Volume 17, Issue 27: July 7, 2015
- Love Gov Video Series Satirizes Intrusive Government
- How Not to Reform Healthcare
- Let Greece Leave the Eurozone
- Free Speech after Obergefell
- New Blog Posts
- Selected News Alerts
1) Love Gov Video Series Satirizes Intrusive Government
The United States just celebrated 239 years of independence from England, but have Americans become too dependent on Washington, D.C.? And what does it meanin human termswhen we say that the federal government has become too involved in the lives of young adults? Rather than address the question with numbers and graphs, we thought it would be more memorable (and entertaining) to tell you the story of Alexis Smithan idealistic college student who falls for Scott Gov Govinsky in Love Gov, a satirical video series from Independent Institute that weve just released on YouTube.
Each of the series five episodes follows Alexiss relationship with Gov, a confident young man whose good intentions wreak (comic) havoc on her life. Watch Alexis as she deals with excessive student debt, costly housing, underemployment, bureaucratic healthcare, and more. Alexiss loyal friend Libby tries to help her see Gov for what he really isa menace. But will Alexis come to her senses in time? Tune in to find out!
Love Gov is a way to help anyone, especially Millennials, understand the federal governments ever-expanding reach into personal lives, says David J. Theroux, founder and president of Independent Institute. Its a lighthearted approach to reach audiences on a personal level, and inspire them to learn more and take action.
The Love Gov video series also connects with the updated MyGovCost mobile app, a tool that helps users estimate their lifetime federal tax liability, their contribution to 17 federal spending categories, and the amount of money they would have accumulated if they had invested the money they paid to the U.S. Treasury and earned a modest six percent return.
2) How Not to Reform Healthcare
Some members of Congress propose reforming American healthcare through a type of decentralization and federalismby getting the federal government to provide Obamacare-funded block grants to the states, so these laboratories of democracy can try their own approaches to the nations healthcare challenges. How well would this approach deal with the Big Six problems that genuine reform must fix? Not well at all, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.
I dont see any problems going away here, Goodman writes at Forbes. I see a host of new problems arising as they are shifted [from the federal government to the states].
And those problems wouldnt be easy to fix. How, for example, would the states deal with ERISA and HIPAA? Would they create their own rules and enforcement mechanisms? Simply providing states block grants wouldnt enable the states to clear the hurdles set by those laws. Nor would federal grants correct the perverse incentives that encourage insurers to seek out healthy consumers and avoid the sick. These and a host of other issues mean that simple block grants are entirely inadequate to reform the healthcare system. For meaningful solutions, see Goodmans latest book, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America.
Block Granting Obamacare to the States: Sense or Nonsense?, by John C. Goodman (Forbes, 6/30/15)
Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman
A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, by John C. Goodman
3) Let Greece Leave the Eurozone
Greek voters rejected an international aid package and the fiscal belt-tightening that came with it. Whats next for the debt-laden nation? Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland recommends letting Greece leave the Eurozone.
In the long term, this tough love policy will benefit Europe, the world financial system, and even Greece itself, although not without a lot of self-induced short-term pain, Eland writes in the Huffington Post.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman feels sympathy for Athens, but not for taxpayers in more frugal European countries. This view, however, focuses too much on the short term and not enough on the long term, Eland argues. Such short-term austerity, he continues, is painful, but is the only thing that will return Greece to genuine economic growthrather than a temporary government sugar high of artificial prosperity, which makes things worse in the long term. Unfortunately, apparently the long-profligate Greeks need to learn this lesson the hard way. Americas spendthrift politicians should heed the warning.
Say No to Greek Financial Irresponsibility, by Ivan Eland (The Huffington Post, 7/6/15)
Let Greece Leave the Eurozone, by Ivan Eland (The Huffington Post, 6/30/15)
4) Free Speech after Obergefell
In the wake of the Supreme Courts 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a judge in Oregon has reportedly imposed a gag order prohibiting Christian bakery owners from publishing any material indicating a refusal to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, writes Melantcon Smith at The Beacon.
Central to the decision are Oregons public accommodation laws, which, according to Smith, go far beyond the legal traditions embodied in the common law. That tradition, Smith writes, imposed a duty to serve all comers on businesses providing essential goods and services to travelers. That meant providing access to private inns or common carriers such as railroads, back when traveling without lodging or transportation posed a mortal danger. Wedding cakesregardless of who is getting marriedarent in the same league.
Smith worries that contemporary public-accommodation laws threaten free speech, especially with the expansion of legally protected groups and suspect classifications. Actually, the First Amendment and common sense require that we do rethink these laws, Smith concludes.
Oregon Judge Attacks Free Speech in Wake of Obergefell, by Melancton Smith (The Beacon, 7/3/15)
When Thinking about Obergefell We Must Distinguish between Policy and Law, by Melancton Smith (The Beacon, 6/28/15)
Libertarians Should Be Cautious in Celebrating Obergefell, by Melancton Smith (The Beacon, 6/26/15)
5) New Blog Posts
From The Beacon:
Red Light Cameras: Safety or Revenue?
Randall Holcombe (7/4/15)
Oregon Judge Attacks Free Speech in Wake of Obergefell
Melancton Smith (7/3/15)
What Happened to the Midwives? (Hint: Government)
Abigail Hall (7/2/15)
Why Frédéric Bastiat Still Matters
Noah Weinrich (7/1/15)
Justices Breyer and Ginsburg Would Hold the Death Penalty Unconstitutional
Melancton Smith (6/29/15)
From MyGovCost News & Blog:
Craig Eyermann (7/6/15)
American Debt in Patriotic Colors
Craig Eyermann (7/3/15)
K. Lloyd Billingsley (7/2/15)
Puerto Ricos Debt Clock Runs Out of Time
Craig Eyermann (6/30/15)
6) Selected News Alerts