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Posted in Health Care, Trade

A Long History: IPI's Work on Drug Importation Risks

by Erin Humiston | 0 Comments | August 11, 2019

For over 16 years, the Institute for Policy Innovation has released numerous publications warning the risks of such a scheme cannot be overstated—foremost the public health danger, since it is impossible for the U.S. to guarantee the safety of imported drugs.

The following is a history of IPI’s research into the question of whether the U.S. should open its drug market to imported pharmaceuticals.

Digital Piracy Steals Our Opportunity

by Bartlett D. Cleland | 0 Comments | August 8, 2019

In April 1902 the first permanent movie house, the Electric Theatre in Los Angeles, opened its doors. People started leaving their homes to go to the movies. More than 117 years later legal video streaming has empowered people to watch video anywhere they want. Consumers clearly value mobility as evidenced by streaming subscribers now being more numerous than paid television subscribers.  

During this era of seemingly endless video choices, and options of where to watch it, one specter looms: Digital piracy continues to grow, threatening the very innovation that has brought us so many options.  

New York's Minimum Wage Hike Disaster is Simple Economics

by Erin Humiston | 0 Comments | August 8, 2019

Eight months after instituting a $15 an hour minimum wage hike, New York City employers and workers are feeling the pinch. Reports show business operators are cutting staff, cutting hours, and even raising prices. 

This is no surprise.

Posted in Politics

Biden Still Leads Among Democratic Hopefuls, But Where's the Excitement?

by Erin Humiston | 0 Comments | August 1, 2019

IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews appeared on CGTN’s The Heat to discuss this week’s Democratic presidential debates.

Identifying moderate and former Vice President Joe Biden as both the leader in the debates and as the biggest threat to President Donald Trump, Matthews said, “I still think many Democrats are more on the moderate side and haven’t bought into the far-left proposals expressed by so many of the presidential candidates.”

Posted in Civil Liberties

Tucker Carlson Is Wrong

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | July 16, 2019

Today Tucker Carlson said that the greatest threat to our liberty was no longer the federal government, but is now big corporations.

Tucker Carlson is abjectly wrong.

Hewlett-Packard can’t kick my door in, shoot my dog, and take my kids. Facebook has never planted false evidence on me. Amazon doesn’t seize my assets before I’ve been convicted of a crime.

Best Buy doesn’t have qualified immunity that protects it from liability if it breaks the law and harms me.

Government does all of these things.

The greatest threat to liberty is, and always has been, government. Not the private sector. There’s a bright line there that only a fool would purposely blur.

Notes from TFRW Talk Against Judicial Supremacy

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | July 3, 2019

I gave a fairly provocative talk a week or so ago to the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) in Austin on the two factors that, in my opinion, have led to our dysfunctional government. I identify two areas where our system of checks and balances has gone into the ditch: First, the states have abrogated their duty to be the first and best check against federal power (see 9th and 10th Amendments), and second, the courts have asserted a completely unconstitutional doctrine of judicial supremacy, and the states, the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch have meekly complied because it absolves them of their responsibilities under the Constitution.

Once you get your head around the idea that the Supreme Court was never supposed to rule the country, it's like the scales fall from your eyes, and you can see not only the cause of so many of our current problems, but also the solution.

I've been asked for my notes by several people, and the problem is my notes are speaking cues, nothing more. But I've attempted to clean them up a bit and post them here, mainly because there are current issues like the census question and the Trump administration's immigration orders that I think are clear examples of unconstitutional deference to the courts.

So here they are. Hope they are useful and intelligible to someone.

. . . 

Ten Short Takes from the Democratic Debates

by Merrill Matthews | 0 Comments | June 28, 2019

What did we learn from four hours of 20 Democratic presidential candidates vying for camera time and voter interest? 

1. According to the candidates, apparently the greatest existential threat to America (after Donald Trump) is the large corporations that employ millions of Americans. 

2. Several candidates want to boldly open the door to socialized medicine now; the others want to sneak it in through the back door...

The Texas Legislature Passed a Stupid Bill. Now the State Is Being Sued

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | June 27, 2019

During the 86th Texas Legislature, which took place from January to May, 2019, legislators passed a really stupid, transparently awful bill. Governor Abbott signed it. Now the state is being predictably sued.

IPI warned them. The Trump administration Justice Dept. warned them. They passed it anyway.

And I mean, they REALLY passed it. It passed the Texas House 141 to 5, and it passed the Texas Senate 31 to 0.

It still boggles my mind that a piece of legislation with such obvious flaws sailed through the legislature with hardly any notice. But now the chickens are coming home to roost, and Texas taxpayers are going to be paying for the state to defend the indefensible in a likely losing cause.

Scalia's Coded Hint In the Obergefell Decision

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | June 27, 2019

Occasionally I give talks to groups about the problem of judicial supremacy—the unconstitutional doctrine that the Judicial Branch has unique power to interpret the Constitution and can overrule the other two branches and overrule the states without question.

I've written about here, but I'm not the only one. Here's another piece.

Anyway, because this is a hobby horse of mine, my eyes were riveted to some of Justice Scalia's last writings—specifically, his dissent in the Obergefell case (same-sex marriage). The point of this language has nothing to do with same-sex marriage—it has to do with whether courts actually have us much power under the Constitution as we have allowed them to assert.

In my opinion, Scalia left us a coded hint in his dissent on the gay marriage decision. It concludes:

“With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.”

What I think Scalia is suggesting is that the Founders purposely designed the Court without the power to enforce its opinions, and that states and the other two branches of the federal government actually have more power to simply ignore SCOTUS decisions than they know they have.

What, for instance, would happen if a state simply decided to ignore a controversial SCOTUS case? What would happen if a president simply ignored a nationwide injunction issued against the Exective Branch by some mid-level judge in Washington State? What, exactly, would happen?

Posted in Trade, Politics

Tariffs Aren't the Only Tool

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | June 6, 2019

It's pretty clear by now that the Trump administration's favorite way to put pressure on another country to accomplish some political goal is to threaten and impose tariffs. 

In fact, tariffs have become an all-purpose foreign policy tool for the Trump administration. China's theft of IP and unfair business practices? Tariffs. China's supposed currency manipulation? Tariffs. China's trade surplus with the United States? Tariffs.

The US steel industry not doing great? Tariffs.

And now, trying to get Mexico to do more to stem the flow of migrants into the US? Well, tariffs, of course.

Now, the common retort to criticism of tariffs is something along the lines of "Well, at least he's doing something!" Or, "Don't you think we should do something about China's IP theft\China's currency manipulation\hordes of illegal immigrants from Mexico?"

Well, yes, actually. I DO think the president should be addressing all of those things, and I'm glad he is. I just don't think tariffs are the only or the best tool to accomplish those purposes. There are other tools in the quiver besides tariffs.

Posted in Trade

President Reagan on Trade & Tariffs

by Tom Giovanetti | 0 Comments | June 5, 2019

President Reagan's 1988 radio address on free trade, delivered soon after the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement was signed, remains timely. 

My fellow Americans:

This week, as we prepared for Thanksgiving, Canada held an important election, and I'm pleased to again send my congratulations to Prime Minister Mulroney. One of the important issues in the Canadian election was trade. And like our own citizens earlier this month, our neighbors have sent a strong message, rejecting protectionism and reaffirming that more trade, not less, is the wave of the future.

Here in America, as we reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for, we should take a moment to recognize that one of the key factors behind our nation's great prosperity is the open trade policy that allows the American people to freely exchange goods and services with free people around the world. The freedom to trade is not a new issue for America. In 1776 our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, charging the British with a number of offenses, among them, and I quote, "cutting off our trade with all parts of the world," end quote.

Posted in Trade

Matthews on CGTN TV: Slim Odds for a "Quick" US-UK Trade Deal

by Erin Humiston | 0 Comments | June 5, 2019

On Tuesday, IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews joined CGTN-TV’s “The Heat” host Anand Naidoo to discuss President Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom and what it means for future trade relations between the two powers.

Despite the president’s optimistic statements at the St. James’s Palace joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, Matthews voiced skepticism of the U.S. making a “quick deal” on trade post-Brexit.

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