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: Regulations

“Gig” Economy Ending Lifetime Careers, Opening Opportunities

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 5, 2015:  

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, Cal...

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, California.

According to the Financial Times — referring to the “gig” or contractor/freelance economy — the “new world of work is both more exciting and less secure.” And an increasing number of former employees are celebrating that new world by participating in it, leaving collectivists and statists gasping and wondering who will pay for the benefits they have promised if everyone starts working for himself?

The number of independent contractors is growing. And not just in the United States, either. London’s Financial Times reported earlier this week that

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Clinton Denies Inspectors General Claims on Secret Data in Her E-mails

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 27, 2015:  

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, reacting to the release of reports by the inspectors general of both the State Department (where she used to work) and Office of National Intelligence that some of her personal e-mails contained national secrets, predictably responded by deflecting the real issues. Rather than directly confronting the charges, she criticized the New York Times for bringing them to light. That article, she said, “contained a lot of inaccuracies,” probably because of the heat:

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“Sharing,” or “Gig,” Economy Catching Flak From Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 16, 2015:  

The “sharing” or “collaborative” economy — often derided by statist politicians as the “gig” economy — continues to explode with new applications, aided by the Internet, coming on stream almost daily.

A few are well known: Uber, Lyft (chairman in photo), and Airbnb. But others, such as Zaarly, TaskRabbit, and DogVacay, are expanding rapidly as well, thanks to the unique combination of individuals seeking flexibility, income, and opportunity without the confines of the corporate world, and thanks to the Internet. And it’s starting to drive those who would control everyone everywhere crazy.

Charles Cooke, at National Review Online, spelled out the reasons for the growth of the sharing economy using Uber as an example:

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EPA: No “Widespread, Systemic” Fracking Impact on Drinking Water

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 5, 2015: 

Following the EPA’s release of the initial draft of its “Hydraulic Fracturing Drinking Water Assessment” on Thursday, expressions of joy exuded from fracking industry officials and pro-fracking politicians while anger erupted from environmentalists.

Responding to pressure from Congress to “study the relationship between hydraulic fracking and drinking water,” the EPA spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars to conclude, tentatively at least, that fracking doesn’t pollute or poison drinking water in areas close to fracking wells.

It was also tasked to uncover any “potential for hydraulic fracturing to change the quality or quantity of drinking water resources … [and to identify] factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential changes.”

After exploring all possible mechanisms by which fracking might possibly negatively impact local drinking water supplies, the EPA reported:

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Obama Justice Department to Issue New Gun Regulations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 3, 2015: 

As noted in the recently released Unified Agenda (the list of rules and regulations that federal agencies are developing), the Department of Justice is putting the finishing touches on more than a dozen restrictions and infringements of the Second Amendment to be effective by November. They include limitations on high-powered pistols that have recently come onto the market that fire high-velocity .223 caliber rounds, and expansions of the criteria for people who do not “qualify” for the right to own a firearm, including those convicted of domestic abuse and others determined to be “mentally unstable.”

These planned restrictions are in keeping with the president’s continuing war against the Second Amendment, framing them as a way to reduce mass murders. Following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama said,

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Nullification Spreading: Minnesota Invalidates FDA Restrictions

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 11, 2015:

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights

 

When Minnesota State Representative Nick Zerwas was 15 years old, he was told he had only months to live. Informed that he wouldn’t be able to get a heart transplant, Zerwas was told by his doctor that he might be saved by a surgical procedure that was still experimental. Said Zerwas: “That was my right to try. I fully believe life is worth fighting for, and government has no role in getting in the way.” 

On May 1 Zerwas’ bill, the Minnesota Right to Try Act, passed the state house unanimously, 123-0. It had previously passed the state senate, 60-4, on April 21, and on May 5, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed it into law. 

In general the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits access by patients to experimental drugs, but 

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Rutherford Institute’s Remarkable Record

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 6, 2015:

The record of the Rutherford Institute reflects the record, activities, and accomplishments of its founder, John W. Whitehead. Whitehead founded a pro-bono law firm in 1982, and has compiled a record of accomplishments in the freedom fight that is breathtaking in its scope.

The latest is a tiff between the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a small church that dared to post some pro-life posters on its fence. A disgruntled and offended resident complained, and the city sent a letter to the church threatening fines and jail terms to its officials if the posters weren’t removed.

Enter Whitehead:

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First-quarter GDP Report Is Awful

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmereican.com on Wednesday, April 29, 2015: 

Logo of the United States Bureau of Economic A...

The report released Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) was stark: The economy stalled in the first quarter in every sector, with overall growth barely positive, and embarrassing once again economists who predicted substantially better results. According to the BEA the economy in the first quarter grew at an annual rate of just 0.2 percent, compared to estimates of between 1.0 and 2.0 percent by the “experts.”

Personal spending dropped by nearly two thirds from the fourth quarter of 2014; durable goods purchases fell by more than 80 percent; and non-durable goods purchases almost disappeared compared to the last quarter, falling by 0.3 percent compared to an increase of more than four percent. The service industry limped along at two-thirds of last quarter’s pace.

Investment in business capital equipment went negative, as did

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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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Internet Freedom to Disappear on Thursday

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, February 26, 2015:

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

Ronald Reagan was right:

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: if it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Tom Wheeler, the current FCC Chairman, doesn’t think that’s funny. He thinks they are his marching orders. Encouraged by his boss, Wheeler is reaching for the biggest hammer in his toolbox to bludgeon the internet into submission and turn it into a utility. On Thursday Wheeler will

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Tax Foundation Counts All Income Except Underground

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 23, 2015:

Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation

Not one single word of the 10-page report “Sources of Personal Income” released by the Tax Foundation mentioned the “black market” — that vast swirling uncounted (and largely uncountable) part of the U.S. economy that some estimate in the trillions. Accordingly, that throws off the foundation’s attempt to draw any more than tentative conclusions about how much the average taxpayer earns.

According to the Foundation, Americans reported a total of $9.2 trillion in income in 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available, with $6.3 trillion of it coming from “wages, salaries, tips” and “other” compensation. They get those numbers mostly from the infamous

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Obama’s FCC to Issue “Net Neutrality” Rules on Thursday

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 3, 2015:

net neutrality world logo

Net Neutrality world logo

Following President Obama’s lead, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will announce new rules on Thursday changing Internet providers from “information services” to “telecommunications companies” in order to impose the president’s demand for “net neutrality” rules onto them.

The Federal Communications Commission regulates telecommunications companies with a heavy hand, but five previous attempts to force Internet providers into the net neutrality category have failed, having been met with stiff resistance, especially from the courts. Now, however, major players are forcing the issue for another try.

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Modest Government Retrenchment Called “Dramatic”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Saturday, January 31, 2015:

Logo of the United States Federal Deposit Insu...

Kelsey Harkness, a journalist at The Daily Signal, let her enthusiasm for modest retrenchments at the FDIC override her good judgment, calling them “dramatic.” She was referring to the measures the chairman and the vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) promised to make in their efforts to enforce Operation Choke Point. In a phone conversation she had with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer on Wednesday morning, she heard him say:

We’re very pleased they’ve acknowledged their wrongdoing and they’ve accept our suggestions to put in place measures to stop this activity.

What suggestions, exactly?

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Blowback Against Washington State’s Anti-gun Initiative Just Beginning

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 21, 2014:

Despite opposition from individual gun owners, Washington State sheriffs, the state’s Republican Party, and the National Rifle Association, Initiative 594 passed easily on Tuesday, November 4, by 59 percent to 41 percent, with Bloomberg’s money promoting myths about it.

This makes Washington the seventh state (along with the District of Columbia) to require universal background checks not only on all sales of firearms but on “transfers” as well, even between friends. Washington is the first state to pass such restrictions through a citizen-driven initiative.

Largely unknown to voters, the complex 18-page initiative also greatly expands the state’s handgun registration program, with every sale or transfer of a handgun resulting in

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Taxi Union Flexes Its Muscle, Shuts Down San Francisco International Airport

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 20, 2014: 

International Terminal of San Francisco Intern...

International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport

Stung by increasing competition from ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, independent taxi drivers in San Francisco — where Uber got its start in the summer of 2010 — decided to do something about it: They joined a union. And the first thing that union did was what unions always do: They conducted a “work stoppage” — right in front of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) — with more than 600 taxis blocking traffic, honking their horns and flashing their lights from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday night, while refusing to pick up passengers.

Most unions are wont to picket employers, hoping to blackmail them into

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Israel Considering Relaxing Gun Laws Following Synagogue Attack

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 

Following the horrific attack by two Palestinians on unarmed worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, vowed to ease restrictions on carrying firearms for self-defense. The attack by the Palestinian cousins who wielded knives and a gun resulted in four deaths and eight seriously wounded. Police who arrived at the scene killed the attackers but only after the innocents had been slashed, shot, and murdered.

Aharonovitch announced other measures as well, including

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China’s Economy Now Number One? Not Quite

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 10, 2014: 

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping a...

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping at the entrance of the Lychee Park in Shenzhen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following the announcement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that China’s economy has just surpassed that of the United States, headline writers and establishment economists had a field day. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Business Insider, “China Just Overtook the US as the World’s Largest Economy,” while London’s Daily Mail chortled, “America Usurped: China Becomes World’s Largest Economy — Putting USA in Second Place for the First Time in 142 Years.”

A cursory glance at the charts and graphs provided by these worthies shows the size of the U.S. economy at $17.4 trillion by the end of this year compared to China’s, which is predicted to be $17.6 trillion. The IMF estimated that as recently as 2005 China’s economy was less than half that of the United States, and forecast that

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DUIs drop when Ride-Sharing Companies come to town

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 25, 2014:

Franzia, straight from the tap.

Hearty partying

As ride-sharing smartphone apps like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar continue their inevitable expansion, additional benefits are being felt. Last June Uber announced that DUI arrests dropped 10 percent in Seattle after they entered that market. Other cities noticed similar experiences, so one of the Washington Post’s writers enlisted the help of Nate Good, a statistics expert, to prove it. They looked at Philadelphia: DUIs have been declining there ever since Uber entered the Phillie market in early 2013. The decline is especially notable for those under age 30.

In San Francisco, the birthplace of the ride-sharing phenomenon in June 2010, the results are even more remarkable:

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Texas Beats California: No Income Tax, Booming Economy, Friendly Folks

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 8, 2014:

texas our texas

Texas, Our Texas!

Following Toyota’s announcement April 28 that it would be consolidating its three American business headquarters and moving them from California to a new $300-million campus in Plano, Texas, the debate over why has heated up once again. Toyota follows Occidental Petroleum (which is leaving Los Angeles for Houston, after being there for a hundred years), Raytheon (which is moving its El Segundo headquarters to McKinney, Texas), and Legal Zoom (the largest legal-issues website in the world, which has already moved from Los Angeles to Austin). In the past 18 months more than 50 companies have made the same decision to move from California to Texas.

Some say it’s because of the lower cost of living in Texas. The cost of living in Plano is about a third lower than in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area where Toyota is currently located. As calculated by the Dallas-based conservative think tank National Center for Policy Analysis, “People of all incomes will save in Texas,” according to Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow at the institute. Some will save a little; others will save a lot by moving to Texas to keep their jobs with Toyota. As Villarreal explained, the calculation takes into account property taxes “which are pretty high in Texas” — about twice what they are in California for equivalently priced homes. Once real estate taxes are factored in, a single woman in Texas making $75,000 a year will have about $14,000 more in discretionary income than she would if she lived in California, but married workers making $150,000 a year who move from California to Texas would not see as dramatic a jump in discretionary income.

The Manhattan Institute says it makes sense for California companies to make the move to Texas, owing to California’s high taxes, oppressive regulations, expensive electricity, union influence, and the high cost of labor. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the cost per kilowatt-hour for commercial establishments in California is 13.11 cents while it’s only 8.2 cents in Texas — a saving of almost 40 percent. For industrial users, the savings are even greater: 10.72 cents per KWH in California versus just 5.86 cents in Texas. That cuts a heavy user’s energy bill in Texas nearly in half. Advantage: Texas

The advantage enjoyed by Texas is reflected in the states’ comparative economic growth rates: nearly four percent last year in Texas versus half that in California. In job growth, Texas regained the jobs it lost during the Great Recession by May of 2011 while California just made it back to even by May of this year — a three-year difference in favor of Texas. Since May 2011, Texas has added more than a million new jobs, while California has added barely 25,000 new jobs since this past May. Advantage: Texas

According to the blog 24/7 Wall Street, Texas ranks eighth among the country’s most quickly growing states with GDP growth jumping by $1.5 trillion in 2013. Its population continues to grow as well, with unemployment below the national average. California is well off the pace. Advantage: Texas

Bradley Allen, a pediatric heart surgeon in Paso Robles, just announced his candidacy for Congress in California’s 24th district, and in the process noted the difference between California and Texas in an opinion article at the Wall Street Journal: “Texas has no state income tax, while California’s 13.3% marginal rate is the highest in the country. Electricity rates are about 50%-88% higher compared to Texas due to the Golden State’s renewable-energy mandate, and its gas is 70-80 cents per gallon more expensive because of taxes.” Advantage: Texas

Allen’s opponent is incumbent Lois Capps, who sports a dismal Freedom Index rating of just 21 out of 100 on constitutional issues. Out of California’s 53 congressional districts, 18 of them have FI ratings of 20 or lower, while just one has an FI rating of 80 or higher. In Texas, by contrast, just three representatives have a rating of 20 or less out of the state’s 36 districts, with one, Rep. Steve Stockman, holding an FI rating of 95. Advantage: Texas

One of the best measures of the difference between the two states is just how much a Californian would have to pay to move his family to Texas. In November 2012, a Californian living in San Francisco would pay $1,693 to rent a 20-foot U-Haul truck and drive it San Antonio. On the other hand, a Texan in San Antonio moving to San Francisco would pay just $893 for the same truck. (Since then the numbers have become even more favorable: A Californian moving his family on August 1 from San Francisco to San Antonio would have to pay $1,890 for the same truck while a Texan moving the other way would pay only $737.) Advantage: Texas

However, David Horsey, writing for the Baltimore Sun, noted that Californians moving to Texas will leave an awful lot behind:

California has Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Texas has oil and gas.

California has Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi. Texas has Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert.

In California, billionaires get taxed more to pay for programs for the poor. In Texas, billionaires get to keep their money, and the poor go without health care.

[California Governor Jerry] Brown got voters to approve a tax hike to balance the budget and fund education. [Texas Governor Rick] Perry balanced the budget by slashing spending on education.

In lots of places in California, it’s tough to live on a middle class family budget. In lots of places in Texas, it’s hard to live outside a church-going, football-loving, white, heterosexual lifestyle.

Absence of snarky, politically correct, bitter liberals. Advantage: Texas.

 

How much is a Trillion Dollars, anyway?

Historical government spending in the United S...

Historical government spending in the United States from 1902 to 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wayne Crews has a problem. For years now he has been updating the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Ten Thousand Commandments” but the numbers, despite his best efforts, are simply beyond human comprehension.

 

But he continues to try, nevertheless. He says that the regulatory state takes

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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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