Category Archives: regulation

“How Do You Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm When They’ve See ‘Gay’ Paris”*

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.  I will say at the outset that I support this move.  Let’s settle the “legal” issues first.  The agreement was not a treaty, and was not ratified by the Senate.  It might be classified as an executive agreement or as a simple presidential agreement.  The courts have never held an agreement other than a treaty as binding in an attempt to leave that agreement.  That should settle that–unless of course some… Continue Reading ››

President Trump’s Budget: Neither Great nor Terrible

A reader asked me to post something on President Trump’s proposed budget to Congress.  Opinions have varied as to whether this budget is the apocalypse on one end or the second coming on the other, and pretty much every nuance in between.  As with most budgets–though you may not remember the last one, since it has been some time–this one is only a prospective declaration of a vision embodied in numbers.  There is no likelihood it will be adopted as… Continue Reading ››

A Preliminary Look at Health Costs and Insurance

I was asked to address the question of insurance in connection with healthcare, so I am finally mostly over my flu and hopefully can think more lucidly.  Insurance, as has been defined by some others, is simply a hedge against the future attained by paying someone (an insurer) who has established a firm that accepts many similar payees into a pool.  Out of that pool come payments now to those in need of them (contractually) and also those not in… Continue Reading ››

The Core Problem of Common Core.

I suppose it is time to write about Common Core again, in light of the recent withdrawal of a former Bush administration pro-Common Core staffer, Hanna Skandera, from consideration as an assistant secretary for the Department of Education.  This blog is not about her specifically, though she is a member of one of the Common Core testing organizations, PARCC (Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers).  Rather I am concerned about the incredible confusion that has set in… Continue Reading ››

Update on the American Health Care Act

I want to provide a brief update on the American Health Care Act bill in the House.  I also want to add a bit more analysis.  Currently the bill has been passed out of two House committees.  Democrats are trying to slow it down but aren’t likely to be successful.  But if it makes it to the Senate, it faces stiff opposition from Democrats and from more conservative Republicans who see the bill as a compromise and not what was… Continue Reading ››

A New Beginning or Obamacare Lite?

The House of Representatives has now publicly rolled out its “Repeal and Replace” bill for the elimination of Obamacare and a new health care law.  President Trump seems to like it, while Democrats, predictably, hate it, though I cannot see how they have had time to read it, and some Republicans, such as Rand Paul, have called it “Obamacare Light” because it still contains too much welfare statism.  The bill, to be marked up soon enough, is to its credit,… Continue Reading ››

What Will Congress Do About Obamacare?

What is going on with Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act?  Spirits were high about quick action in the House and even the Senate.  Ideas have not been lacking—there are several plans out there to replace the present law.  The obstacle seems to be the usual collective suspect—politicians and their obsessive worry about re-election.  It is simply a fact of life that politicians generally want (desperately?) to be re-elected once in office.  That is not likely to change,… Continue Reading ››

The City of Man

I am sitting in the San Antonio airport, waiting for my flight back home, reflecting on an excellent Values and Capitalism retreat here and–the subject of this blog–my walk yesterday.  My goal was to walk to a bookstore about two miles from my downtown hotel.  I had mapped it out using Googlemaps and set out for what I thought would be about a 20 minute trip one way.  37 minutes later I realized I had gone too far and had… Continue Reading ››

A Real-Life Story of Bureaucratic Dysfunction

If you want to read a classic insider narrative of the degeneration and dysfunction of a large and powerful (and unlimited) federal bureaucracy, read here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443227/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-tragic-failures.  The article chronicles the work of one highly placed lawyer in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  before it was slapped hard by the Federal courts. I have frequently written about what can and does occur when Constitutional limits are ignored.  This is all too frequent, given the propensity of Congress to simply give up its… Continue Reading ››

Bureaucracy and the New President

I was reading an interesting article in Reason today that directly addressed one of the major issues I have raised before and frequently alluded to (see http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/19/trump-versus-the-we-bes, December 20, 2016).  It has to do with the theme of “Trump versus the bureaucracy.”  One could substitute any president’s name in that slogan since the 1930s at least.  This is the crucial question: How does a president or his cabinet or his political appointees actually control the huge Federal agencies and make… Continue Reading ››