The Breakthrough Year?

In the State of the Union, President Obama proclaimed the good economic news. He declared 2014 a “breakthrough year for America,” noting “our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.” He also made the case for “middle-class economics,” promising a budget that would focus on “lowering the taxes of working families … Continue reading The Breakthrough Year?

The SOTU and Bipartisanship

Critics of the President’s State of the Union address noted it did little to promote bipartisanship. Yet, it has already stimulated bipartisan agreement on one of the President’s education proposals. In the State of the Union, President Obama proposed free community college: “I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost … Continue reading The SOTU and Bipartisanship

If Revisionist UI Models Are Wrong, So Are Revisionist Minimum Wage Models

The Hagedorn, Manovskii, and Mitman working paper on the effect of unemployment insurance (UI) on employment has been getting a lot of press lately. In brief, they find that the end of the federal unemployment insurance extension accounts for about 1.8 million new jobs in 2014. Mike Konczal does a useful deep dive on the … Continue reading If Revisionist UI Models Are Wrong, So Are Revisionist Minimum Wage Models

A Clean Win for Freedom (updated)

Even a small win for rolling back the state is so seldom observed that it's worth mentioning when one happens: the medium-sized town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire (one of the most "progressive" municipalities in the state) has abolished all taxi regulations and shut down its Taxicab Commission. Correction: the regulators voted to abolish themselves, but … Continue reading A Clean Win for Freedom (updated)

SOTU

Yes, it is tonight. Those of us who actually follow these things can predict that many of the initiatives that will be announced by President Obama will have little significance with respect to policy because they will never make it through Congress. Priscilla Alvarez (National Journal) has an annotated version of the 2014 SOTU address, … Continue reading SOTU

Understanding the Impact of Holder’s Asset Forfeiture Announcement

Last week Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would be suspending its adoption of state civil forfeiture cases through its "Equitable Sharing" program. To review, civil asset forfeiture is the procedure by which law enforcement seizes property suspected of having been associated with a crime, and then auctions it off and … Continue reading Understanding the Impact of Holder’s Asset Forfeiture Announcement

Breaking: Catalan “Plebiscitary Elections” Set for September 27, 2015

Catalonia will hold a de facto independence referendum through regional elections on September 27, 2015. This one will have "real" effect, unlike the 9N, because the Catalan independence parties would form a unity government and set up the institutions of an independent state, ultimately declaring independence at a date yet to be announced. https://twitter.com/lizcastro/status/555449038221639681 https://twitter.com/MartiEstruch/status/555450187918098432Continue reading Breaking: Catalan “Plebiscitary Elections” Set for September 27, 2015