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Virginia likely to reinstate parole for even murderers

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 10/16/2021 - 4:24pm

Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) predicts that Virginia’s senate will vote to bring back parole in 2022 — “across the board,” meaning for even the most serious crimes, such as murder. Restoring parole could increase the number of murders, rapes, and robberies in Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports: A movement to reinstate parole in Virginia could […]

The post Virginia likely to reinstate parole for even murderers appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Biden’s Pick For Top Banking Regulator Refuses To Hand Over Thesis On Marxism

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 10/15/2021 - 10:52am

By Ailan Evans Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), is refusing to hand over to the Senate Banking Committee her university thesis on Marxism written during her time in the Soviet Union. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, ranking member of the committee, had sent a […]

The post Biden’s Pick For Top Banking Regulator Refuses To Hand Over Thesis On Marxism appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill would wipe out jobs, raise taxes and debt

Liberty Unyielding - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 3:49pm

Usually, the public likes getting welfare benefits from the government, if they think someone else will have to pay for it. But the public seems to realize that the Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill will come out of their own pocket, judging by its unpopularity. It will also wipe out many jobs and increase […]

The post Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill would wipe out jobs, raise taxes and debt appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Americans Getting Poorer As Prices Go Up 5.4% Year Over Year And Wages Can’t Keep Up

Liberty Unyielding - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 1:30pm

By Brianna Lyman Americans will soon be shelling out a lot more money — if they haven’t done so already — to buy basic necessities as inflation escalates, the costs of goods surge and wage growth can’t keep up. Some households may see their heating bills more than double when compared to the previous winter […]

The post Americans Getting Poorer As Prices Go Up 5.4% Year Over Year And Wages Can’t Keep Up appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

School equity chief who made racist, anti-white videos removed

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 8:29pm

A Washington State school district equity leader has been removed from her position after her vulgarity-laced anti-white tirades surfaced. The College Fix reported on the controversy surrounding Alicia Busch, the equity team leader of the Tahoma School District. She declared in her video clips that white people are “amoral colonizers” and said the American Dream […]

The post School equity chief who made racist, anti-white videos removed appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Private schools crack down on dissent and non-progressive humor

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 3:45pm

You can’t escape the left-wing ideology and mind control found in many public schools by moving your kid to an elite private school. Thanks to left-wing administrators and accreditors, those schools are often even more ideologically narrow-minded and “woke” than the public schools. “Students at one of the oldest and most prestigious boys schools in […]

The post Private schools crack down on dissent and non-progressive humor appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Inflation Rises Again As COVID Recovery Slows And Supply Chains Remain In Chaos

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 11:46am

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in September, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 5.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday The year-over-year 5.4% inflation figure is an increase from August’s 5.3%, and September’s figure represents the highest year-over-year inflation increase since January 1991, according to CNBC. The 5.4% increase in […]

The post Inflation Rises Again As COVID Recovery Slows And Supply Chains Remain In Chaos appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Loudoun County schools covered up rape, and victim’s father was prosecuted

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 3:28pm

“The Daily Wire has published an intense investigative piece that exposes a deep rot in Virginia’s public school system — one that should force parents all over the country to question whether public school officials, both elected and unelected, care about their students at all,” notes the Washington Examiner. It chronicles the arrest of a […]

The post Loudoun County schools covered up rape, and victim’s father was prosecuted appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Two Election Employees Fired For Allegedly Shredding Voter Applications In Georgia

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 2:06pm

By Brianna Lyman Two Fulton County, Georgia, workers were fired Friday after allegations surfaced that they shredded voter registration applications over the last two week. Georgia Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger called for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate in a Monday statement. “After 20 years of documented failure in Fulton County elections, Georgians […]

The post Two Election Employees Fired For Allegedly Shredding Voter Applications In Georgia appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

What Lessons Can We Learn by Comparing U.S. and European Economic Performance?

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 12:19pm

I freely admit that I don’t like President Biden’s fiscal agenda in part because of my libertarianism. Simply stated, I’m instinctively skeptical when someone wants to expand government.

But I’m also an economist who believes in cost-benefit analysis. Moreover, I recognize that there are “public goods” that the private sector can’t – or isn’t allowed to – provide.

So I’m a big believer in looking at evidence to see if a proposed expansion of government makes sense.

As such, if we review the economic performance of nations that have already adopted Biden-type policies – such as Western Europe’s welfare states, that should tell us whether those policies are a good idea for the United States.

Well, if that kind of evidence matters, the answer surely is negative.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized on this topic a few days ago and reached a similar conclusion.

Here are some key excerpts.

“To oppose these investments is to be complicit in America’s decline,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday, adding that “other countries are speeding up and America is falling behind.” …You have to admire the audacity of pitching higher taxes and more social welfare as the path to national revival, especially when the global evidence is the opposite. The result of Mr. Biden’s expanded entitlements is likely to be reduced incentives to work and invest, slower economic growth, lower living standards.

The editorial is filled with hard data on the sub-par performance of various European nations.

That’s the lesson from Europe’s cradle-to-grave welfare states… European jobless rates tend to be much higher than in the U.S., especially for the young. In 2019 labor participation was 62.6% in the U.S. versus 49.7% in Italy, 55% in France, 57.7% in Spain, 59.3% in Portugal and 61.3% in Germany. …U.S. GDP growth still averaged 2.3% from 2010 to 2019, surpassing Italy (0.27%), Portugal (0.86%), Spain (1.07%), France (1.42%) and Germany (1.97%). …Mr. Biden’s plan would empower the government, pile burdens on the private economy, and erode upward mobility by encouraging people not to work. That’s the real recipe for decline.

And let’s not forget that scholarly research also shows that bigger government leads to economic weakness.

P.S. the WSJ editorial also made a very important point that European-style welfare expansions necessarily require huge tax increases on lower-income and middle-class households.

Europe’s little-discussed secret is that its cradle-to-grave welfare states are financed by the middle class via value-added and payroll taxes. The combined employer-employee social security tax rate is 36% in Spain, 40% in Italy and 65% in France. Value-added taxes in most European economies are around 20%. There simply aren’t enough rich to finance their entitlements.

For what it’s worth, Biden wants people to believe that all his new entitlement expansions can be financed with class-warfare taxes on upper-income households.

Even Paul Krugman admits that is preposterously false.

P.P.S. What’s especially revealing is that European nations have been falling further behind the United States, making them members of the “Anti-Convergence Club.”

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Image credit: Sébastien Bertrand | CC BY 2.0.

Prestigious art museum fires volunteers because most of them are white

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/11/2021 - 1:41pm

“Old white ladies” are “no longer allowed to volunteer to give museum tours,” says Libby Emmons on Twitter. She’s referring to how the Art Institute of Chicago fired all 122 of its (unpaid and volunteer) docents because they aren’t sufficiently ‘diverse.’ The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), one of the world’s finest art museums, harbors […]

The post Prestigious art museum fires volunteers because most of them are white appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

US Cybersecurity At A ‘Kindergarten Level’ Compared To China, Former Pentagon Official Says

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/11/2021 - 1:05pm

By Ailan Evans A former Department of Defense official said he left the Pentagon in protest over the United States’ inability to compete with China technologically. Nicolas Chaillan, former chief software officer at the U.S. Air Force, told the Financial Times that China’s progress in artificial intelligence, cyber security and machine learning was much more advanced […]

The post US Cybersecurity At A ‘Kindergarten Level’ Compared To China, Former Pentagon Official Says appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

The IMF Should Be Eliminated, not Expanded

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Mon, 10/11/2021 - 12:04pm

I’m not a fan of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Since I work mostly on fiscal issues, I don’t like the fact that the bureaucracy is an avid cheerleader for ever-higher taxes (which is disgustingly hypocritical since IMF employees get lavishtax-free salaries).

But the biggest problem with the IMF is that it promotes “moral hazard.” More specifically, it provides bailouts for irresponsible governments and for those who foolishly lend to those governments.

The net result is that bad behavior is rewarded, which is a recipe for more bad behavior.

All of which explains why some nations (and their foolish lenders) have received dozens of bailouts.

Oh, and let’s not forget that these endless bailouts also lead to a misallocation of capital, thus reducing global growth.

In an article for the New York Times, Patricia Cohen reports on discussions to expand the IMF’s powers.

Once narrowly viewed as a financial watchdog and a first responder to countries in financial crises, the I.M.F. has more recently helped manage two of the biggest risks to the worldwide economy: the extreme inequality and climate change. …long-held beliefs like the single-minded focus on how much an economy grows, without regard to problems like inequality and environmental damage, are widely considered outdated. And the preferred cocktail for helping debt-ridden nations that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s — austerity, privatization of government services and deregulation — has lost favor in many circles as punitive and often counterproductive.

There’s a lot to dislike about the above excerpts.

Starting with the article’s title, since it would be more accurate to say that the IMF’s bailout policies encourage fires.

Multiple fires.

Looking at the text, the part about “extreme inequality” is nonsensical, both because the IMF hasn’t done anything to “manage” the issue, other than to advocate for class-warfare taxes.

Moreover, there’s no support for the empty assertion that inequality is a “risk” to the world economy (sensible people point out that the real problem is poverty, not inequality).

Ms. Cohen also asserts that the “preferred cocktail” of  pro-market policies (known as the Washington Consensus) has “lost favor,” which certainly is accurate.

But she offers another empty – and inaccurate – assertion by writing that it was “counterproductive.”

Here are some additional excerpts.

The debate about the role of the I.M.F. was bubbling before the appointment of Ms. Georgieva… But she has embraced an expanded role for the agency. …she stepped up her predecessors’ attention to the widening inequality and made climate change a priority, calling for an end to all fossil fuel subsidies, for a tax on carbon and for significant investment in green technology. …Sustainable debt replaced austerity as the catchword. …The I.M.F. opposed the hard line taken by some Wall Street creditors in 2020 toward Argentina, emphasizing instead the need to protect “society’s most vulnerable” and to forgive debt that exceeds a country’s ability to repay.

The last thing the world needs is “an expanded role” for the IMF.

It’s especially troubling to read that the bureaucrats want dodgy governments to have more leeway to spend money (that’s the real meaning of “sustainable debt”).

And if the folks at the IMF are actually concerned about “society’s most vulnerable” in poorly run nations such as Argentina, they would be demanding that the country copy the very successful poverty-reducing policies in neighboring Chile.

Needless to say, that’s not what’s happening.

The article does acknowledge that not everyone is happy with the IMF’s statist agenda.

Some stakeholders…object to what’s perceived as a progressive tilt. …Ms. Georgieva’s activist climate agenda has…run afoul of Republicans in Congress… So has her advocacy for a minimum global corporate tax.

It would be nice, though, if Ms. Cohen had made the article more balanced by quoting some of the critics.

The bottom line, as I wrote last year, is that the world would be better off if the IMF was eliminated.

Simply stated, we don’t need an international bureaucracy that actually argues it’s okay to hurt the poor so long as the rich are hurt by a greater amount.

P.S. The political leadership of the IMF is hopelessly bad, as is the bureaucracy’s policy agenda. That being said, there are many good economists who work at the IMF and they often produce high-quality research (see hereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here). Sadly, their sensible analyses doesn’t seem to have any impact on the decisions of the organization’s top bureaucrats.

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Image credit: IMF | Public Domain.

‘It Looks Like The Third World’: New York City Drug Stores Ravaged By Shop Lifters

Liberty Unyielding - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 9:25pm

By Shakzhod Yuldoshboev An unprecedented spike in shoplifting has emptied out the shelves of drug stores across New York City, the New York Post reported Saturday “It looks like the Third World,” a Manhattan resident complained after inspecting the ravaged aisles of a local CVS, according to the New York Post. “They’ve all been stolen,” […]

The post ‘It Looks Like The Third World’: New York City Drug Stores Ravaged By Shop Lifters appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

The Economic Damage of Biden’s Fiscal Agenda

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 12:37pm

President Biden’s fiscal agenda of higher taxes and bigger government is not a recipe for prosperity.

How much will it hurt the economy?

Last month, I shared the results of a new study I wrote with Robert O’Quinn for the Club for Growth Foundation.

We based our results on a wide range of economic research, especially a scholarly study from the Congressional Budget Office, and found a big drop in economic output, employment and labor income.

Most troubling was the estimate of a long-run drop in living standards, which would be especially bad news for young people.

Today, I want to share some different estimates of the potential impact of Biden’s agenda.

A study for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, authored by  E. J. Antoni, Vance Ginn, and Stephen Moore, found even higher levels of economic damage. Here are some main excerpts.

President Biden and congressional Democrats seek to spend another $6.2 trillion over the next decade, spread across at least two bills that comprise their “Build Back Better” plan. This plan includes heavy taxing, spending, and debt, which contributes to reducing growth rates for GDP, employment, income, and capital stock.  Compared to baseline growth over the next decade, this plan will result in estimated dynamic economic effects of 5.3 million fewer jobs, $3.7 trillion less in GDP, $1.2 trillion less in income, and $4.5 trillion in new debt. …There are many regulatory changes and transfer payments in current legislation whose effects have not been included in this paper but are worth mentioning in closing since they will have many of the same effects as the tax increases discussed in this paper. Extending or expanding the enhanced Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and more, disincentivizes working, reducing incomes, investment, and GDP. Just the changes to these three tax credits alone are expected to cause a loss of 15,000 jobs… Permanently expanding the health insurance premium tax credits would similarly have a negative effect… Regulatory changes subsidizing so-called green energy while increasing tax and regulatory burdens on fossil fuels also result in a less efficient allocation of resources.

If we focus on gross domestic product (GDP), the TPPF estimates a drop in output of $3.7 trillion, which is higher than my study, which showed a drop of about $3 trillion.

Part of the difference is that TPPF looked at the impact of both the so-callled infrastructure spending package and Biden’s so-called Build Back Better plan, while the study for the Club for Growth Foundation only looked at the impact of the latter.

So it makes sense that TPPF would find more aggregate damage.

And part of the difference is that economists rarely agree on anything because there are so many variables and different experts will assign different weights to those variables.

So the purpose of sharing these numbers is not to pretend that any particular study perfectly estimates the effect of Biden’s agenda, but rather to simply get a sense of the likely magnitude of the economic damage.

Speaking of economic damage, here’s a table from the TPPF showing state-by-state job losses.

I’ll close by noting that you can also use common sense to get an idea of what will happen if Biden’s agenda is approved.

He wants to make the United States more like Western Europe’s welfare states, so all we have to do is compare U.S. living standards and economic performance to what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

And when you do that, the clear takeaway is that it’s crazy to “catch up” to nations that are actually way behind.

———
Image credit: Gage Skidmore | CC BY-SA 2.0.

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