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Volume 15, Issue 21: May 21, 2013

  1. The Obamacare Jobs Barrier
  2. What the New Jackie Robinson Movie 42 Left Out
  3. What Armed Killers Fear Most: Armed Resistance
  4. Institute Fellows to Discuss How to Restore America (Freedom Fest, July 10-13, Las Vegas)
  5. New Blog Posts
  6. Selected News Alerts

1) The Obamacare Jobs Barrier

Obamacare is already hampering the economic recovery. The employer mandate doesn’t kick in until January, but the health law has spurred some business owners to cut back the employment of some workers to below 30 hours per work. That’s because next year the government will look back 12 months to decide whether a worker is considered a full-time or a part-time employee, Independent Institute Research Fellow John C. Goodman explains in Forbes.

“One fast-food restaurant owner I talked with (owning 100 franchises) told me that the average workweek for their employees has been reduced to 25 hours this year—compared with 38 last year,” Goodman writes.

And some business owners can be expected to restrict their hiring beginning next year so that they don’t cross the 50-worker threshold that triggers the employer mandate. That will be especially detrimental to entry-level workers, due to the cost of the minimum benefits package that employers must offer: an estimated $4,750 for individuals and $12,250 for families. Even though the employer can opt to pay a fine of $2,000 per (full-time) worker instead of offering coverage, some job candidates simply won’t be given an opportunity to demonstrate their value to an employer. The employment outlook will look even worse if the federal minimum wage is pushed to $9 per hour, as Obama has proposed. Goodman warns that such an increase, “combined with existing Obamacare mandates, will destroy job opportunities for young, unskilled workers in cities and towns across the country.”

The Cruel Things Obama Is Doing to the Labor Market, by John C. Goodman (Forbes, 5/10/13)

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


2) What the New Jackie Robinson Movie 42 Left Out

The new film 42 tells the story of baseball great Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), Brooklyn Dodgers co-owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), and the breaking of the color barrier in America’s favorite pastime. It’s a good movie. Unfortunately, according to historian Jonathan Bean, a research fellow at the Independent Institute, it neglects key aspects of its protagonists’ motives and aspirations—namely, their religious and political commitments.

Robinson and Rickey were both devoted Methodists and GOP members who held that “capitalism, not government, held the key to equal opportunity,” Bean writes in USA Today. Their ideals played a crucial role in motivating them to persevere: there was not yet a civil rights movement for them to lean on for moral support. In fact, Robinson’s and Rickey’s achievements were the first home runs that inspired others to join the team crusading on behalf of individualism and against racial segregation.

“Remember,” Bean continues, “the year was 1947: the year before President Harry Truman ordered the military desegregated; seven years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision; eight years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., public transit bus; 10 years before President Dwight Eisenhower utilized the 101st Airborne to enable the Little Rock Nine to attend Central High School; 16 years before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his memorable I Have A Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington; and nearly two decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were adopted.”

Ending Racial Hatred with Heart, Wallet, by Jonathan Bean (USA Today, 5/13/13)

Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, edited by Jonathan Bean


3) What Armed Killers Fear Most: Armed Resistance

“Gun Free Zones” don’t keep deranged gunmen away, they attract them. This is the theme of the latest piece by Independent Institute Research Fellow Don B. Kates Jr., an attorney and criminologist well known in the gun community for his research on firearms and crime. Kates points out that the tragedies of Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Columbine took place in part because the killers were confident they would not encounter armed resistance.

“When confronted by armed police, gunmen sometimes surrender though more often they kill themselves,” Kates writes. “At the risk of belaboring the obvious, what neither terrorists nor lunatics ever do is kill themselves (or surrender) when faced by unarmed victims.”

Kates offers numerous success stories of armed resistance, especially in Israel, where policy changes have armed teachers, school bus drivers, and parent-volunteers guarding children. Incidents of gunmen attacking civilians have fallen sharply. Closer to home, after a shooter killed two unarmed victims at Clackamass Town Center in Portland, Oregon, last December, he encountered an armed gun-permit holder. Instead of attempting to continue his murder spree, he turned his gun on himself. “To reiterate,” Kates continues, “such armed resistance works—unlike other steps which just waste money in order to create a false illusion of safety.”

Gun Free Zones: A Prevalent Delusion, by Don B. Kates Jr. (AmmoLand, 5/14/13)

Firearms, Violence, and the Second Amendment: An Independent Institute Resource Page


4) Institute Fellows to Discuss How to Restore America (Freedom Fest, July 10-13, Las Vegas)

Thanks to runaway entitlement spending and “elective” wars, the United States is a nation in decline. Nearly two millennia ago another superpower also over-promised, over-policed, over-regulated, and over-taxed. Are we Rome? That question also happens to be the title of this year’s Freedom Fest. The pro-liberty confab will take place July 10-13 at Caeser’s Palace in Las Vegas. We are delighted to announce that four policy experts from Independent Institute will appear at a panel discussion on how to end the economic crisis and restore America to greatness. Hopefully, this is one case in which what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas!

The panel—“No More Caesars: How Liberty and Free Markets Can End the Economic Crisis”—will be held Friday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. at the Palace Ballroom. Here’s the stellar line-up:

Chairman: Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer and Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal

Peter J. Boettke, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University; author, Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

John C. Goodman, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; President, NCPA; author, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis

Anthony Gregory, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; author, The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King's Prerogative to the War on Terror

Benjamin Powell, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; Director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University; co-editor, Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis, and editor, Making Poor Nations Rich

Register today to attend Freedom Fest!

Friday, July 12, 9:00 am
Palace Ballroom
Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada


5) New Blog Posts

From The Beacon:

Healthcare and the Cost of Non-Price Rationing
John C. Goodman (5/20/13)

Stupid Regulations
Randall Holcombe (5/17/13)

Healthcare and the Poor: Why Money Works Better than Waiting
John C. Goodman (5/15/13)

From MyGovCost News & Blog:

“Customer Service” at the IRS?
K. Lloyd Billingsley (5/20/13)

Hitting the Debt Ceiling
Craig Eyermann (5/19/13)

Feds Apply Full Court Press
K. Lloyd Billingsley (5/17/13)

A Government Too Vast
Craig Eyermann (5/16/13)

K. Lloyd Billingsley (5/15/13)

You can find the Independent Institute’s Spanish-language website here and blog here.


6) Selected News Alerts


  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless