Until the last quarter of a millennium, mankind depended on living nature for all its food and clothing, most of its energy, and much of its material and medicines. Then mankind began to develop technologies to augment or displace living nature’s uncertain bounty. In a new study, author Indur Goklany shows how fossil fuels not only saved humanity from nature’s whims, but nature from humanity’s demands.
In his compelling new book, Ted Galen Carpenter details the growing horror overtaking Mexico and explains how the current U.S.-backed strategies for trying to stem Mexico’s drug violence have been a disaster. The only effective strategy, says Carpenter, is to defund the Mexican drug cartels by abandoning the failed drug prohibition policy, thereby eliminating the lucrative black‐market premium and greatly reducing the financial resources of the drug cartels.
In recent days, several senior Republicans have allowed that they would be willing to compromise on a pledge they made to oppose tax increases. At least one of those lawmakers, Senator Lindsey Graham, has said that he would negotiate on “revenue generation” because he is unwilling to let sequester budget cuts “destroy the United States military.” But Cato scholars have long argued that the proposed cuts in military spending would allow the United States to maintain a substantial margin of military superiority, and would in fact pay dividends for the U.S. economy over the long run.
The top federal capital gains tax rate is increasing this year. A new bulletin from Cato scholar Chris Edwards describes why policymakers should keep capital gains taxes low. If the U.S. capital gains tax rate rises next year as scheduled, these higher rates will harm investment, entrepreneurship, and growth, and will raise little, if any, added federal revenue.
With new laws legalizing marijuana use on the books in Colorado and Washington, everyone is waiting to see how the Justice Department will react. Meanwhile, House legislation has been introduced to get the feds to back off states that pass legalization measures. A new Cato study and a forum featuring the former DEA chief examine where marijuana laws are headed nationwide.
- “On the Limits of Federal Supremacy: When States Relax (or Abandon) Marijuana Bans,” by Robert A. Mikos
- “Amendment 64 Becomes Law in Colorado,” by Tim Lynch
- “The Law and Politics of Marijuana Legalization,” Cato Event
As the one hundredth birthday of the Federal Reserve System approaches, it seems appropriate to once again take stock of our monetary system. In the latest issue of Cato Policy Report, economists George Selgin, William D. Lastrapes, and Lawrence H. White survey the relevant research and conclude that the Federal Reserve System has not lived up to its original promise. Also in this issue, new president John A. Allison shares his thoughts on joining the Cato Institute.
Between Congress, the European Union, and U.S. state legislatures, there are at least a dozen major proposed new laws in the hopper that are aimed at resolving very specific presumed crises that threaten consumer privacy. In a new study, Internet industry analyst Larry Downes says that calls for ill‐considered new laws threaten the remarkable economic conditions that have fueled the Internet revolution up until now. “With minor enhancement,” argues Downes, “information licensing could resolve many of today’s perceived crises without resorting to inflexible and overreaching legislation.”
- “A Rational Response to the Privacy ‘Crisis’,” by Larry Downes
The deal raises tax rates on entrepreneurs, investors, small business owners, and other “rich” taxpayers, and postpones the sequester budget cuts. Cato scholar Daniel J. Mitchell comments, “This deal is not good for the economy. It doesn’t do anything to cap the burden of government spending. It doesn’t reform entitlement programs. …This is sort of like a late Christmas present, but we must have been naughty all year long and taxpayers are getting lumps of coal.”
- “Grading the Fiscal Cliff Deal: Terrible, but Could Be Worse,” by Daniel J. Mitchell
- “The Spending Cliff,” by Michael D. Tanner
- “A CEO’s Advice to Congress,” by John A. Allison
- “On to the Next Manufactured Fiscal Crisis,” by Tad DeHaven
The United States faces two economic challenges: slow growth and an ever‐increasing ratio of debt to GDP. Many policymakers believe they face a dilemma because the policy solutions to the two problems are opposite – lower taxes and/or Keynesian stimulus spending to spur growth only exacerbates the long‐run fiscal imbalance. But in a new paper, Cato scholar Jeffrey A. Miron says that policymakers are wrong to see this as a dilemma. Argues Miron, “The United States has a simple path to a brighter economic future: slash expenditures and keep tax rates low.”
- “Should U.S. Fiscal Policy Address Slow Growth or the Debt? A Nondilemma,” by Jeffrey A. Miron
In the latest issue of Regulation, Thomas A. Lambert summarizes the reasoning underlying the Roberts individual mandate ruling, and explains how it actually undermines the new health care law. Also in this issue, G. Stuart Mendenhall and Mark Schmidhofer question the usefulness of the TSA’s terrorist screening procedures.