The political economy of health reform: Price regulation vs. regulated competition
James C. Capretta | AEI Economic Perspectives | September 13, 2021
Increasing cost pressures in the commercial health care market
Benedic N. Ippolito | American Enterprise Institute
To improve the depressed cost efficiency in the commercial health care market, policymakers can deter future consolidation, expand markets of providers, and limit dominant providers’ ability to translate a lack of competition into high prices.
The experts somehow overlooked authoritarians on the left
Sally Satel | The Atlantic
An ideological monoculture in the discipline of psychology has damaged our collective understanding of political psychology — and, by extension, American politics.
Drug pricing: Policy and politics
Benedic N. Ippolito | Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
The Breakdown of Objective Reality
A crisis of authority has left the public increasingly willing to believe implausible things.
James Capretta considers its social spending increases in context of existing entitlement programs.
Steven Kamin breaks down inflation and the role of central banks.
The entitlement train rolls on
Where are the Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ reports?
Letter: The price of inflation, now and in the future
China’s challenge to the global economic recovery
Desmond Lachman | The Hill
An Epidemic of Bad Budgeting
Covid-19 lockdowns exposed cities’ deep-seated financial troubles
American Decline: A Symposium on The Decline of Nations
by law & liberty editors
American decline has become a regular topic of conversation among those on the right. But why do nations fail? And what has caused this new despondency about America’s future? Joseph F. Johnston addresses these questions in The Decline of Nations. From immigration to globalization, fading religious faith, centralized power, and economic stagnation, Johnston considers how […]
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But Thou Shalt Endure
by david p. goldman
In his indictment of America's national decline, Johnston's belief that America has the wherewithal to restore itself shines through.
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Decline on the Mind
by bradford littlejohn
Joseph Johnston’s study joins a long line of “decline and fall” studies attempting to glean lessons from history to avoid repeating it.
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Failure at Every Stage
What the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan tells us
After Sixty Days Biden Is Drifting Into Surrealism
By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun | March 27, 2021
A Storm Over the American Republic by Guy Millièr
A Taiwan Crisis May Mark the End of the American Empire
By Niall Ferguson via Bloomberg
Niall Ferguson warns of China’s capability of overtaking Taiwan in the near term. He explains that the United States’ commitment to Taiwan has grown verbally stronger, even as the US has become militarily weaker relative to China in the Indo-Pacific region. He also argues that if Washington fails to deter such a crisis, it will mark the end of American predominance in Asia.
Biden Should Ditch the Doha Deal with Taliban by Amir Taheri
Look Who’s Embracing ‘America First’ Now
Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz — Newsweek
Countless news outlets have portrayed the nascent Biden administration’s foreign policy as rapidly pivoting away from President Donald Trump‘s much-maligned “America First” approach toward “Americans together” or “America is back,” to name just a few. The implication is that the United States will no longer prioritize its narrowly defined self-interest or pursue merely transactional deals at the expense of the greater good. Read more
The UN and the Illiberal International Order
Clifford D. May, Emma Reilly, Orde Kittrie and Richard Goldberg — FDD's Foreign Podicy
With the defeat of the Axis Powers in 1945, the United States emerged as the strongest nation on earth. But rather than emulate hegemons of the past, American leaders envisioned a new and different world order. Their goal was to organize an “international community,” establish “universal human rights,” and a growing body of “international law.” This project required new institutions, in particular the United Nations. Listen here
Biden Risks Repeating Mistakes of the Past if He Ignores the Evidence on Iran
Richard Goldberg — The Dispatch
The U.N.’s nuclear chief on Monday all but accused Iran of lying to international inspectors about the existence of undeclared nuclear material and sites inside the country—an alarming development in an investigation that predates America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The statement raises an important question for the Biden administration: Will Iran be required to account for its past and present clandestine nuclear work before President Joe Biden agrees to lift U.S. sanctions? Read more
What Red Line Tells Us About Syria’s Chemical Weapons
David Adesnik – The National Interest
HEATHER MAC DONALD
Encouraging a mob to target his own allies and disrupt the rule of law, the president has ended his tenure disgracefully—and emboldened the Left.
HOW THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE WORKS
7 Things You Need to Know About Today's Electoral College Vote
Dominion Voting System "Designed...to Create Systemic Fraud" by Soeren Kern
Unsatisfying Election Could Boomerang On Both Sides
By IRA STOLL, Special to the Sun | November 16, 2020
What an unsatisfying election. Opponents of President Trump were denied what they had long sought -- a resounding rejection of Trump and Trumpism by the American electorate. Hoped-for Democratic gains in congressional contests, high-profile Senate races, and state legislatures largely failed to materialize. Mr. Trump won roughly 10 million more votes than he received in 2020. The Democratic presidential ticket failed to carry such hotly contested battleground states as Iowa, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, or Texas, where the Democrats had invested substantial resources.
The Republican Workers Party?
What the pollsters got so wrong with 2020 election
I find it remarkable that polling has been as accurate as it has been — but it got worse this week. The RealClearPolitics average of recent polls showed Joe Biden…
Bum's Rush for Trump Is Biden's First Mistake
Editorial of The New York Sun | November 7, 2020
The Election is Not Over by Chris Farrell
In Defense of the Electoral College
Will Sellers, City Journal
I came of age politically with the 1968 presidential election. Alabama governor George Wallace was running as an independent against Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. My parents were Nixon supporters, and I, their five-year-old son, hopped on the Nixon bandwagon with gusto. The dinnertime conversations in the month preceding the election were all about whether Wallace’s third-party candidacy could work. Read more here..
Trump’s Vast Deregulatory Landscape Goes Unnoticed – Casey Mulligan, E21
The MMT Myth
Otmar Issing, Project Syndicate
JONATHAN A. LESSER
The “Transition from Oil” and Other Fairy Tales
Politicians promising a painless switch to renewables are deluding themselves—or more likely you.
The pollsters were wrong again — why do we listen to them?
Every single major election year, they do it to us. They offer us numbers, and people...
Participation is only a part of democratic education
Frederick M. Hess | Education Week
Democratic government means that we can have faith that the state's reach will be limited, our rights will be protected, and the practical consequences of an election result go only so far.
China: Existential Threat to America by Gordon G. Chang
Does the executive branch control the power of the purse?
Molly Reynolds and Philip Wallach | American Enterprise Institute
Although the US Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, today a number of laws and arrangements have empowered the executive branch to make independent spending choices.
New York’s Year from Hell
The city faces a daunting recovery from Covid-19, but it can do much to ensure that its many distinctive industries survive
NYC at the Abyss: Use the Financial Control Board
By BETSY McCAUGHEY, Special to the Sun | October 13, 2020
New York is heading into a financial abyss. On October 1, Moody's downgraded New York City general obligation debt for the first time since the Dinkins era, and warns that more downgrades may be ahead.
Meantime, the De Blasio administration announced October 3 that it was defaulting on a long scheduled $900 million deferred payout to current and former employees. Intervention by a court led to more obligations.
How New York Can End the Public Housing Trap
Howard Husock, City Journal
Nearly half (47 percent) of all the households in New York City public housing have lived in their apartments for 20 years or more. Some 18 percent have lived in the projects for at least 40 years. This is not just intergenerational dependency. Spending a lifetime in public housing also reflects a lifetime of missed opportunity. The two main features of public housing are artificially low rents and resident income limits. Read more here.
Why Do Attempts at Reforming Capitalism Fail?
Karthik Ramanna, Fortune
The IMF’s Debt Warning
Andrea Shalal, Reuters
Who’s Afraid of Rules-Based Monetary Policy?
John B. Taylor, Project Syndicate
Budgeting Through Rose-Colored Glasses
For states and municipalities, assuming endless economic and population growth can bring disaster.
PENCE CARRIES DEBATE; TRUMP ROLLS LIBS IN CONFIRMATION FIGHT & WALTER BERNS ON THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Trump Chose Well in His Vice President, Debate Shows
Editorial of The New York Sun | October 8, 2020
The Vice Presidential debate this evening underscored what a wise choice President Trump made when he picked Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. That in and of itself isn't news (we endorsed Mr. Pence for a second term as soon as it was known with whom Vice President Biden would be running). What we just saw was just how politically skilled the man from Indiana is in the high-stakes arena.
Democrats Emerging As the Heirs To Know-Nothing Movement
By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun | September 29, 2020
How Government Policy Inflates Health Care Costs: The Curse Of Cross Subsidies
by John H. Cochrane via PolicyEd
Health care prices are expensive in America, in part due to government-enforced cross subsidies.
After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College
The mechanisms that lead to the final selection of a president are complex. Some procedures are sketched out in the original Constitution and its amendments, and others in federal law, congressional rules and procedures, state laws, and political party rules. The fourth edition of “After the People Vote” — featuring new sections on public opinion on the Electoral College and proposals for amending the Electoral College system — explains how our system of electing a president works, especially the processes that kick in after the November general election date.
The Attempt to Overthrow America by Guy Millière
Welfare State Liberalism Has Run Out of Gas
Chris Pope, E21
Since the Democratic Party secured a majority of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, a new cohort of legislators led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has eagerly advanced ambitious plans to expand federal spending known as the “Green New Deal” and “Medicare for All.” These names both recall the mid-20th century, when major expansions of government programs helped the Democratic Party to dominate American politics for a generation. Yet, this winning political formula eventually ran into diminishing returns. Read more here..
In-depth with Yuval Levin
Yuval Levin | C-SPAN
In a wide-ranging interview, Yuval Levin discusses US political history and the political divide in the country today.
The Fed leaked its future plans through WSJ central bank watcher Nick Timiraos. In the reporter's words, the Fed could “amplify” its commitment to low rates “by capping yields on every Treasury security that matures before 2023.” Only an economist could believe this would work. No doubt some of the bluest of blue chip businesses, individuals, and governments will be able to borrow at rates related to the yield cap benchmarks set by the Fed, but this would be true with or without the caps. Actual economic growth comes from financing new ideas, or the creation of wealth that doesn’t yet exist. The Fed's confirmation of what's already true (sure things can borrow at low rates) will not alter the cost of capital for growth ideas one bit. Thankfully it won't. Much as economists wish it weren't true, what can be controlled by non-market entities is soon enough not worth controlling. And as the 20th century hopefully reminds the half awake, there's little to control to begin with. The opinion piece can be found here.
American civilization and its discontents
Matthew Continetti | The Washington Free Beacon
Without institutions that cultivate republican virtue and leaders who model it, young Americans have turned to the moral certitudes of the new progressivism.
Trump's 2020 Platform
Editorial of The New York Sun | May 29, 2020
In a new AEI report, Colin Dueck assesses the new conservative traditionalists whose concerns are not limited to conventional social issues, but rather carry heavy implications for other areas of US policy, including domestic, economic, and national security. New traditionalism represents a vital growth in democratically oriented, conservative political thought that cannot be washed away. A genuine fusion of right of center will eventually be needed. Read the full report here.
Is democracy in decline? Despite historic protests in Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, and more, Freedom House found that 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. What explains this trend? This week, the president of Freedom House, Michael Abramowitz, joined Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen to explain why Freedom House assesses that democracy is under assault. Listen here.
CFR: Five Points about U.S. Trade Over the Last Thirty Years
by Brad W. Setser
No Rush for State Bailouts
Washington should buy time with intermediate measures before committing itself to handing over as much as $1 trillion
The Staggering Cost of the Pandemic
Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute
A Biden Bombshell? Open the University of Delaware Archive
Editorial of The New York Sun | May 2, 2020
Joe Biden's Burden
Editorial of The New York Sun | May 1, 2020
What role should the federal government play in addressing state and municipal pension debts?
Andrew G. Biggs | TeacherPensions.org
Federal pension regulations exist for a good reason, and those reasons apply to governments as much as to private companies.
CONRAD BLACK: ON THE UNRELENTING DISTAIN U.S. PRESS CORPS HAS FOR TEAM TRUMP & WHY BAILOUTS AREN'T WORKING
The Dubious Morality Of Modern Administrative Law
featuring Richard A. Epstein via National Review
Modern administrative law has been the subject of intense and protracted intellectual debate, from legal theorists to such high-profile judicial confirmations as those conducted for Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. On one side, defenders of limited government argue that the growth of the administrative state threatens traditional ideas of private property, freedom of contract, and limited government.
This latest legislative effort, useful and necessary though it is, suggests that Congress and the administration are still behind the curve, explains Yuval Levin.
Nicholas Eberstadt writes that the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated the deepest and most fundamental crisis for Pax Americana that this set of global economic and security arrangements has faced in the past three postwar generations.
Just as Chevron was an iconic decision marking the rise of the administrative state, so its relative decline is also a powerful symbol. Read More »
The natural intuition is to think that federalism works in normal times and then gets in the way of prompt, effective responses to crises. Read More »
The phase three-and-a-half bill
Yuval Levin | NationalReview.com
This latest legislative effort, useful and necessary though it is, suggests that Congress and the administration are still behind the curve.
State Bailouts: 'Beyond Galling,' 'Shameless,' Too
Editorial of The New York Sun | April 20, 2020
Could Poorly Managed States End Up in Bankruptcy?
Mitch McConnell Is Open to the Idea
Editorial of The New York Sun | April 22, 2020
Tom Friedman Offers Foolish Fantasy For Biden Campaign
By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun | April 15, 2020
A 7-point checklist for reopening the economy
Michael R. Strain | Bloomberg Opinion
The US needs a concrete and coherent strategy for reopening the economy, and Congress has to commit to propping up the economy over the long term if needed.
Pressing Pause on Mortgage Payments
Arpit Gupta, City Journal
Most Americans are homeowners, and mortgage payments generally represent their biggest financial burden. Mortgage forbearance—when a mortgage provider agrees to let the homeowner pause or reduce his payments for a certain period—thus has a direct beneficial impact on struggling household finances. Forgiving mortgage debt, however, imposes a significant financial burden, which must be borne by lenders or taxpayers. The federal CARES Act tries to strike a balance between the benefits of household mortgage relief and its costs by imposing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and allowing forbearance on government-backed mortgages (primarily those by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration).
Read more here....
What Shape Recovery?
featuring John H. Cochrane via Seeking Alpha
Will the recovery be V shaped, quickly roaring back to the previous level? It does that every January 2 after the long Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's slowdown, and it did in 1984. Or will it be an agonizingly slow U or L shape, as the recovery from 2008 turned out to be?
James Capretta writes that contact tracing will be essential to reopening our economy, Alan Viard warns against excessive pessimism in forecasting, and Desmond Lachman explains how the complex global nature of the virus' economic impact will slow the recovery.
With the passage of three major responses to the pandemic, debate continues over how to implement what has been passed and whether continued aid is necessary. James Pethokoukis stresses the urgency of effectively distributing aid to small businesses, Glenn Hubbard argues that more support for hospitals and small and midsize businesses is necessary, and Paul Kupiec points out the efficacy of stimulus depends on whether it is calibrated to the duration of the crisis.
How to Get America Working Again
Mickey D. Levy & Robert S. Kaplan, Manhattan Institute
Last week’s unprecedented surge of 3.3 million initial unemployment claims quantifies some of the cost of the shutdowns to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve is appropriately focused on keeping the financial system operating and preventing a financial crisis, and the $2 trillion stimulus will provide income support to sidelined workers and financial help for businesses that face interruptions in demand and cash flow. But monetary and fiscal stimulus aren’t substitutes for the most important task: getting the unemployed back to work while protecting their health and safety. Read more here....
Michael Farren, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, & TheHill; in re: Skyrocketing unemployment claims: 6.6 million this week. The national economy has seized. It’ll get worse before it gets better; it does mean that social distancing is working, diminishing the transmission of the disease. We’re trading off a short financial crisis—a recession—in favor of a recovery sooner. Won’t see needed relief till mid-April or later. Unemployment insurance in no way can sustain a family; it’s designed to have people continue looking for work, but here we specifically don't want people out looking for work.
This is not a standard recession—the sky isn't falling—this is not the result of deep structural problems; rather, it's a government-induced recession to [avoid something worse].
The future of public-employee unions
Daniel DiSalvo | National Affairs
The past decade has been a critical juncture for public-sector unions, one that will likely have lasting political and economic effects. Liberals argue that public unions' membership will fall and their political power will decline, which will harm the Democratic Party. But there are compelling reasons to be skeptical about these claims.
The road to workforce recovery
Mason M. Bishop | AEIdeas
Decision 2020 Report: Federalism: State Power As Effective Policy
via Decision 2020
The tenth edition of the Decision 2020 Report highlights Hoover fellows’ thoughts and analyses on the constitutional roles of the state and federal governments in dealing with national crises and in major policy discussions about health care, education, immigration, and environmental protection. It also explores the effectiveness of state government in policy innovation and implementation.
The crisis of the liberal zombie order
Ross Douthat | New Statesman
by John Yoo via National Review
Large parts of the nation’s response can be undertaken only by the states.
Victor Davis Hanson: The Untold Story With Martha MacCallum
interview with Victor Davis Hanson via Fox News
Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson talks about growing up on a multi-generational farm, why he decided to write The Case for Trump, and his opinions
The damage that America First has done
Kori Schake | The Atlantic
James Madison and republican statesmanship, part 5: Confidence, prudence, and the Virginia Resolutions of 1798
Abdication and nondelegation
Adam J. White, Tal Fortgang, and Alan Morrison | “Unprecedential”
About Those Self-Evident Truths. . . .
What are we without them?
James Madison and republican statesmanship, part 4: The fog of partisanship
Jay Cost | March 2020
Refining and enlarging the public views: James Madison, the Bill of Rights, and representation in a republic
Jay Cost | American Enterprise Institute | February 5, 2020
James Madison and republican statesmanship, part 2: A road map from tribalism
Jay Cost | American Enterprise Institute | January 8, 2020
James Madison and republican statesmanship, part 1: The virtue of constitutional esteem
Jay Cost | American Enterprise Institute | December 12, 2019
Judges: The Whirlwind, Indeed
Editorial of The New York Sun | March 6, 2020
There are at least two very different visions of what America ought to be, and they increasingly appear to be mutually exclusive. Read More »