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The Main Blog of Independent Institute

Vermont Unconstitutionally Distributes COVID Vaccine Based on Race
Wednesday April 14, 2021 | William J. Watkins, Jr.

Shame on the State of Vermont. Under the state’s plan for distributing the COVID vaccine, all blacks, indigenous people, and people of color are eligible to get the vaccine. Only whites 40 years and older and eligible to get the vaccine. So, imagine a 39 year-old white father of four who is the sole breadwinner for his family and fears being sick and out of work. He can’t get the vaccine under state policy but a black man in the same circumstances can. (more…)

Who Is Paying for President Biden’s Spending?
Tuesday April 13, 2021 | Craig Eyermann

When President Joe Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2021, the U.S. government’s total public debt outstanding stood at $20,751.9 billion. The chart below shows who Uncle Sam borrowed all that money from on that date: (more…)

Supreme Court Grants Injunction on California COVID Restrictions
Monday April 12, 2021 | William J. Watkins, Jr.

On Friday, the Supreme Court in Tandon v. Newsom (2021), granted a request for injunctive relief related to California COVID restrictions banning Bible study and prayer meetings in private homes when more than three households are represented. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts and the Court’s liberal wing voting in the minority. The divisive issue was whether California’s regulation was one of general applicability treating religious conduct as well as the state treats comparable secular conduct. The majority found that the regulation did not treat religious conduct as well as comparable secular conduct. As a result, strict scrutiny (showing that the regulation is narrowly tailored to further a compelling state interest) was triggered. (more…)

Lessons from the Dirty Streets of San Francisco
Wednesday April 7, 2021 | Craig Eyermann

If you ask most people, the way the government is supposed to work is simple. The people identify a problem they want the government to fix. The government hires and deploys people to fix it, using tax dollars to pay them to get the job done. Problem solved! Except that’s not what happens. More often than not, the problem doesn’t get fixed. Elected officials and bureaucrats will often claim that is because they don’t have enough tax dollars. They say if only they had more, they could hire more and better people to fix the problem. Then, the problem will be fixed. Problem solved! (more…)

The Art of the New Racism
Sunday April 4, 2021 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

“Certain San Francisco artists may receive $1,000 a month under a new city program, the latest in a series of universal basic income initiatives cropping up in cities across California,” writes Faith Pinho of msn.com. Anybody eager for the extra $1000 might wonder who the “certain artists” might be.  They must be “San Francisco residents under certain income thresholds who faced economic loss during the pandemic.” The recipients can be from “every artistic tradition,” but the artist’s work must be “rooted in a historically marginalized community.” So the money has nothing to do with the quality of the artist’s work, only the nature of their “community.”  (more…)

Vaccine Passports: Why? How?
Saturday April 3, 2021 | Randall G. Holcombe

There’s only one reason to require COVID vaccine passports: to coerce people into getting the vaccine. While vaccination is not required, a passport requirement would say, “Whether you get the vaccine is up to you, but if you want to travel or shop or do anything outside your home, a passport is required.” For those who are concerned about getting the virus from unvaccinated people, get vaccinated! Unvaccinated people pose a very small threat to those who have been vaccinated. Sure, the threat’s not zero, but any time you are around other people, you could catch a cold, or the flu, or Ebola, from them. You could get hit by their cars or knocked down if they bumped into you on the sidewalk. The risk to the vaccinated from being around the unvaccinated is small compared to other risks of being in places where other people are present. (more…)

Is State Democratic Party Chair Candidate Eastin a “Champion for Education”?
Friday April 2, 2021 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

After a failed bid for governor in 2018, Delaine Eastin is running for chair of the California Democratic Party. Eastin’s campaign website bills her as a “Champion for Education,” but state Democrats, millennials in particular, may be unaware of Eastin’s record in that field.  “Delaine is the former State Superintendent for Public Instruction,” the website explains. On Eastin’s watch, from 1995 to 2003, the California Department of Education gave more than $20 million in federal funds to a consortium of community-based organizations (CBOs), primarily for English-language instruction for immigrant children.  (more…)

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