Three Views of Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley’s new book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, is garnering rave reviews. Ridley, science writer and popularizer of evolutionary psychology, shows how it was trade and specialization of labor–and the resulting massive growth in technological sophistication–that hauled humanity from its impoverished past to its comparatively rich present. These trends will continue, he argues, and will […]

McDonald’s Case Highlights ObamaCare’s Threat to Low-Income Workers’ Health Insurance, Political Freedom

Many employers, such as McDonald’s, provide health benefits that are less comprehensive than most.  They may have an annual claims limit of $10,000 or less.  But if you’re young, healthy, and need to pinch your pennies, that may suit you just fine.  According to Jerry Newman, a SUNY-Buffalo professor who wrote a book about working […]

Fiscal Report Card on the Governors

We released Cato’s report card on the fiscal policies of the governors today. We calculated data on the taxing and spending habits of 45 of the nation’s 50 governors, between 2008 to August 2010. The governors are scored from 0 to 100 on seven separate taxing and spending variables. The scores are aggregated and converted to letter grades, […]

P. J. O’Rourke on Tour

P. J. O’Rourke, Cato’s H. L. Mencken Research Fellow, is touring the country to talk about his new book, Don’t Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards. He’ll be doing these Cato events: September 30                 San Francisco, Palace Hotel October 7               […]

Eliot Cohen’s Key to Victory: Shut Up

Today’s Washington Post features an op-ed by John Hopkins’ SAIS professor Eliot Cohen arguing – via a series of fictional statements — that the Obama team’s decision to speak with Bob Woodward is likely to have a devastating impact on our ability to win in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The technique is too cute by half. I […]

ARMs as Automatic Stabilizers

An argument often heard for keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or some sort of subsidy for mortgages, is the desire to keep the 30 year fixed rate mortgage “affordable.” The 30 year fixed certainly has some merits – which borrowers should be willing to pay for – but it also has the downside of […]

Overhauling CBO and JCT Is a Real Test of GOP Resolve, not the ‘Pledge to America’

While I’m glad Republicans are finally talking about smaller government, I’ve expressed some disappointment with the GOP Pledge to America. Why “reform” Fannie and Freddie, I asked, when the right approach is to get the government completely out of the housing sector. Jacob Sullum of Reason is similarly underwhelmed. He writes: In the “Pledge to […]

First Lady Asks Nurses to Engage in Legislative Advocacy with Their Patients

No, seriously.  First Lady Michelle Obama is asking nurses to promote ObamaCare to their patients. With hundreds of thousands of medical errors occurring each year — a problem that ObamaCare does nothing to address — this is exactly what I want my nurse thinking about as she’s inserting a needle into my arm. First Lady […]

Head Start Fraud

It’s been a tough week for the Department of Health and Human Services. As I discussed earlier, the Government Accountability Office reported on fraud problems with the Child Care and Development Fund program. Another new report from the GAO finds fraud problems with HHS’s Head Start program. GAO investigators attempted to register children from fictitious […]

KFF/HRET Survey, Part III: Employers Can’t Shift to Workers a Cost that Workers Already Bear

In a previous post, I promised to address the negative spin that the Kaiser Family Foundation put on its annual Employer Health Benefits Survey, released this month.  I do so in an op-ed that ran today at the Daily Caller.  An excerpt: The Kaiser Family Foundation recently issued its annual survey of employer-sponsored health benefits, declaring: “Family Health Premiums […]