Fergus Hodgson (page 9)

  • Post

    Federal “aid” bringing more harm than good

    Federal aid has become an increasingly dominant component of state budgets. In fact, Louisiana and Arkansas rely on the federal government for more than 50 percent of their revenue, and 16 states have dependency rates over one-third. (North Carolina receives 33 percent of revenue from federal aid.) While this money may be tempting to state officials, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has shown that the long-term mandates translate into greater expenses than the aid. After expiration, state and local taxes tend to ratchet up by 40 percent of the initial revenue infusion.
    Fergus Hodgson, October 3, 2011
  • Post

    Laying Article V fears to rest

    Unfortunately, federal legislators continue to give bipartisan support to deficit spending. This is predictable, since they use the debt-enabled money to buy votes and extend their power into state activity. Unlike 49 of the 50 states, these officials do not face a constitutional barrier to deficit spending–and that is in…
    Fergus Hodgson, September 23, 2011
  • Post

    Historic tactic against federal debt crisis gains further support

    In the past two weeks, the National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA)--what would be the first state-initiated amendment since original ratification--has attracted new legislative sponsors in four states: Montana, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. The resolution, which I have promoted both in The American Conservative and with the Pelican Institute, calls for a limited amendments convention to propose the following amendment: “An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNLcR4IpyKg North Dakota and Louisiana led the way by passing the NDRA resolution this year with bipartisan support in both chambers, and the recent additions could result in twelve additional states joining in the NDRA convention call. The full list with the NDRA pending introduction or passage now includes Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 22, 2011
  • Post

    Oh the shame: Even Britain rated freer than the land of the free

    Yesterday’s appalling “Economic Freedom of the World” outcome ought to be painful for Americans with any pride in the tradition of liberty in this country. The Fraser Institute, a free market policy institute from Canada, has just released an extensive analysis of international freedom, and they find the United…
    Fergus Hodgson, September 21, 2011
  • Post

    Centrally planned wages hurt NC’s migrant workers and locals alike

    Southern Poverty Law Center promotes poverty Federal officials assign higher minimum wages to migrant workers than they do to domestic workers--presumably to appease organized laborers who squirm at the thought of honest competition. Now they're raising these minimum wages again, and in a big way. As the News and Observer reported this morning, that means, for example, by 50 percent for seafood processors. Who comes out in defense of this initiative? None other than the Southern Poverty Law Center. Apparently, governmentally assigned (insert: arbitrary) wages are a good idea and higher ones are appropriate.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 21, 2011
  • Post

    Price gouging laws ignore economics, violate property rights

    After hearing of the North Carolina attorney general's hunger to enforce price gouging laws, I got right to The Locker Room and encouraged people to thank rather than vilify the retailers. My focus was on economic logic, and Bill Lumaye then had me on to discuss what may be a counterintuitive assertion, including a few challenging questions. (Click below to listen--four minutes.) [audio:http://bit.ly/nmovlC] With a little more time to consider the issue, I wrote an expanded commentary for The Future of Freedom Foundation with the same headline, "Give Thanks to 'Price Gougers.'" This includes a response to a concern raised by Lumaye, essentially, What about the poor?
    Fergus Hodgson, September 7, 2011
  • Post

    The joys of legal immigration

    There continues to be plenty of attention on illegal immigration and the inability (or unwillingness) of the federal government to address it. But what about the experience of legal immigrants---those who wait in line and remain in compliance with federal laws? As an immigrant from New Zealand, by way of Canada, I can attest that the complex, onerous, and bizarre legal process is not helping the situation. Naturally, the more expensive and bureaucratic the legal process becomes, the more likely people will be to shirk it. Yesterday, Rick and Donna Martinez of WPTF News Radio 680 invited me on to share my story. Click here to listen (15 minutes).
    Fergus Hodgson, September 1, 2011
  • Post

    Give thanks to “price gougers”

    Some things never cease to amaze me, like yesterday’s news release from North Carolina’s attorney general, Roy Cooper. As far as superficial demagoguery and economic illiteracy go, his comments are right up there. He warns: “price gougers… you can’t use a crisis as an excuse to make an unfair profit off consumers… If you think someone is ripping you off, let me know about it.” Click below to hear my rebuttal on the Bill LuMaye on WPTF (four minutes). [audio:http://bit.ly/nmovlC]
    Fergus Hodgson, August 26, 2011