Peter Michael, who sees the danger in letting the decision by the 3rd District Court in New Jersey stand: it could require that every other state

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Progressivism’s Proof: American Indian Poverty

Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a close look at the American Indian.    – Henry Ford

Using their portable forge, members of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery fabricated various iron implements and traded them to the Mandan and Hidatsa Indian tribes in what is now North Dakota, in exchange for corn, beans, squash and tobacco to sustain them during the winter of 1804-5. Several months and a thousand miles later the Corps was surprised to see that one of their implements, an axe,

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Tracking America’s Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 30th, 2013:

For years, both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have published studies purporting to measure just how much freedom countries around the world enjoy, based on a number of indices. Heritage tracks how closely countries hew to the rule of law, how they apply principles of limited government, how onerous the regulatory state is, and how extensively open and free markets are embraced.

Cato, on the other hand, looks at how much personal choice each country’s citizens enjoy, how free they are to engage in voluntary exchange, and how secure their rights in private property are.

Both have recently published their results for 2013, based on the latest available data. The news isn’t good. In some cases, it is

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More Americans Say Country is Headed in the Wrong Direction

Last week’s poll from Bloomberg show that 68 percent of Americans – two out of every three – say that the country is heading in the wrong direction, the most in two years and a substantial increase just since the first of the year. In addition, it appears that more Americans are blaming President Obama as the cause,

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How to resist Leviathan

I heard Robert Higgs speak at a Cato conference in California a few years ago and found him winsome, humble and bright. His resume is remarkable: Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, Editor of The Independent Review, senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He’s best known for his tour de force, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, which was first published in 1987 and was just republished a few months ago.

He has been inveighing against big government for decades and, happily, has condensed his methods of resistance into a short article,

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Calls to Privatize the FAA Follow Controller Furloughs and Airport Delays

It didn’t take long for calls to privatize the FAA to surface following the agency’s announcement on Sunday that due to sequester cuts of $637 million (out of its $16 billion budget), all 47,000 of its employees, including 15,000 air traffic controllers, were being furloughed. The resulting delays were especially noticeable at high-traffic centers like

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Horse Sense from Robert Higgs

I heard Robert Higgs speak at a Cato Institute seminar a couple of years ago. He is a mild-mannered Clark Kent sort of fellow: self-effacing and humble.

But when he gets his dander up, watch out! He asks this rhetorical question:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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