Volume 18, Issue 27: July 6, 2016
- Life after Brexit: Whats Next for the UK?
- Single-Payer Healthcare by States Wont Happen
- Are Federal Bans on Mining for the Birds?
- Time for U.S. to Exit Entangling Alliances
- New Blog Posts
- Selected News Alerts
In last weeks Lighthouse, we summed up Independent Institute Research Fellow Kevin Dowds case in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. More recently, the British economist, writing in The Beacon, has offered detailed predictions about the future of the UK. The gist: Whether they want to or not, the British Prime Minister and Parliament will, as required by the British constitution, move forward on legislation formally enabling Brexit. Northern Ireland will not push for independence, even though it voted to remain in the EUfor the simple reason that it favors staying in the UK even more. Scotland, too, will remain in the UK; any independence referendum it might pass would have absolutely no legal authority. As for the timing of the exit, Dowd recommends that the UK not invoke Article 50the EU charters provision for secession, which takes two years to completeuntil after the UK and the EU work out, across a period lasting several years, all of the many details that must be resolved before the divorce can become final. Can anything more about Brexit be said?
Yes, more can be said. Independent Institute Research Fellow William J. Watkins, Jr., author of the forthcoming book Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of Americas First Constitution, likens Brexit to Americas struggle for independence from British rule. For example, Americans protested that a distant parliament passed laws governing the internal affairs of the colonies rather than leaving such matters to colonial legislatures, he writes, The British feel the same way about the EUs central government in Brussels regulating such minutiae as the length of imported bananas and the electric conductivity of honey. Similarly, many Brits harbor feelings of distance and alienation from the European Court of Justice, which decides cases on principles alien to the ancient British constitution, Watkins continues.
But wait, theres more. Independent Institute Research Fellow Robert P. Murphy, author of Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action, weighs in on the economics of Brexit. Among several value points he makes is one related to trade. The European Union is free to maintain open trade relations with a post-Brexit United Kingdom, he notes. Thus, if Brexit leads to protective tariffs and import quotas, this will be only because the EU and/or the UK want this to happen. But if both parties act in their own self-interest, open trade will remain unrestrictedas it should.
Decisive Brexit Referendum: What Happens Next? Part 2: The Disunited Kingdom, by Kevin Dowd (The Beacon, 7/5/16)
Why Secession Is Not a Dirty Word, by William J. Watkins Jr. (World Net Daily, 7/3/16)
The Economics of Brexit, by Robert P. Murphy (The Daily Caller, 7/5/16)
Audio: Robert P. Murphy dissects Brexit (The Marc Cox Show, 6/24/19)
Bernie Sanders supports a single-pay healthcare plan, but on this issue as on many others, his stance is far to the left of most voters. But since so-called single-payera euphemism for socialist healthcare funded with taxpayer dollarswont fly at the federal level, its supporters hope to take their battle to the states. Come November, for example, Colorado voters will weigh in on Amendment 69, a ballot measure calling for the state to fund healthcare through a $25 billion tax hike. According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John R. Graham, however, nothing much will come of iteven if voters approve.
For the states to enact single-payer healthcare, several unlikely events would need to occur, Graham explains in a recent op-ed for the Washington Examiner. States would have to successfully navigate around the federally financed and operated Medicare program, obtain a federal waiver to run their Medicaid programs independently of the feds, win congressional approval so that state insurance laws would trump the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and out-lobby Americas largest employers, who are vested in the status quo.
Even if Coloradans vote for single-payer healthcare in November, the obstacles to it or any other state actually instituting it are overwhelming, Graham writes. Ironically, one measure that would have made it easier for states to adopt single-payer healthcarefederal block grants to the statesare proposed by Republicans in Congress and opposed by Democrats. Hopefully, federal lawmakers will abandon this approach and instead get behind a recent proposal fashioned after the work of Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.
The Fantasy of Single-Payer Healthcare in the States, by John R. Graham (Washington Examiner, 6/20/16)
A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, by John C. Goodman
Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman
With little time left on its clock, the Obama administration is rushing to place millions of acres of federal land off limits to commercial resource extraction. Although Lighthouse subscribers have read about regulatory obstacles to oil and gas development, a recent op-ed by Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II and Strata Research Director Megan E. Hansen emphasizes the harm that federal restrictions impose on the development of minerals and metals that could otherwise be used for making things like smart phones, electric car batteries, and computer memory chips.
Mineral resources are plentiful within our borders, but the United States imported $41 billion worth of processed mineral materials in 2014 from foreign countries, Shughart and Hansen write. The production of rare earth metals, for example, is now dominated by China, even though the United States once was a leading rare earth elements producer. In fact, we have now become 100 percent dependent on imports of 19 key minerals.
The Department of Interior is trying to create more obstacles. Last fall it proposed withdrawing 10 million acres of land from resource developmentan amount equivalent of the size of Yellowstone National Parkostensibly in order to protect the habitat of the greater sage grousea bird species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says is not at risk of extinction. Banning mining on federal lands will weaken Western state economies to protect a species that doesnt seem to need protecting, Shughart and Hansen continue. Claiming that the ban will save the greater sage grouse is an absurdly deceptive justification for regulatory overreach.
Keeping Minerals in the Ground Keeps Them Out of the Economy, by William F. Shughart II and Megan E. Hansen (Inside Sources, 6/8/16)
Taxing Choice: The Predatory Politics of Fiscal Discrimination, edited by William F. Shughart II
Will the American public take a lesson from British voters and reconsider their official commitments to European alliesnamely, U.S. participation in NATO? Whatever the impulses behind Donald Trumps call for pulling out of various military alliances, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland the time is ripe for rethinking Pax Americana.
Part of the justification for a U.S. withdrawal from NATO is financial. The United States accounts for three-quarters of the defense spending of NATO countries, and it is very unlikely that those alliesall much closer to zones of conflict than is the United Stateswill be defending the superpower rather than vice versa, Eland writes. The same is true with respect to Americas allies in East Asia: the U.S. foots most of the bill but gets little if anything in returnnot even open markets for U.S. trade and investment.
An even greater justification for reducing military commitments involves the alleged purpose of the alliances: national security. The United States is surrounded by two oceans and two friendly nations, and enjoys the worlds largest defensive capability. Yet military entanglements in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East risk drawing the United States into armed conflicts large and small. The U.S. governments alliances threaten Americas financial soundness and national security. Perhaps an Amerexit from them is in order, Eland concludes.
How About an Amerexit from NATO and Other One-Sided Military Alliances?, by Ivan Eland (The Huffington Post, 6/27/16)
5) New Blog Posts
From The Beacon:
Hospitals and Insurers Are Dropping the Ball
Decisive Brexit Referendum: What Happens Next? Part 2: The Disunited Kingdom
Rock Music, Censorship, and Zimbabwes War of Independence
The Business Case for Health Insurance Is Weakening
Spain Defeats the Extreme-Left Populists
PBS Debate: Why We Should Embrace Human Organ Sales
Fathers Matter: More Evidence on their Importance
From MyGovCost News & Blog: