The Power of Independent Thinking


Stay Connected
Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

The Lighthouse®

The Lighthouse® is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
Subscribe now, or browse Back Issues.

Volume 18, Issue 18: May 3, 2016

  1. Florida Hotel Firm Gives Workers Amazing, Low-Cost Healthcare
  2. Parental Leave Statute May Leave Some Workers Behind
  3. Trumping Nation-Building?
  4. EVENT: George Gilder on “The Secret to Restoring the American Dream” (Oakland, CA; 6/7/16)
  5. New Blog Posts
  6. Selected News Alerts

1) Florida Hotel Firm Gives Workers Amazing, Low-Cost Healthcare

Rosen Hotels & Resorts is best known for putting up tourists at its seven hotels in central Florida, but the hospitality company deserves to become even better known for its remarkable health plan: It covers almost everything for its 2,724 employees, yet it spends about 40 percent less per worker than the national average. According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, the hotel’s achievement is due to the singular vision of its president and founder, Harris Rosen.

Although Rosen manages to provide comprehensive coverage and keep down costs at the same time, what’s especially remarkable are the health benefits the company’s policies have delivered: 93 to 95 percent of enrollees follow through on getting their prescriptions refilled, compared to only 25 to 30 percent nationwide; its employees’ cancellation rate for medical appointments is almost one-tenth the national average; and when Rosen’s workers require hospital stays, they require an average of two fewer days than non-employee patients using the same facilities. On top of all this, Rosen’s employees tend to be older and have poorer health than the general population.

What’s the “secret” to Rosen’s success? Three components seem especially important: Rosen health director Kenneth Aldridge closely monitors employees’ medical test results and quickly phones those at risk for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, encouraging them to stay on top of their treatments. Rosen also makes sure that workers can easily get to a treatment facility, via its 12,000 square foot medical center. In addition, the company’s hiring policy precludes smokers and conducts random drug tests to ensure compliance. “What Rosen does is obviously doable – in a company with fewer than 3,000 employees, in a reasonably concentrated geographic area,” Goodman writes. “Can other employers do the same? I don’t know. But if they find time to get to Orlando, Harris Rosen will give them an earful of his thoughts.”

Welcome to the World of Rosencare, by John C. Goodman (CEO World Magazine, 4/15/16)

A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, by John C. Goodman

Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman


2) Parental Leave Statute May Leave Some Workers Behind

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors last month unanimously approved a measure that mandates full pay for mothers and fathers on leave for the birth or adoption of a child, a change that requires employers to pick up 45 percent of the tab. (State government already covered 55 percent of a new parent’s pay.) The San Francisco Small Business Commission voted 9 to 1 against the ordinance—for reasons that should be obvious even to the city’s supervisors: For companies operating on thin margins, a mandate to pay an absent worker 45 percent of their regular pay—for up to six weeks—can entail a huge financial burden, including potential overtime for another employee to pick up the slack, as Independent Institute Research Fellow Abigail R. Hall Blanco explains in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Moreover, government-mandated paid parental leave can have significant unintended consequences for the labor market: It makes it financially riskier for an employer to hire younger workers. “It’s not difficult to see how mandates like the paid leave affect the employment prospects of certain groups—married women of reproductive age, young women generally, and even married men,” Hall Blanco writes.

“Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes,” she continues. “You can choose between two job candidates. One is a 27-year-old female with an engagement ring. The other is a 45-year-old man. They are equally qualified—or maybe the woman is even slightly better qualified. But you know there is a good chance that within the next few years she’ll have a baby. That baby is going to cost you. So you choose the older man. In other words, you discriminate. It’s not because you’re a misogynist or hate families. It’s because you’re trying to run a business.”

San Francisco’s Parental Leave Law Is Bad for Business, by Abigail R. Hall Blanco (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18/16)

Mandated Paid Maternity Leave . . . Again, by Abigail R. Hall Blanco (The Beacon, 2/3/16)

Mandated Paid Maternity Leave: A Bad Idea for Women, by Abigail R. Hall Blanco (The Daily Caller, 6/16/15)


3) Trumping Nation-Building?

Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech last week, delivered at a think tank created by Richard Nixon, set the businessman-politician further apart from his rivals for the White House—and from the failed attempt at nation-building by President George W. Bush. Independent Senior Fellow Ivan Eland suggests it may be a sign of change in how American voters view U.S. foreign policy.

“As opposed to the interventionist neo-conservatism of the Bush administration and the equally meddling liberal hawkishness of Hillary Clinton, Trump got back to basics and let Americans citizens know that his foreign policy would safeguard American national interests first—not those of foreign countries, including providing for their security while they freeload,” Eland writes in his latest piece for the Huffington Post.

“To make his case for a more restrained U.S. foreign policy,” Eland continues, “Trump convincingly noted the twin foreign policy disasters of the Bush and Obama administrations in trying to export democracy using military power and nation building—in Iraq and Libya—that have instead caused chaos in the Middle East and allowed the terror group ISIS to fill the vacuum.” More and more, it appears that the biggest hawk in the 2016 presidential race is Hillary Clinton.

Trump: Crazy Candidate Has Sensible Foreign Policy Views, by Ivan Eland (Huffington Post, 5/2/16)

Ted Cruz Is Shaky on Foreign Policy, by Ivan Eland (Huffington Post, 4/18/16)

Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty, by Ivan Eland


4) EVENT: George Gilder on “The Secret to Restoring the American Dream” (Oakland, CA; 6/7/16)

Can the American jobs machine ever be restarted? Can parents once again have confidence that their children will enjoy a standard of living higher than their own? Yes, despite the pessimism of lowered expectations common across the political spectrum. But the usual policy ideas put forth by the Left and Right won’t do the trick. The secret to putting the U.S. back on the fast track to widespread prosperity, according to author George Gilder (Knowledge and Power, Wealth and Poverty), is to eliminate the unsustainable economic booms and resulting busts that have crushed the middle class and working people alike.

On Tuesday, June 7, Gilder will speak at Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. (Event webpage.)

Drawing on his new book, The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does, Gilder will explain why he believes America needs a monetary system free of government monopoly and safe from the manipulations of a central bank—a system in which gold-based money and new technologies can work in concert to revive Main Street rather than enrich the political elites of Wall Street. Nothing less than the adoption of “real money,” according to Gilder, can fulfill the amazing potential of the information economy—and nothing less can make good on the promise of the American dream.


George Gilder is Chairman of George Gilder Fund Management, host of the Gilder Telecosm Forum, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed new book, The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does. The author of scores of books and articles, his most influential book is Wealth and Poverty, which made the economic and moral case for the supply-side revolution of the Reagan administration.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Reception and Book Signing: 6:00 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.


Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621-1428
Map and Directions


Admission: $25 ($20 for Members)
Special Admission: $45 ($40 for Members) includes one hardcover copy of The Scandal of Money

Praise for The Scandal of Money

“Why do we think governments know how to create money? They don’t. George Gilder shows that money is time, and time is real. He is our best guide to our most fundamental economic problem.”
Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies

“Thirty-five years ago, George Gilder wrote Wealth and Poverty, the bible of the Reagan Revolution. With The Scandal of Money he may have written the road map to the next big boom.”
Arthur B. Laffer, coauthor, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States

MORE INFO: The Secret to Restoring the American Dream, featuring George Gilder (Oakland, CA; 6/7/16)


6) Selected News Alerts

Back to Top

  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless