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  • Author: Jim F. Couch, Mark D. Foster, Keith Malone, David L. Black
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Washington's remedy to the financial problems that began in 2008 was the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)—the so called bailout of the banking system. Whatever its merits, it was, for the most part, unpopular with the American public. Lawmakers, fearful that the economy might actually collapse without some action, were likewise fearful that action—in the form of a payout to the Wall Street financiers—would prove to be harmful to them at the polls. Thus, politicians sought to assure the public that their vote on the measure would reflect Main Street virtues, not Wall Street greed.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ilya Somin
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As has often been the case in American history, federalism is once again a major focus of political debate. Numerous recent political conflicts focus at least in part on the constitutional balance of power between the states and the central government. The lawsuits challenging the recently passed Obama health care plan, the federal bailout of state governments during the current economic crisis, and the conflicts over social issues such as medical marijuana and assisted suicide are just a few of the more prominent examples.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel M. Gropper, Robert A. Lawson, Jere T. Thorne Jr.
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? In this article we explore this question by examining the empirical relationship between liberty, as measured by economic freedom, and happiness across more than 100 countries.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Joseph Romance
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In many ways, George Washington represents the most difficult of the Founders to approach. His importance in the American Revolution and the central role he played in the formation of the Republic is beyond dispute. Yet, as so many have pointed out, he becomes more the marble statue than a real man. Thus, it may not be surprising that the most recent spurt of scholarship and popular history concerning the American Founders tends to focus on reinterpretations of the agreed-upon intellectual greats (Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton) and a rediscovery of neglected Founders (Mason, Morris, and Pickney). Alas, what are we to do with Washington beyond revere?
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Jim Harper
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Lisa Nelson's America Identified: Biometric Technology and Society is a slow and careful examination of a formidably broad landscape—at least until she springs to her conclusions. Among them: “Individual liberty must be reconceptualized to account for the use of data by individuals for communication, transactions, and networking.” It's a scholar's way of saying, “Move over, sovereign individual. Experts are going to handle this.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This special issue of the Cato Journal was made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation . The question posed in this issue—Are Unions Good for America?—has both normative and positive aspects. Normatively, if one takes freedom as a fundamental principle, then compulsory unionism cannot be justified in a free society; it violates the rights of both workers and employers. Under current U.S. labor law, workers are often compelled to join unions and employers are compelled to negotiate “in good faith.” Public sector unions are even more onerous than private sector unions; they limit consumer choices and impose heavy tax burdens.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe, James D. Gwartney
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The freedom to enter into contracts and to direct the use of economic resources one owns are essential to the operation of a market economy. Allowing employees to form unions to bargain collectively over wages and employment conditions is consistent with economic freedom, and any government intervention preventing unionization would be a violation of economic freedom. Nevertheless, American labor law, especially since the 1930s, has altered the terms and conditions under which unions collectively bargain to heavily favor unions over the firms that hire union labor. Labor law has given unions the power to dictate to employees collective bargaining conditions, and has deprived employees of the right to bargain for themselves regarding their conditions of employment. While unions and economic freedom are conceptually compatible, labor law in the United States, and throughout the world, has restricted the freedom of contract between employees and employers.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Stephen J. K. Walters
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The usual suspects in the tragic demise of many of America's core cities are well known. For decades, scholars, politicians, and pundits have condemned the racism that led whites to flee diverse urban populations after World War II, sneered at Americans' vulgar affection for cars and expansive lawns, criticized policies that encouraged us to indulge these tastes, and blamed capitalist greed and unwhole- some technological change for the deindustrialization that has wrecked urban labor markets.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Andrew J. Coulson
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Public school employee unions are politically partisan and polarizing institutions. Of the National Education Association's $30 million in federal campaign contributions since 1990, 93 percent has gone to Democrats or the Democratic Party. Of the $26 million in federal campaign contributions by the American Federation of Teachers, 99 percent has gone to Democrats or the Democratic Party (Center for Responsive Politics 2009). Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, conservatives and Republicans have often accused these unions of simultaneously raising the cost and lowering the quality of American public schools. Many advocates of charter schools, vouchers, and education tax credits have cited union political influence as the greatest impediment to their chosen reforms. But in academic circles, scholars have sometimes disagreed on the unions' impact on wages and educational productivity. The purpose of the present review is to summarize, and attempt to reconcile, the empirical research on the actual impact teachers unions have on American education.
  • Topic: Education, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, labor union leaders have emerged as among the chief critics of trade liberalization, while the economic evidence has grown that labor unions compromise the ability of American companies to compete in global markets.
  • Political Geography: United States, America