The Popcorn Follies

Popcorn is not a trivial matter. I am reminded of that at the movies where buttered buckets of the stuff are consumed and the surplus spread on the floor under my seat.

Five Steps to Effective Regulatory Reform

Congress should take five more steps toward meaningful regulatory reform. The first involves revisiting and improving the reforms Congress has made. The last four represent a sharp break with the past and radically alter the federal government's future regulatory efforts.

The Minimum Wage Trap

With the exception of the Card-Krueger findings, virtually every major study that has ever been done has found significant job losses from an increase in the minimum wage. But even if one accepts the Card-Krueger findings, evidence of other unfavorable effects makes an overwhelming case that the minimum wage should not be raised and that, in fact, abolishing it would do more for those it is intended to help.

The Forbes Legacy

One great strength of the American political system – and one that no doubt baffles foreigners – is the way it brings people who are enemies one day together as allies the next. Just recently we saw Phil Gramm, Lamar Alexander and Steve Forbes attacking Bob Dole in Iowa and New Hampshire. But just a few weeks later, Gramm, Alexander and Forbes all dropped out of the race and endorsed him.

The Failure of Protectionism

The Great Wall of China dates from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), but successive invasions from the North proved that it had no more military utility than the "impregnable" Maginot Line did for the French in 1940. Gunpowder and artillery long ago had rendered castle walls useless too.

Medical Savings Accounts: The Singapore Experience

The Singapore programs provide incentives to reduce consumption and offer protection against extraordinary events and free-rider abuses. The system is efficient and effective, the health status of the people is improving and the national investment in health care is surprisingly low, while hospitals are profitable and physician incomes are relatively high.