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  • Author: David Boaz
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Democrats accuse President Trump of abuse of executive power and “thinking he is a dictator.” But then, Republicans made similar charges about President Obama. They all have a point. At least since the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, there has been a flow of power from civil society to government, from the states to the federal government, and from Congress to the executive branch. But a recent newspaper headline reminded me of some other headlines that tell a story.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gene Healy
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For the past 17 years, presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as a blank check to wage war whenever and wherever they please. Congress is now debating several replacement AUMFs—but these, too, pose the danger of granting the president far broader war powers than the Constitution envisioned. At a Capitol Hill Briefing, Cato’s GENE HEALY and JOHNGLASER made the case for repealing, rather than replacing, the AUMF.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Institute CATO
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Why do we pay $600 for EpiPens, a long-existing piece of technology that contains just a dollar’s worth of medicine? Why do hospitalized patients so frequently receive bills laden with inflated charges that come out of the blue from out-ofnetwork providers or that demand payment for services that weren’t delivered?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Cato Institute
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Congressional staff members play a vital role in shaping policy—they make decisions on which issues their bosses prioritize, which arguments the representatives and senators hear, and what language makes it into legislation. Cato’s popular Capitol Hill Briefings offer these staff members timely briefings on the most pressing issues facing their offices. At these events, Cato scholars and other experts update the staff on their latest scholarship and policy recommendations, critique current or upcoming legislation, and answer staffers’ questions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Ambulances are notoriously expensive—one ride may cost more than $1,000, and insurance companies frequently refuse to cover them. In the past, patients had few alternatives to get themselves to the hospital—but in “Does Ride-Sharing Substitute for Ambulances?” (Research Briefs in Economic Policy no. 114), Leon S. Moskatel of Scripps Mercy Hospital and David J. G. Slusky of the University of Kansas demonstrate how the age of Uber and Lyft is changing that and is reducing expensive and unnecessary ambulance trips.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In April, Cato’s Patrick Eddington introduced his new online initiative Checkpoint America: Monitoring the Constitution-Free Zone.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gene Healy
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Presidential impeachments are vanishingly rare in American constitutional history: in the 230 years since ratification, only three presidents have faced serious attempts to remove them from office. And yet, as President Donald J. Trump’s tumultuous tenure continues, it seems increasingly plausible that we’ll see a fourth.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy, Constitution
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Chris Edwards
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the largest overhaul of the federal income tax in decades. The law changed deductions, exemptions, and tax rates for individuals, while reducing taxes on businesses.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ryan Bourne
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Federal, state, and local governments seek to assist poor households financially using transfers, minimum wage laws, and subsidies for important goods and services. This “income-based” approach to alleviating poverty aims both to raise household incomes directly and to shift the cost of items, such as food, housing, or health care, to taxpayers. Most contemporary ideas to help the poor sit firmly within this paradigm
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael D Bordo
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Dodd Frank Act of 2010 (DFA) was designed to overcome the sources of excessive leverage and systemic risk in the U.S. financial sector perceived to have created the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. Since then, considerable controversy has swirled around the efficacy of various components of the multifaceted act. Many have been critical of the Volcker Rule, while others have praised the elevation of capital ratios and the requirements for banks to undergo periodic stress tests. However, there has been mounting concern in the financial community, Congress, and the press over the negative impact of the DFA regulations on small banks and businesses.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Bier
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Texas law SB 4 imposes jail time on local police who fail to detain anyone whom federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests. Data from Travis County, Texas, show that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. From October 2005 to August 2017, 814 targets of ICE detainers in Travis County-3.3 percent of all requests-claimed U.S. citizenship and presented officers with a Social Security number (SSN). ICE subsequently canceled or declined to execute about a quarter of those detainer requests. Based on statements from ICE officials, the best explanation for not executing these detainers is that ICE targeted at least 228 U.S. citizens in the county before canceling or declining to execute those detainers. SB 4 will likely increase the detention of U.S. citizens for supposed violations of immigration law by preventing local police from releasing them.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Levy
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It’s doubtful that new gun controls—imposed mostly on persons who are not part of the problem—will be ef- fective. Accordingly, they should expire automatically after a reasonable test period. If they work, they can be reenacted. The Second Amendment doesn’t bar sensi- bleregulations,butitdemandsrigorfromourlawmak- ers and the courts in legislating and reviewing gun control measures.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The great value of innovation is not merely in invention but rather diffusion and adaptation. And real innovation requires an economy that runs on the culture of experimentation and is open to innovators and entrepreneurs contesting markets—challenging incumbents to such a degree that it redefines the market (like Apple’s iPhone did with the handset market in 2007). In the past decades, however, these forces of diffusion and adaptation simply have not been powerful enough; in fact, legislators have acted to shield incumbent businesses from them. Now the existential challenge that capitalism faces is the growing resistance to innovation.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: America, Global Markets
  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Political capitalism is an economic and political system in which the economic and political elite cooperate for their mutual benefit. The economic elite influence the government's economic policies to use regulation, government spending, and the design of the tax system to maintain their elite status in the economy. The political elite are then supported by the economic elite which helps the political elite maintain their status; an exchange relationship that benefits both the political and economic elite.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Philip K. Howard
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Phillip Howard is a lawyer nationally known for his best-selling books and extensive commentary on the dysfunctions of the American legal and political systems and the adverse effects those dysfunctions have on individual behavior and the overall workings of society.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Rebecca U. Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In The American Warfare State, Reecca Thrope attempts to answer what she calls “the fundamental puzzle” of American politics: “Why a nation founded on a severe distrust of standing armies and centralized power developed and maintained the most powerful military in history.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephen J. K. Walters
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The image of a boom town is commonly used to describe exceptional conditions through which a village suddenly becomes a city. Often such conditions are the discovery of mineral deposits that attracts industry and commerce. While in their booming condition, such towns are oases of societal flourishing relative to their preceding state. In Boom Towns, Stephen J.K. Walters, a professor of economics at Loyola University in Baltimore, explains that cities in general have the capacity perpetually to b forms of boom towns. Cities can serve as magnets to attract people and capital, thus promoting the human flourishing that has always been associated with cities at their best. It is different if cities are at their worst, as Walters explains in brining Jane Jacobs's Death and Life of Great American Cities into explanatory ambit. There are no natural obstacles to cities occupying the foreground of societal flourishing. There are obstacles to be sure, but these are man-made. Being man-made, they can also be overcome through human action, at least in principle even if doing so in practice might be difficult.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mark A. Calabria
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The majority of books on the recent financial crisis tend to be written either by economics/finance experts or by journalists. While the journalistic accounts occasionally focus on political actors, it is usually in the manner of "bad people doing bad things" rather than with a theoretical framework. The economic accounts, with some exception, rarely incorporate the politics of finance. It is this vacuum that Political Bubbles attempts to fill.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jeb Hensarling
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Before I get into the body of the remarks, I want to thank the Cato Institute for everything it stands for and everything it has meant to me. As I was walking in the foyer, I noticed a copy of the Cato Journal on a table there. I recall as an undergraduate student at Texas A University in the 1970s that I took $25 dollars—and I'm a guy who worked my way through college—of my hard-earned money to invest in the Cato Journal. That was money I could have invested in long necks at the Dixie Chicken, our local watering hole. Also, I would like to thank John Allison. If you have not read his book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope, I commend it to you. Finally, I would like to tell you that as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, before I decide to move out on any particular issue, I certainly glean the scholarship of Cato in general and Mark Calabria in particular.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Kevin P. Brady
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: By every economic measure, our nation is presently mired in a disappointing economic recovery. In fact, ours is the weakest recovery of the past half century. Uncertainty reigns as the purchasing power of the dollar declines. What ails us goes well beyond federal fiscal policy, and it is certainly not the result of an irrational marketplace. What ails us goes much deeper to our nation's monetary policy, which is well overdue for a review.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jonathan Blanks
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Criminal justice reform has been gaining momentum in Washington, attracting policymakers from both sides of the aisle. Draconian mandatory minimum sentences, overcrowded prisons, and bloated criminal justice budgets have made reform a bipartisan issue. This is undoubtedly a positive development, but—as is typical with the political process—the most popular reforms are not enough. Most of the political capital and rhetoric focuses on "back-end" criminal justice reforms, such as sentencing reform, early release, and alternatives to incarceration. While these reforms are sorely needed, the "front end" of the criminal justice system—criminal laws, the courts, and policing itself—also needs thorough examination. Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop is an exemplar of what these assessments should look like in the American context.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Travis Evans
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For the better part of a decade, the United States has been mired in mediocrity, settling for what feels like a new normal of low eco- nomic growth, stagnant wages, political intransigence, and an unending war or terror. Many think America's better days are behind it. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, disagrees. In Foreign Policy Begins at Home , Haass attempts to reverse American defeatism and assuage fears of American decline, arguing instead that the United States is simply underperforming, suffering from "American made" problems that can be corrected by restoring the "foundations of its power." He explains that America's true strength abroad comes from its strength at home, and if America is to provide global leadership it "must first put its house in order." While much of Foreign Policy focuses on policy prescriptions that would restore American strength, the true contribution of the book is its explanation of why such a strategy is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America
  • Author: Emily McKlintock Ekins
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In this review, I will focus on three main points: their test of whether the tea party is comprised of "reactionary" or "responsible conservatives," their statistical methods testing if racism and a preference for social dominance drive tea party supporters, and their comparison of the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. The authors prematurely reject the argument that the tea party is primarily motivated by genuine concerns about spending, the size and scope of government, and taxes in part because they rely on a problematic comparison of local tea party group websites to the National Review Online (NRO). From this analysis, they conclude the movement is a contemporary manifestation of paranoid reactionary conservatism.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In response to state laws and federal incentives, cities and metropolitan areas across the country are engaged in “sustainability planning” aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In many if not most cases, this planning seeks to reshape urban areas to reduce the amount of driving people do. In general, this means increasing urban population densities and in particular replacing low-density neighborhoods in transit corridors with dense, mixed-use developments.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Infrastructure, Governance
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Lampo
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It might seem odd that, in a time when political pundits routinely condemn the rampant if not unprecedented polarization in American politics, one writer would try to make the case that polarized politics is a good thing, but that is indeed what former Reagan advisor Jeffrey Bell attempts in The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism . His arguments to justify an outspoken social conservatism as necessary to both the success of the Republican Party and the long-term success of what he calls "American exceptionalism," however, fall short on several levels.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale, Erin Partin
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: What are the implications of Europe's economic troubles for America? Several EU economies now face deep private and sovereign debt overhangs-a situation not unlike that in the United States, which also faces its own challenges with fiscal policy. How do the economic conditions in America and the EU compare in the short and longer terms? This article provides an overview of key indicators that summarize and help to project the two regions' economic prospects. It should be noted at the outset, however, that economic conditions and policies in the two regions differ in substantive ways. As in the United States, most European economies-members of the European Monetary Union (EMU)-now participate in a single currency (euro) system operated by the European Central Bank-the counterpart of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. However, the EU lacks a single central fiscal authority that operates a significant cross-nation transfer system. Having surrendered authority over monetary policy and, by the definition of a single currency, exchange rate policy, EMU member nations must depend on national fiscal policies to exert stewardship over their economies.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It does not take more than a glance at the headlines to see that European countries are in trouble. From Greece to Britain, from France to Portugal, it is becoming clear that the modern welfare state is unsustainable, facing fiscal catastrophe, stagnant economic growth, punishing taxes, and prolonged joblessness. European countries are being forced, kicking and screaming, to rethink their approach to social welfare. But how much better off is the United States?
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Europe, Greece, France, Portugal
  • Author: Pierre Lemieux
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The American welfare state is not as different from the European welfare state as conventional wisdom would have it. If we define the welfare state as that part of the state (the whole apparatus of government at all levels) devoted to taking charge of the welfare of the public, welfare-state functions cover social protection (which includes public pensions), health, and education. These functions make up 57 percent of total U.S. government expenditures compared to 63 percent for the typical euro zone country. In this sense, the American welfare state is only about 10 percent smaller than the European welfare state.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Jason Kuznicki
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: I often tell aspiring libertarians that they both can and should learn from people who are far removed from them ideologically. Indeed, if they fail to do so, then they are neglecting a vital part of their self-education. When asked whom I have in mind, I almost always mention James C. Scott. Two of Scott's earlier books, Seeing Like a State and The Art of Not Being Governed, are fascinating intellectual excursions for people of the libertarian bent, as well as for many others.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs. Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The question of whether immigration has been good for America has been on the minds of Americans since the beginning of our republic and continues in the pages of this issue of the Cato Journal. As the United States enters another presidential election year, President Obama has been calling on Congress to enact immigration reform while his administration has been deporting record numbers of unauthorized immigrants. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates have been competing with each other to adopt the toughest positions to enforce existing law, including the completion of a fence along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Outside of Washington, legislatures in Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, and other states have enacted laws designed to make life more difficult for undocumented immigrants.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Georgia, Mexico, Alabama, Arizona
  • Author: Gordon H. Hanson
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, there will be intense public debate about the direction of economic policy. The continuing torpor of the U.S. economy and mounting government debt oblige candidates to detail how they would improve prospects for economic growth and reduce the federal budget deficit. We are sure to hear a great deal about plans to lower taxes, reduce government regulation, improve U.S. education, and rebuild infrastructure. But it is a near certainty that no candidate will make immigration part of his or her vision for achieving higher rates of long-run economic growth. To be sure, stump speeches will contain pat pronouncements about securing American borders, restoring the rule of law, or bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, depending on the candidate's political orientation. Yet, it is a safe bet that after getting through these bullet points candidates will seek to change the subject. Immigration is a divisive issue that most national politicians prefer to avoid. President Obama checked his immigration box by making a halfhearted call for immigration reform in May 2011. That proposal was quickly buried under many more pressing items in his legislative outbox.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Giovanni Peri
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: According to a survey in 2008, about 50 percent of Americans perceived immigration as a problem rather than as an opportunity (Transatlantic Trends 2008). Similar surveys conducted in the prerecession years of 2007 and before also showed that Americans were much less supportive of more open immigration policies than they were of other aspects of globalization such as free trade or free capital movements (Pew Research Center 2007). Since the onset of the recession of 2008–2009 and during the jobless recovery of 2010–11, public opinion about immigration further deteriorated. The idea that immigrants take American jobs, depress national wages, and threaten the U.S. economy has become even more rooted, as often happens during economic recessions. The political discourse accompanying the economic and labor market impact of immigrants is very intense and pervasive in the media but often generates “more heat than light”.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Joel Kotkin, Erika Ozuna
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Perhaps nothing has more defined America and its promise than immigration. In the future, immigration and the consequent development of what Walt Whitman (1855: iv) called “a race of races” will remain one of the country's greatest assets in the decades to come.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stuart Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: If the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies formulated coherent policies, then here is what our immigration system would look like: highly skilled foreign nationals could be hired quickly and gain permanent residence, employers could hire foreign workers to fill niches in lower-skilled jobs, foreign entrepreneurs could easily start businesses in the United States, and close relatives of American citizens could immigrate in a short period of time. If all those things were true, then we wouldn't be talking about America's immigration system.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jim Harper
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Successful “internal enforcement” of immigration law requires having a national identity system. If expanded, “E-Verify,” the muchdebated effort to control illegal immigration through access to employment, will become such a system, and it could easily be converted to controlling many dimensions of Americans' lives from Washington, D.C.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Margaret Stock
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Declaration of Independence famously asserted that “all men are created equal,” but this assertion did not become an American constitutional reality until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment's Citizenship Clause—intended to overturn the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott (1857) case—states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” Traditionally, the clause has been interpreted to confer U.S. citizenship on anyone born within the United States whose parents are subject to U.S. civil and criminal laws—which has historically meant that only babies born in the United States to diplomats, invading armies, or within certain sovereign Native American tribes have been excluded from birthright American citizenship. Alarmed by the thought that unauthorized immigrants, wealthy tourists, and temporary workers are giving birth to thousands of U.S. citizens, some want to change the long-standing rule by reinterpreting or amending the Citizenship Clause. But will this proposed change be good for America? Will it benefit America to reduce substantially the number of birthright U.S. citizens—and put in place more complex rules that would provide that U.S.-born babies are not created equal?
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Among the more serious arguments against liberalizing immigration is that it can be costly to taxpayers. Low-skilled immigrants in particular consume more government services than they pay in taxes, increasing the burden of government for native-born Americans. Organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform have produced reports claiming that immigration costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year, with the heaviest costs borne by state and local taxpayers. No less a classical liberal than Milton Freidman mused that open immigration is incompatible with a welfare state. Responding to a question at a libertarian conference in 1999, Friedman rejected the idea of opening the U.S. border to all immigrants, declaring that “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state” (Free Students 2008).
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Richard Brookhiser, a longtime senior editor of National Review, has contributed more than most to satisfying the revivified demand for books about the lives and works of the American Founders. He has published books about Washington, Hamilton, the Adamses, Gouverneur Morris, and now James Madison. His biography is both serious and readable.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Washington
  • Author: Aaron Powell
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Grab anyone at a coffee shop, political rally, or cocktail party. Ask him, “Do you think we have a duty to vote?” Chances are he'll say “Yes.” Follow it up with, “Is it because there's something special about voting that places it above other duties we might have, like sayavoiding speeding or paying our taxes?” It's a safe bet you'll get a “yes” to this one as well.Jason Brennan calls the thinking behind these twin affirmatives the “folk theory of voting ethics.” It's the common view of civics classes, straw polls, and town hall meetings. The folk theory is what we all learn in school, along with the three branches of government and the Founding Fathers.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Overresponse to short-run events and neglect of longer-term consequences of its actions is one of the main errors that the Federal Reserve makes repeatedly. The current recession offers many examples of actions that some characterize as bold and innovative. I regard many of these actions as inappropriate for an allegedly independent central bank because they involve credit allocation, fill the Fed's portfolio with an unprecedented volume of long-term assets, evade or neglect the dual mandate, distort the credit markets, and initiate other actions that are not the responsibility of a central bank.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Grant
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: "Has anyone bothered to study the cumulative effect of all these things?" the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase reasonably inquired of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board at a bankers gathering in Atlanta last June. The CEO, Jamie Dimon, was referring to the combination of cyclical hangover and regulatory constriction. The chairman, Ben Bernanke, replied, "It's just too complicated. We don't really have the quantitative tools to do that" (Grant and Masters 2011: 1).
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ivan Osorio
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Ronald Reagan's firing of more than 12,000 illegally striking air traffic controllers in August 1981 is widely considered a defining moment both for Reagan's presidency and for American organized labor. For Reagan, it was the first of many lines in the sand he drew during his presidency. For organized labor, it marked an assault from an anti-union president determined to prevail against a Democratic constituency.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Nathan L. Gray
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: K–12 education policy has recently received much scrutiny from policymakers, taxpayers, parents, and students. Reformers have often cited increases in spending with little noticeable gain in test scores, coupled with the fact that American students lag behind their foreign peers on standardized tests, as the policy problem. School choice, specifically charter school policy, has emerged as a potential remedy. School choice is hypothesized to have both participant and systemic (sometimes called competitive) effects. This article concentrates on the latter by using a novel design not used before in studies of this subject. School level data from Ohio are analyzed to estimate if traditional public schools potentially threatened by charter schools respond with positive test score gains. Specifically, an exogenous change to the education system in 2003 provides a natural experiment to examine potential systemic effects. Results indicate that the threat of charter schools seems to have had a small positive effect on traditional public school achievement.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Charles Zakaib
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In 2008, many Americans feared another Great Depression had begun. Amidst all the gloom and doom, however, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, sounded more hopeful: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before.” There is no greater example of that mantra in American history than World War II, a time of unprecedented government spending and unsurpassed government control over daily life. In Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government , James T. Sparrow demonstrates how, in a crisis, the government can increase its reach into Americans' lives by promising an ever-expanding set of rights and benefits.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Marcus E. Ethridge
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the wake of the 2010 elections, President Obama declared that voters did not give a mandate to gridlock. His statement reflects over a century of Progressive hostility to the inefficient and slow system of government created by the American Framers. Convinced that the government created by the Constitution frustrates their goals, Progressives have long sought ways around its checks and balances. Perhaps the most important of their methods is delegating power to administrative agencies, an arrangement that greatly transformed U.S. government during and after the New Deal. For generations, Progressives have supported the false premise that administrative action in the hands of experts will realize the public interest more effectively than the constitutional system and its multiple vetoes over policy changes. The political effect of empowering the administrative state has been quite different: it fosters policies that reflect the interests of those with well organized power. A large and growing body of evidence makes it clear that the public interest is most secure when governmental institutions are inefficient decisionmakers. An arrangement that brings diverse interests into a complex, sluggish decisionmaking process is generally unattractive to special interests. Gridlock also neutralizes some political benefits that producer groups and other well-heeled interests inherently enjoy. By fostering gridlock, the U.S. Constitution increases the likelihood that policies will reflect broad, unorganized interests instead of the interests of narrow, organized groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics, Power Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Social Security is often described as a "foundational" element of the nation's social safety net. Almost all Americans are directly affected by the program and many millions primarily depend on its benefits for supporting themselves during retirement. But the program's financial condition has worsened considerably since the last recession, which began in 2007. In that year, the Social Security trustees estimated that the program's trust fund would be exhausted by 2042. The trustees' annual report for 2011 brings the trust fund exhaustion date forward to 2038. Indeed, the programs revenues fell short of its benefit expenditures in 2010 and it appears unlikely that significant surpluses will emerge again under the program's current rules. If the program's finances continue to worsen at this rate, it won't be long before the debate on reforming the program assumes an urgency and intensity similar to that during 1982-83, when imminent insolvency forced lawmakers to implement payroll tax increases and scale back its benefits.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: America, Ethiopia
  • 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: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: House and Senate Democrats have produced health care legislation whose mandates, subsidies, tax penalties, and health insurance regulations would penalize work and reward Americans who refuse to purchase health insurance. As a result, the legislation could trap many Americans in low-wage jobs and cause even higher health-insurance premiums, government spending, and taxes than are envisioned in the legislation.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Neal McCluskey
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The argument for national curriculum standards sounds simple: set high standards, make all schools meet them, and watch American students achieve at high levels. It is straightforward and compelling, and it is driving a sea change in American education policy.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Culture
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. Constitution vests all the “legislative powers” it grants in Congress. The Supreme Court allows Congress to delegate some authority to executive officials provided an “intelligible principle” guides such transfers. Congress quickly wrote and enacted the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 in response to a financial crisis. The law authorized the secretary of the Treasury to spend up to $700 billion purchasing troubled mortgage assets or any financial instrument in order to attain 13 different goals. Most of these goals lacked any concrete meaning, and Congress did not establish any priorities among them. As a result, Congress lost control of the implementation of the law and unconstitutionally delegated its powers to the Treasury secretary. Congress also failed in the case of EESA to meet its constitutional obligations to deliberate, to check the other branches of government, or to be accountable to the American people. The implementation of EESA showed Congress to be largely irrelevant to policymaking by the Treasury secretary. These failures of Congress indicate that the current Supreme Court doctrine validating delegation of legislative powers should be revised to protect the rule of law and separation of powers.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past four decades, American cities have spent close to $100 billion constructing rail transit systems, and many billions more operating those systems. The agencies that spend taxpayer dollars building these lines almost invariably call them successful even when they go an average of 40 percent over budget and, in many cases, carry an insignificant number of riders. The people who rarely or never ride these lines but still have to pay for them should ask, “How do you define success?"
  • Topic: Government, Markets, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Benjamin H. Friedman, Christopher Preble
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The United States needs a defense budget worthy of its name, one that protects Americans rather than wasting vast sums embroiling us in controversies remote from our interests. This paper outlines such a defense strategy and the substantial cuts in military spending that it allows. That strategy discourages the occupation of failing states and indefinite commitments to defend healthy ones. With fewer missions, the military can shrink its force structure—reducing personnel, the weapons and vehicles procured for them, and operational costs. The resulting force would be more elite, less strained, and far less expensive. By avoiding needless military conflict and protecting our prosperity, these changes would make Americans more secure.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Debt
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Chris Edwards
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: State governments have had to make tough budget choices in recent years. Tax revenues have stagnated as a result of the poor economy, and that has prompted governors to take a variety of fiscal actions to close large budget gaps. Some governors have cut spending to balance their budgets, while others have pursued large tax increases.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Monetary 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
  • Author: Charles W. Baird
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: F. A. Hayek and W. H. Hutt wrote extensively about the malign economic and social effects of the special privileges and immunities granted by governments to labor unions, but they wrote much less about what a free-market unionism might look like. They argued that all legislation that has conferred coercive powers on unions should be repealed, but they did not propose any specific free-market union legislation to take its place. Perhaps they thought that if all offending legislation were repealed there would be no need for any union-specific legislation. The common law of property, contract, and tort would suffice. Nevertheless, it is difficult in American politics to replace something with nothing. Therefore, I think it is useful, albeit constructivist, to propose a free-market alternative to the Norris- LaGuardia Act of 1932 (NLA) and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 as amended in 1947 (NLRA). Perhaps the chief value of such a proposal is to make explicit what the ordinary law of property, contract and tort implies for the labor market and the role of unions therein. New Zealand's 1991 Employment Contracts Act (ECA) is a good, but imperfect, guide in this endeavor.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: America, New Zealand
  • Author: Neal McCluskey
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Historian David Tyack breaks educational progressives into two types: pedagogical and administrative (Tyack 1974). The former are champions of “child-centered” instruction in the classroom, while the latter want centralized, government control of the schools.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • 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: Richard L. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Robert H. Nelson, one of the world's leading natural resource economists, long has argued that the ideologies in economics are secularizations of traditional religion and that this concealment is ill advised. Less convincingly, he advocates linking these new ideologies to their religious roots. He now also brands environmentalism as a secular religion whose roots need examination. This book postulates a war between that religion and the economic religion that he previously criticized.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although neither the House nor the Senate passed a health care bill by President Obama's August deadline, various pieces of legislation have made it through committee, and they provide a concrete basis for analyzing what the proposed health care reform would and would not do. Looking at the various bills that are moving on Capitol Hill, we can determine the following: Contrary to the Obama administration's repeated assurances, millions of Americans who are happy with their current health insurance will not be able to keep it. As many as 89.5 million people may be dumped into a government-run plan. Some Americans may find themselves forced into a new insurance plan that no longer includes their current doctor. Americans will pay more than $820 billion in additional taxes over the next 10 years, and could see their insurance premiums rise as much as 95 percent. The current health care bills will increase the budget deficit by at least $239 billion over the next 10 years, and far more in the years beyond that. If the new health care entitlement were subject to the same 75-year actuarial standards as Social Security or Medicare, its unfunded liabilities would exceed $9.2 trillion. While the bills contain no direct provisions for rationing care, they nonetheless increase the likelihood of government rationing and interference with how doctors practice medicine. Contrary to assertions of some opponents, the bills contain no provision for euthanasia or mandatory end-of-life counseling. The bills' provisions on abortion coverage are far murkier.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Human Welfare, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Glen Whitman, Raymond Raad
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The health care issues commonly considered most important today — controlling costs and covering the uninsured — arguably should be regarded as secondary to innovation, inasmuch as a medical treatment must first be invented before its costs can be reduced and its use extended to everyone. To date, however, none of the most influential international comparisons have examined the contributions of various countries to the many advances that have improved the productivity of medicine over time. We hope this paper can help fill that void.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Markets
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Proponents of compact development argue that rebuilding American urban areas to higher densities is vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Compact city policies call for reducing driving by housing a higher percentage of people in multi-family and mixed-use developments, reducing the average lot sizes of single-family homes, redesigning streets and neighborhoods to be more pedestrian friendly, concentrating jobs in selected areas, and spending more on mass transit and less on highways.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: R. Sam Garrett
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Ray La Raja has written one of the most provocative campaign finance books in recent memory. Small Change causes the reader to struggle with fundamental “truths” about money and politics, to revisit old questions, and to ask new ones. La Raja directly challenges prevailing scholarship—and popular wisdom—concerning the purposes and origins of campaign finance regulation and its effect on political parties. The dual focus on campaign finance and American political parties is arguably the book's greatest strength. (La Raja generally uses the term “regulation” broadly, although his focus is on major changes in law rather than on regulations, such as those issued by the Federal Election Commission. For expediency, this review also uses the term “regulation” to encompass both federal campaign finance law and agency regulations.)
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The most hazardous health reform measure before Congress is not the so-called "public option," but proposals to make health insurance compulsory via an individual or employer mandate. Compulsory health insurance could require nearly 100 million Americans to switch to a more expensive health plan and would therefore violate President Barack Obama's pledge to let people keep their current health insurance. In particular, the legislation before Congress could eliminate many or all health savings account plans. Making health insurance compulsory would also spark an unnecessary fight over abortion and would enable government to ration care to those with private health insurance.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Nikolas Gvosdev
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A review of America's post-Soviet strategy toward Russia is long overdue. The illusions that once guided policy are now at an end. What is needed is a dispassionate approach to Russia, wherein Americans would neither magnify nor excuse the virtues and vices of the Russian Federation but would accept the following realities: Russia is unlikely to become integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and is unwilling to adjust its foreign policy priorities accordingly; There is broad-based support within Russia for the direction in which Vladimir Putin has taken the country; Russia has undergone a genuine—if limited— recovery from the collapse of the 1990s; Washington lacks sufficient leverage to compel Russian acquiescence to its policy preferences; and On a number of critical foreign policy issues, there is no clear community of interests that allows for concepts of "selective partnership" to be effective.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Andrei Illarionov
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One day I asked Milton Friedman a question. That question was in my mind every time we met: “Could he have achieved the same status he did in America if he had lived in Russia—not only in terms of his research, but in shaping his outlook on life and in his under-standing of freedom?” Having kept silent for a moment, he answered: “no.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: David Schap, Andrew Feeley
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Paul Rubin (2005) has addressed the evolution of American tort law from a public choice perspective. In contrast to earlier work in law and economics, which generally regarded tort law norms as efficient (Landes and Posner 1987), Rubin relied on more recent work in the field (Epstein 1988, Rubin and Bailey 1994) that regards tort law as being shaped by the special interests of plaintiff and (perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent) defense attorneys. In addition, Rubin envisioned business interests' influence toward tort reform as enhancing efficiency. He ended his article with a call for additional empirical research on modern American tort law from the public choice perspective and indeed suggested a number of specific items and areas of possible fruitful research. The spirit of Rubin's anticipated research program, as well as many of his specific suggestions, can be applied to our survey research findings concerning statutory reform of the collateral source rule.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Brendan Rittenhouse Green
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Credit where credit is due: At 229 pages, Matthew Yglesias has written the world's longest blog post. The first of a generation of journalists who came to prominence through their personal weblogs, Yglesias now blogs professionally for the Center for American Progress. Heads in the Sand has all the virtues and flaws of the medium Yglesias helped pioneer. It tends toward bite-sized arguments and pith over substance, which leaves some of the chapters with a stapled-together feel. Heads in the Sand gives the impression of a Web journal read straight through, with an extremely thin set of foot-notes substituting for links. Nevertheless, the book is by and large excellent. It is full of wit and erudition, stringing together a series of incisive arguments about politics and foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Will Wilkinson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: “Happiness research” studies the correlates of subjective well-being, generally through survey methods. A number of psychologists and social scientists have drawn upon this work recently to argue that the American model of relatively limited government and a dynamic market economy corrodes happiness, whereas Western European and Scandinavian-style social democracies pro- mote it. This paper argues that happiness research in fact poses no threat to the relatively libertarian ideals embodied in the U.S. socioeconomic system. Happiness research is seriously hampered by confusion and disagreement about the definition of its subject as well as the limitations inherent in current measurement techniques. In its present state happiness research cannot be relied on as an authoritative source for empirical information about happiness, which, in any case, is not a simple empirical phenomenon but a cultural and historical moving target. Yet, even if we accept the data of happiness research at face value, few of the alleged redistributive policy implications actually follow from the evidence. The data show that neither higher rates of government redistribution nor lower levels of income inequality make us happier, whereas high levels of economic freedom and high average incomes are among the strongest correlates of subjective well- being. Even if we table the damning charges of questionable science and bad moral philosophy, the American model still comes off a glowing success in terms of happiness.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Daryl Press
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Many Americans have lost confidence in their country's “energy security” over the past several years. Because the United States is a net oil importer, and a substantial one at that, concerns about energy security naturally raise foreign policy questions. Some foreign policy analysts fear that dwindling global oil reserves are increasingly concentrated in politically unstable regions, and they call for increased U.S. efforts to stabilize—or, alter-natively, democratize—the politically tumultuous oil-producing regions. Others allege that China is pursuing a strategy to “lock up” the world's remaining oil supplies through long-term purchase agreements and aggressive diplomacy, so they counsel that the United States outmaneuver Beijing in the “geopolitics of oil.” Finally, many analysts suggest that even the “normal” political disruptions that occasionally occur in oil-producing regions (e.g., occasional wars and revolutions) hurt Americans by disrupting supply and creating price spikes. U.S. military forces, those analysts claim, are needed to enhance peace and stability in crucial oil-producing regions, particularly the Persian Gulf.
  • Topic: Security, Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. military occupation of Iraq has now lasted longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. Yet there is no end in sight to the mission. Staying in Iraq is a fatally flawed policy that has already cost more than 3,000 American lives and consumed more than $350 billion. The security situation in that country grows increasingly chaotic and bloody as evidence mounts that Iraq has descended into a sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. Approximately 120 Iraqis per day are perishing in political violence. That bloodshed is occurring in a country of barely 26 million people. A comparable rate of carnage in the United States would produce more than 1,400 fatalities per day.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Neal McCluskey
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It is all too often assumed that public education as we typically think of it today—schooling provided and controlled by government—constitutes the “foundation of American democracy.” Such schooling, it is argued, has taken people of immensely varied ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds and molded them into Americans who are both unified and free. Public schooling, it is assumed, has been the gentle flame beneath the great American melting pot.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Demographics, Education
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert A. Pape
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, terrorist organizations have increasingly relied on suicide attacks to achieve political objectives. The specific goal sought in almost all suicide terrorist campaigns in modern history is the same: to compel a democratic state to withdraw combat forces from territory prized by the terrorists. This holds true for al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization of greatest concern to most Americans. Al-Qaeda's efforts to mobilize people to kill Americans are driven principally by a simple strategic goal: to drive the United States and its Western allies from the Arabian Peninsula and other Muslim countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Arabia, Arabian Peninsula
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although it is possible that negotiations between the leading powers in the international community and Iran may produce a settlement to the vexing issue of Iran's nuclear program, it is more likely that those negotiations will fail. If that happens, U.S. policymakers face a set of highly imperfect options.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jim Harper, Jeff Jonas
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spurred extraordinary efforts intended to protect America from the newly highlighted scourge of international terrorism. Among the efforts was the consideration and possible use of “data mining” as a way to discover planning and preparation for terrorism. Data mining is the process of searching data for previously unknown patterns and using those patterns to predict future outcomes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, National Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephen A. Moses
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Seventy-seven million aging baby boomers will sink America's retirement security system if we don't take action soon. A few years ago, the problem went unrecognized by most Americans. Today, the prospect of a fiscal crisis has forced policymakers to focus on solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Dennis Polhill, Patrick Basham
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: American representative government suffers from the handicap of a largely uncompetitive political system. American politics has fewer and fewer competitive elections. In arguing that political competition matters a great deal, this paper traces the increasing trend toward uncompetitiveness and details the role and nature of incumbency advantage in fostering an uncompetitive political system.
  • Topic: Demographics, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ronald T. Libby
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The medical field of treating chronic pain is still in its infancy. It was only in the late 1980s that leading physicians trained in treating the chronic pain of terminally ill cancer patients began to recommend that the "opioid therapy" (treatment involving narcotics related to opium) used on their patients also be used for patients suffering from nonterminal conditions. The new therapies proved successful, and prescription pain medications saw a huge leap in sales throughout the 1990s. But opioid therapy has always been controversial. The habit-forming nature of some prescription pain medications made many physicians, medical boards, and law enforcement officials wary of their use in treating acute pain in nonterminal patients. Consequently, many physicians and pain specialists have shied away from opioid treatment, causing millions of Americans to suffer from chronic pain even as therapies were available to treat it.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Moeletsi Mbeki
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Economic growth in Africa, as in the rest of the world, depends on a vibrant private sector. Entrepreneurs in Africa, however, face daunting constraints. They are prevented from creating wealth by predatory political elites that control the state. African political elites use marketing boards and taxation to divert agricultural savings to finance their own consumption and to strengthen the repressive apparatus of the state. Peasants, who constitute the core of the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa, are the biggest losers. In order for Africa to prosper, peasants need to become the real owners of their primary asset—land—over which they currently have no property rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Critics of American politics and elections often focus on low voter turnout in the United States. They argue that voter turnout is steadily declining largely because of voter cynicism caused by big money campaigns and negative political advertising. Voter turnout is lower than it was in the 1960s, but almost the entire decline happened between 1968 and 1974. Sophisticated and detailed studies of both public trust in government and the consequences of political advertising show that neither factor has a negative effect on voter turnout.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Roger Pilon
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As modern "miracle drugs" play a growing role in medical practice, drug prices in America soar far beyond prices in the rest of the world. Yet our law prohibits Americans from buying American-made drugs abroad at those prices and "reimporting" them to the United States. That has led many Americans, and even some state and local officials, to ignore the law and go to Canada and Mexico for their drugs; to the passage in the House last year of a bill lifting the ban on reimportation; and to similar bills now in the Senate—legislation that Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson recently called "inevitable."
  • Topic: Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada, Mexico
  • Author: Neal McCluskey
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since the 1965 passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which concentrated unprecedented authority over American education in the hands of the federal government, federal lawmakers have passed increasingly restrictive laws and drastically escalated education spending, which ballooned from around $25 billion in 1965 (adjusted for inflation) to more than $108 billion in 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Leslie S. Lebl
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For almost 50 years, proposals by the European Union to develop a common foreign and security policy for all member states failed. Since the late 1990s, however, the situation has changed. Despite, or perhaps because of, member states' disagreements over Iraq, the EU probably will continue to develop common foreign and security policies, and the European Commission may begin to play a role in developing new European military capabilities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Constitution of the United States of America makes clear that one of the paramount responsibilities of the federal government is to "provide for the common defense." In the past, the primary threats to the United States and U.S. interests were hostile nation-states. Today, the real threat to America is terrorist groups, specifically the al Qaeda terrorist network. Therefore, al Qaeda, not rogue states, should be the primary focus of U.S. national security strategy.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Christopher Layne
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Iraq War represents a turning point in transatlantic relations. Euro-American ties have been ruptured, and never again will be the same. But the growing estrangement between the European powers and the United States is tied primarily to the nature of power in the international system and to America's dominant role in the world today.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: W. Thomas Dillard, Stephen R. Johnson, Timothy Lynch
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The grand jury is perhaps the most mysterious institution in the American criminal justice system. While most people are generally familiar with the function of the police officer, the prosecutor, the defense lawyer, the judge, and the trial jury, few have any idea about what the grand jury is supposed to do and its day-to-day operation. That ignorance largely explains how some over-reaching prosecutors have been able to pervert the grand jury, whose original purpose was to check prosecutorial power, into an inquisitorial bulldozer that enhances the power of government and now runs roughshod over the constitutional rights of citizens.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea has been America's most consistently dangerous commitment since the end of World War II. Yet South Korea is beginning to look away from the United States for its defense. Newly elected President Roh Moo-hyun campaigned on a plat-form of revisiting the security relationship, and he has attempted to adopt the role of mediator between America and North Korea.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Israel, East Asia, Korea
  • Author: Motohiro Tsuchiya, Adam Thierer
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Global telecommunications markets have traditionally been closed to foreign trade and investment. Recent World Trade Organization negotiations resulted in a Basic Telecommunications agreement that sought to construct a multilateral framework to reverse that trend and begin opening telecom markets worldwide. Regrettably, this new WTO framework is quite ambiguous and open to pro-regulatory interpretations by member states.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, America, South Asia
  • Author: Subodh Atal
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Despite progress in the return of refugees and the prevention of humanitarian disasters, stability in Afghanistan is threatened by ethnic tension, feuding warlords, and violence perpetrated by regrouping elements of the Taliban and their allies. The United States is being asked to increase its level of commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan as a means of stabilizing the country, even as American troops battle the resurgent Islamic extremists who operate along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Taliban, Arabia
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The rationale for missile defense put forward by its advocates is often a “doom and gloom” picture: America and its citizens are defenseless against the threat of ballistic missiles, and missile defense is supposed to protect the American people. The administration's vision of missile defense is not just a global system that protects the United States against long-range missiles but a global system capable of engaging all classes of ballistic missiles to protect U.S. forces deployed worldwide, U.S. allies, and other friendly countries. Thus, the purpose of missile defense is extended well beyond protecting America and Americans.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ivan Eland
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: China's economy is four times the size of Taiwan's and apparently growing at a faster rate; that economic disparity between China and Taiwan could eventually lead to a military disparity as well. Nonetheless, even an informal U.S. security guarantee for Taiwan against nuclear-armed China is ill-advised. Taiwan is not strategically essential to America's national security. Moreover, China has significant incentives to avoid attacking Taiwan. Perhaps the most crucial is that hostile behavior toward Taiwan would jeopardize China's increasing economic linkage with the United States and other key countries.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Gary T. Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, there have been calls from various quarters to embrace nation building as a tool for combating terrorism. The logic behind the idea is that “good” states do not do “bad” things, so Washington should build more “good” states. That idea, however, relies on several dubious assumptions—for example, that embarking on multiple nation-building missions will reduce the potential for anti-American terrorism. If anything, nation building is likely to create more incentives, targets, and opportunities for terrorism, not fewer. The nation-building idea also draws on false analogies with the past. For example, some people assert that Europe's experience under the Marshall Plan can be readily duplicated in a whole host of countries and that, with enough economic aid, trained bureaucrats, and military force of arms, “bad” states anywhere can be transformed into open, self-sustaining, peaceful states.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington