Another “progressive” administration at work, 100 years ago

A century ago, Woodrow Wilson ordered the US Navy to attack and seize Veracruz, Mexico. New York Times writer Enrique Krauze writes about that bit of bloody aggression here.

Sometimes “progressives” stumble upon the truth

Matt Breunig is a progressive who has recently completed law school and in this piece he makes a sound argument against the strictly regulated entrance requirements for the legal profession, in particular the law school mandate.

Remarkably, Breunig grasps that regulation of entry does not lead to higher quality practitioners, but merely drives up costs. Maybe he’ll eventually figure out that most governmental regulations serves purposes other than those they’re supposed to.

He also understands that some prominent leftists (such as law school deans) are profiting handsomely from a system that is detrimental to the poor.

Allan Meltzer argues for opportunity rather than envy

The great monetary economist Allan Meltzer writes here about the recent brouhaha over the redistributionist tome by Thomas Piketty and argues that the world would be far better off by ignoring its seductive call for government redistribution and instead had government get out of the way — that is, stop interfering with efforts to help the poor through voluntary action and to stop interfering with their own efforts by government policies.

Why government keeps growing

Economics professor Richard Ebeling explains why government continues to grow apace in this essay.

Is there a solution? Ebeling writes, “It is neither an easy nor a quick task to change, in this sense, the ‘climate of opinion’ about the appropriate moral order to sustain a free, prosperous and ethically healthy society. But we have no tools other than our minds and our reason and an understanding that it is in our own self-interests to try.”

I agree entirely. The moral order of the United States has become increasingly accommodating to the kind of legal plunder that Bastiat warned about and the Founders tried to prevent by writing the Constitution as they did with strict limits on governmental power.


Conflicts at Peace

William Peace University, that is — formerly Peace College, an institution facing serious problems. The Pope Center’s Harry Painter writes here about the troubles facing the school’s administration, including its recent purchase of the Seaboard shopping area and opposition from alums who don’t like the direction the president is taking the institution.

Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 21, 2014

• 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Keith Crisco airs his third campaign ad, this one highlighting Social Security and Medicare. Crisco faces Clay Aiken and Toni Morris for the district’s Democratic nomination.

• In the Republican primary for the 2nd District, first quarter fundraising totals are in, and incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers has more than $400,000 cash on hand. Her opponent, investment adviser Frank Roche, reports less than $9,000 in the bank.

• He’s in: House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, changed his mind and decided to participate in the Wednesday GOP Senate debate sponsored by WRAL News. Tillis initially demurred, but now he will join Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant, and Charlotte minister Mark Harris in the televised debate.

• Greensboro City Council member Zack Metheny, who’s running for the Republican nomination in the 6th Congressional District, lands on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “On the Radar” list, meaning he has met certain fundraising goals and may be considered for help from the congressional PAC if he wins the nomination. He has competition for the “Young Gun” designation in the 6th District from Phil Berger Jr., who was acknowledged in February by the NRCC.

Roll Call recently took note of the nine-man 6th District primary, which may be headed to a July runoff.

Carolina Rising emerges to promote free-market policies in North Carolina

carolinarisingToday marks the launch of a new group called Carolina Rising, led by veteran North Carolina political and policy activist Dallas Woodhouse.

Organized as a 501 C-4, Carolina Rising seeks to aggressively promote sound public policies and individual freedoms via a unique and inventive citizen engagement organization.

“Right now, North Carolina is witness to an astounding set of economic trends. Our unemployment rate is falling faster than any other state, and our business competitiveness ranking is skyrocketing,” said Carolina Rising President Dallas Woodhouse. “At Carolina Rising, our goal is simple: make sure those trends continue and North Carolina’s economy continues to grow.”

2013 was an incredible year for job growth in North Carolina due to sound public policy changes such as tax, regulation and unemployment insurance reforms. Newly revised employment data show that 2013 was the strongest year for job growth in North Carolina since the Great Recession. From December 2012 to December 2013, North Carolina employers added 85,600 positions, a 2.1 percent increase. Recently North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent, the first time it has been lower than the national average since March 2006. North Carolina’s February 2014 unemployment rate was 2.2 percentage points lower than a year ago.

“As we watch North Carolina’s key economic measures improve we know these new policies are working. However we can no longer count on just passing good policies,” said Woodhouse. “We must do a better job of scrutinizing the policies from proponents of big government and remind citizens that these plans will return us to an era of crushing taxes, over-regulation and corruption. We must be vigilant to secure the advances we’ve made across the state to ensure continued growth and sound government.”

A key mission of Carolina Rising aims at providing common-sense analysis of proven policies and contrast them with the increasingly radical political agenda of the liberal left, which often has little to offer besides complaints, protests and lawsuits.

TIME’s Klein pans ‘Mediscare’ ads from Democrats

No one would accuse TIME columnist Joe Klein of harboring any love for Republicans. That’s why it’s interesting to read Klein taking Democrats to task for reviving the strategy of scaring people about their Medicare.

Meet Linda … who joins Harry and Louise, and dozens of other average Americans–some real, some conjured–in the long, sordid history of political ads designed to scare the bejeezus out of other average Americans over health care. Linda appears to be real. She’s from Little Rock. She’s been married to the same lucky fellow for 37 years, and they have two “great” kids. We know this because a black-and-white family photo is shown prominently at the beginning of the ad. Then we see Linda, who seems to be in her 50s, with tightly curled gray hair and glasses, sitting in her breakfast nook gazing at her Apple computer. Retirement is just around the corner, she says. “That’s why I was so concerned when I read”–and here she seems to be reading off her computer–”that Tom Cotton voted to turn Medicare into a voucher system” that would allow insurance companies to “increase rates, cut benefits and cost seniors thousands more each year.”

It’s a brilliant ad, classic Mediscare. The fact that Linda seems to be reading the horrific news about Cotton off her computer lends a subtle authority to the information. Is it accurate? Well, yes and no. Cotton and 218 of his colleagues in the House did indeed vote for the Paul Ryan budget, which would slash costs by moving to a privatized “premium support”–or voucher–system of health care delivery for senior citizens. Is that a bad idea? Probably not. In fact, a more generous version already exists in the form of Medicare Advantage, the private-sector Medicare alternative that seems to be going great guns in the Obamacare era: an estimated 30% of seniors have signed up, an increase of 38% in recent years. The brute force of competition (plus some federal subsidies that both parties want to diminish) has allowed increased benefits like gym memberships and free medication. The fact that many of these plans are based within systems where doctors are paid salaries makes it potentially more cost-effective than classic fee-for-service Medicare. It would be very valuable to have a serious conversation about this. Pryor is a fiscal conservative. He’s said that all programs (including Medicare, presumably) should be on the table. He could be part of the solution, rather than hiding behind traditional Democratic battlements.