Latest Blog Posts

Don’t Panic! A Reader’s Guide to the Coming Interest Rate Hike

March 9, 2017 by Logan Albright

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to announce an increase in interest rates one quarter of one percent, with further increases not too far behind. Don’t everybody panic at once.

Displaying a characteristic combination of economic ignorance and fear mongering, Politico is portraying this decision as directly contrary to the nation’s prosperity, arguing that rate increases will cause a stock market crash and a recession in one fell swoop. But while both those things are pretty likely to happen in the near future, it won’t be because of higher interest rates. Quite the opposite.

It’s important to understand that the Federal Reserve has been artificially holding down interest rates for a decade, in a misguided effort to speed the recovery from the Great Recession. …

Reach for the Stars! But Do It Without the Government

March 5, 2017 by Logan Albright

“American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.”

These were the words of President Trump in his recent address to Congress and, as far as they go, I am fully in agreement with them. Space exploration remains one of the most thrilling areas of human enterprise, and as Gene Roddenberry noted, it truly is the final frontier. To be dismissive of the dreams of space travel would be an affront to the innately human sense of curiosity that has led us steadily from the dark ages of primitive barbarism to our current world of technological marvels.

And the prospects are good. Just this week, SpaceX, the private spaceflight company helmed by billionaire entrepreneur and whiz-kid Elon Musk, announced plans to send two passengers on a trip around the moon by 2018, which will mark the first time humans have visited our illustrious satellite since the 1970s. …

As Consumers Turn to Milk Substitutes, Big Dairy Is Fighting Back

March 3, 2017 by Logan Albright

I’ve long believed that food labeling regulations are less about consumer protection and more about companies trying to use government to hurt competition and gain an edge over rival products. For example, the recent push for the FDA to define the word “natural” on food packaging was, in my opinion, nothing more than food producers seeking a government seal of approval for their products, and one that would be unavailable to many of their competitors.

This trend of rent seeking continues with a new lobbying effort from dairy farmers, who insist that the word “milk” should be legally reserved for the products of animal lactation. What this would mean in practice is that popular products such as soy milk and almond milk would have to change their names to something else — something with, one can imagine, a far less appetizing sound. …

Rand Paul’s Health Care Plan, Part 6

February 28, 2017 by Matt Kibbe

Shouldn’t you be rewarded for taking care of yourself? The last part in our series talks about how Rand Paul’s plan lets you pay for physical fitness and nutrition supplements with your health savings account.

Bizarro World: Democrats Like Town Halls Now

February 28, 2017 by Matt Kibbe

The same people who called the tea party rallies “astroturf” are now championing the value of grassroots activism at Republican Town Halls.

Raise Your Hand: The Paul Dame Story

February 28, 2017 by Matt Kibbe

Paul Dame is a rare breed when it comes to political activism. He’s a Ron Paul Republican serving in the State House in Vermont. His story will inspire you.

What’s the Matter with Courts Today? What Private Justice Looks Like

February 24, 2017 by Logan Albright

My colleague Daniel Horowitz is fond of pointing out that the current system of government courts routinely exceeds its authority, makes questionable judgments, and acts as a de facto lawmaker in spite of the limited role prescribed by the Constitution for the judicial branch. In addition to those legitimate criticisms of the courts, there’s a fundamental, if rather prosaic, problem: They simply don’t work.

Imagine you and someone with whom you do business have a dispute. Maybe a roofer failed to do his job, and now rain is pouring into your house. Maybe you’ve been cheated by an unscrupulous restaurateur whose food fails to live up to the advertised standard. …

Stingray Technology Shows Ongoing Tension Between Privacy Rights and Security

February 23, 2017 by Josh Withrow

Law enforcement is always looking for the best new technology to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated criminal agents, not to mention terrorist sympathizers.

In the pursuit of this goal, new surveillance equipment makes tracking actual criminal suspects easier and faster each year. Each advance in the field of surveillance stretches the boundaries of Fourth Amendment protections against undue search and seizure, creating grey areas where the legitimate pursuit of public safety may conflict with individuals’ immediate privacy and right to be presumed innocent. In these cases, there should be a robust public debate to decide where to set that line.

Enter the Stingray. Properly known as an international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) catcher, Stingray is the brand name of such a device that basically collects communications data over a wide area by tricking mobile devices into thinking that the Stingray is actually a cellphone tower. …

Rand Paul’s Health Care Plan, Part 4

February 21, 2017 by Matt Kibbe

The fourth part in our series on health care reform focuses on Individual Health Pools, in which people can band together to buy insurance, lower costs, and become independent from their employers.

Why Grover Cleveland Is My Favorite President (And Should Be Yours Too)

February 20, 2017 by Logan Albright

If you’re like me (I know you’re not, but humor me), you’ve got some very definite views on which of the 44 men who have served as President of the United States did the best job. Wait, 44 men? Isn’t Donald Trump the 45th president? He is, and that discrepancy is highly relevant to what follows, because my favorite president is Grover Cleveland, the man responsible for the numbering confusion.

Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president of the U.S., having been defeated after his first term by the upstart Benjamin Harrison, but roaring back to glory four years later in one of the greatest comebacks in political history. …