Dodd-Frank Creates Obstacles, Restricts Growth

Dodd-Frank was a response to the 2008 financial collapse intended to increase oversight of massive financial institutions, such as large banks and stock brokers, and monitor consumer transactions, such as payday loans and mortgages. It was meant to address the concern that financial institutions in the United States had grown “too big to fail” and would need to be “bailed out” by the government to prevent financial collapse.

Economic Freedom Index of North America 2005

This is the third edition of the annual report, Economic Freedom of North America. The statistical results of this year's study persuasively confirm those published in the previous two editions: economic freedom is a powerful driver of growth and prosperity and those provinces and states that have low levels of economic freedom continue to leave their citizens poorer than they need or should be.

CAFE's Three Strikes – It Should be Out

The federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard was enacted during the 1975 energy crisis. It required auto manufacturers to meet certain mileage standards, measured in Miles Per Gallon (mpg), across a manufacturer's entire fleet of vehicles. CAFE was originally proposed as a means of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.

California's Electrical Mess: The Deregulation That Wasn't

In 1994 California enacted legislation intended to deregulate the electric power business in the state and establish a competitive market. By January 2001, flaws in the California approach had become evident with the state's utilities driven to the brink of bankruptcy and Californians suffering electricity shortages and blackouts.

Turning On The Lights: Deregulating The Market for Electricity

Consumers, industry and business have reaped enormous benefits from increased competition and innovation following the deregulation of major industries in the United States and other countries. Commercial and residential customers spend more than $200 billion a year for electricity. Of that amount $20 billion to $50 billion is unnecessary spending caused by regulatory inefficiencies.

Off Target with Gun Controls

In the emotional aftermath of recent school shootings, the Clinton Administration and Congress want to "do something" about these extremely rare events, even though preventing them is beyond the power of the federal government. The U.S. Senate passed S. 254, the Juvenile Accountability Act, last month and the House will consider similar legislation in June. The 648-page Senate bill includes a range of provisions, among them new controls on firearms. However, none of the proposed rules would have prevented the massacre in Colorado or any other past school shooting, nor would they do anything to prevent future incidents. Here is a look at some of the provisions.

The Truth about Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl has sparked a national debate over land-use policy. At least 19 states have established either state growth-management laws or task forces to protect farmland and open space. Dozens of cities and counties have adopted urban growth boundaries to contain development in existing areas and prevent the spread of urbanization to outlying and rural areas. The Clinton administration has proposed to make urban sprawl a federal issue.

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.

Private Prisons Succeed

Clear and convincing evidence from the United States and elsewhere shows that privatizing criminal correctional facilities results in better public service at a lower cost than government operation.

The Impact of ERISA

While it is clear that the ERISA exemption has led to distortions in the current health care system, giving states more control over the self-funded plans would only make matters worse.

The Case for ERISA

ERISA has helped us move toward a national goal: the provision of affordable health insurance. It must remain intact – or be expanded so that even smaller employers can benefit. ERISA is the closest political compromise to having a "national" health plan without national control.

Guide to Regulatory Reform: The Compensation for Takings Rule

The "takings clause" of the Fifth Amendment is unequivocal: "…nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." Unfortunately, this component of our Bill of Rights is regularly ignored by government – especially by environmental regulators who effectively condemn and take private property without paying for it.

Guide to Regulatory Reform: The Federalism Rule

Government is likely to work better when it is as close as possible to the governed. Thus, while national defense requires coordination by the central government, drainage ditch decisions do not. This principle of federalism can be expressed quite simply: The federal government's proper role is limited to carefully defined and constitutionally legitimate problems beyond the reach of the individual states.

The Case for Expanded IRAs

Given that we want economic growth, we have two choices. Americans must either import funds for investment from other countries or increase their saving rate. Expanded opportunities to make deposits to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are a proven way of encouraging more savings.

The Clinton/Gephardt Bill

House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) released the health care reform bill of the House Democratic leadership on July 29.  It is a composite based on President Clinton's original proposal and on the work of the House Ways and Means and House Education and Labor committees.  While Gephardt has sought to emphasize the differences between his bill and President Clinton's plan, what is remarkable is how little has changed.

Myths About Gun Control

Firearms are used to commit as many as 650,000 crimes each year. But firearms are also used to prevent crimes as many as one million times each year. In fact, criminals are three times more likely to be killed by armed victims who resist them than by the police. Would tougher gun control laws make our lives safer? Fair appraisal of the issue requires us to put aside some common myths.

Auto Fuel Economy Standards: Good for the Environment or a Cause of Highway Dealths?

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program was part of legislation enacted in 1975 to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.  Studies show that the CAFE is already responsible for 2,200 to 3,900 additional traffic dealths per model year fleet because it has forced a decrease in vehicle weight, putting smaller, less safe cars on the road.  Raising the CAFE standards would more than double the number of CAFE-caused fatalities.

Making the World Less Safe: The Unhealthy Trend in Health, Safety, and Environmental Regulations

Because of fear and panic over the possibility that people are being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, politicians at the state and federal level are enacting unwise laws and regulations. All too often, these laws eliminate a highly visible risk while at the same time increasing our exposure to less visible but more dangerous risks. As a result, legislation passed in the name of "safety" is making us less safe.