The Government’s War on the Little Guy

Government war on the little guyby John Stossel –
Marty the Magician performed magic tricks for kids, including the traditional rabbit-out-of-a-hat. Then one day: “I was signing autographs and taking pictures with children and their parents,” he told me. “Suddenly, a badge was thrown into the mix, and an inspector said, ‘Let me see your license.'”

In “Harry Potter” books, a creepy Ministry of Magic controls young wizards. Now in the USA, government regulates stage magicians—one of the countless ways it makes life harder for the little guy.

Marty’s torment didn’t end with a demand for his license. “She said, from now on, you cannot use your rabbit until you fill out paperwork, pay the $40 license fee. We’ll have to inspect your home.”

Ten times since, regulators showed up unannounced at Marty’s house. At one point, an inspector he hadn’t seen before appeared. He hoped things had changed for the better. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Top State Income Tax Rates for All 50 States

Top State Income Tax Rates Americaby Chris Banescu –
The Tax Foundation has released a comprehensive graphic that summarizes the top state income tax rates for all 50 states. It provides a very clear picture of the tax situation across the United States. The chart is reproduced below.

California (13.3%), Hawaii (11%), and Oregon (9.9%) have the highest marginal tax rates in America. Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming, on the other hand, are the only seven states with no income tax.

The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Cronyism Undermines the Beneficial Role of Business in Society

Cronyism Undermines Capitalism and Free Markets by Sam Patterson –
The role that business plays in society is straightforward – businesses produce goods and services that people consider beneficial. If a business can do that while wisely using resources, it makes a profit. Successful businesses benefit society by producing goods or services which improve people’s lives, and are then rewarded with profit. Those profits enable businesses to innovate or offer more goods and services, further improving people’s lives. Businesses must cater to the needs of society or they will find that they are not rewarded with profit and may well no longer exist.

At least, that’s how it works in a free market. There is another path for businesses to make profit other than providing valuable products. It’s called cronyism. Cronyism occurs when a business colludes with government officials to create unfair legislation and/or regulations which give them benefits they could not have otherwise obtained voluntarily. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Five Myths About Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise Free-Markets Ethical Capitalism by Arthur Brooks –
The 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be a battle of two economic philosophies. One favors a greater redistributive and regulatory role for the government; the other prioritizes the values of free enterprise, including private property, individual liberty and limited government. Given the economic hardships the United States has endured in recent years, it is tempting to conclude that free markets are no longer best for us — but that would misread our history, and buy into myths about the impact of free enterprise.

1. Free enterprise hurts the poor.
The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and plenty of politicians would have us believe that the free-market system is a contest between the ultra-rich and everyone else (the “99 percent”). But in fact, there never has been a greater force for helping the poor than free enterprise. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How to Create a Job: Creating Value, Not Just Work

How to Create a Job: Creating Value, Not Just Work Capitalism Economic FreedomWith unemployment still above 9 percent, Americans are searching for answers that will lead to quality, lasting jobs. Past failures of jobs programs show that addressing the symptom instead of the disease has yet to lead to real job growth.

Instead of talking about jobs programs, what needs to be discussed is how to provide the right environment for growth: economic freedom. Watch this video to learn more. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How China Transformed Its Economy

China Embraces Capitalism China Capitalist by James E. Miller –
In a recent National Public Radio report, the real story behind the monumental land reforms which transformed the communist dystopia of China into a productive powerhouse was revealed.

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky – and such a big deal – because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.

In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate. So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family could keep some of the harvest.

[Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Tax Cuts, Less-Intrusive Gov’t Help Canada Soar

Canada flag low taxes economic success by IBD Editorials –

Success: Away from the low growth and high regulation of an America under Washington’s thumb, our northern neighbor is economically strong. As 2011 ends, Canada has announced yet another tax cut — and will soar even more.

The Obama administration and its economic czars have flailed about for years, baffled about how to get the U.S. economy growing.

In reality, the president need look no further than our neighbor, Canada, whose solid growth is the product of tax cuts, fiscal discipline, free trade, and energy development. That’s made Canada a roaring puma nation, while its supposedly more powerful southern neighbor stands on the outside looking in. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Entrepreneurs: Leading the Way Out

Entrepreneurs Lead by Greg Pesci –
Entrepreneurs, free to pursue their economic dreams, built America! They are, and always have been, its creators of jobs, growth, and wealth.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America:“It may be said that, in the United States, there is no limit to the inventiveness of man to discover the ways of increasing wealth and to satisfy the public’s needs.” He continued, “the primary reason for [America’s] rapid progress, their strength and greatness is their bold approach to industrial undertakings.” What impressed De Tocqueville most about business in America was “not so much the marvelous grandeur of some undertaking as the innumerable multitude of small ones.”

Data from the Census Bureau (Business Dynamics Statistics) demonstrate that since 1977 American entrepreneurs in firms less than five years old have been responsible for literally all the net job creation in this country. For more than 30 years, new companies have led job creation in America. Recently, Carl J. Schramm of the Kauffman Foundation stated, “new and young companies and the entrepreneurs that create them are the engines of job creation and eventual recovery.” With 9.8 percent unemployment, if we want to create jobs in America we need to free up entrepreneurs and not burden them with increased taxes or regulation. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Good News! American Workers Are Giving Up

by Jeffrey Folks –
On Friday, the president wasted no time informing the country that unemployment rates had dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. That sounds pretty good until you dig into the underlying numbers. Then it sounds dire.

Despite expectations that the U.S. would add 170,000 new jobs, only 100,000 were added in December. And yet the unemployment rate fell by 0.4%, a feat that would normally require the addition of up to 750,000 new jobs. How could the rate fall so dramatically with job gains of only 100,000? [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How Washington Continues to Ignore Small Businesses

When the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was enacted by Congress in February of 2009, a mere 0.899% of the funds were directed toward helping Small Businesses. Despite the fact that the Small Business sector employs over 50% of the American population, Big Business and Wall Street got most of the attention from our government during the “Great Recession” (and continues to do so).


[Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Yes, Taxes Do Change Behavior

10/23/2010 – Tom Roberson –
Bloomberg Businessweek details the complicated “Dutch Sandwich” tax strategy employed by Google to avoid the massive tax hit it would incur on overseas profits repatriated to the U.S. After reading this and seeing the lengths that U.S. companies go to protect their profits, can anyone seriously believe that taxes do not influence behavior? Should anyone be surprised that these innovative companies are able to develop innovative tax avoidance strategies? Let me point out that these are perfectly legal tax avoidance strategies and it is management’s duty to pursue every legal opportunity to minimize corporate tax obligations to maximize shareholder value. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Economy Needs Heart Transplant, Obama Offering Band-Aid

Economy Needs Heart Transplant Not Band-AidAmerica’s economic situation needs an emergency heart transplant, but Obama and the Democrats keep offering band-aids instead. We need a major change in government economic, tax, and fiscal policies not more government bailouts. Yet the president is doing nothing to reverse the enormous uncertainty fostered by his own administration’s aggressive anti-business and pro high-tax initiatives and rhetoric.

In the latest indication that our president has no clue why businesses are struggling and unwilling to hire, Obama is trying to force through another $30 billion government bailout program to “help banks boost lending to small businesses.” Unfortunately, it’s not the lack of available funds that are stopping businesses from expanding and generating new jobs. It’s the massive economic uncertainty and instability created by misguided government mandates (especially the oppressive regulations of ObamaCare), coupled with the massive tax increases coming in January 2011, that have spooked companies and forced them into defensive economic positions. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Worst of Both Worlds

7/24/2010 – Henry Oliner –

Karl Marx understood that capitalism is intrinsically productive but saw an inherent unfairness in any value other than that provided by labor. Marx also understood that individual incentives to produce would inevitably lead to overproduction and painful contractions. To avoid these contractions and their impact on labor costs, he believed the proletariat should, and inevitably would, exercise control over the means of production. Some true believers insist that he sought a utopian ideal rather than an authoritarian state, but the control of production by the state became essential to their objective. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Failure of the Unfree Market

5/11/2010 – Randall Hoven –
What we have here is the failure of the unfree market. That means the failure of Greece. And the other PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). And Europe. And it means the U.S., too. It even includes the Great Recession. The modern welfare state is collapsing around us.

If you had believed in the 72-Year Rule, you would have seen this coming. The 72-Year Rule says the lifetime of any social order or governing paradigm is about 72 years. For example, how long was it from the adoption of our original Constitution (1789), which sanctioned slavery, to the Civil War (1861)? Call it 72 years. And from then until the New Deal in 1933? Another 72 years. How about from the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) to the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)? That would be 72 years again. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Top 10 Reasons to Rely on Private Sector Markets

4/27/2010 – John Pisciotta – Acton –
Americans have less confidence and trust in government today than at any time since the 1950s. This is the conclusion of the Pew Research Center survey released in mid-April. Just 22 percent expressed trust in government to deliver effective policies almost always or most of the time. With the robust expansion of the economic role of the federal government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the Pew poll is evidence of an opportunity for advocates of freer markets.

That Americans distrust their government is not unadulterated good news. An effective rule of law, one aspect of which is a government that can be trusted to act justly and equitably, is a necessary precondition of the free and virtuous society. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Swerving Off the Path to Prosperity

Townhall | by Ed Feulner | Jan. 26, 2010

When future historians characterize this era, chances are they won’t label it as America’s “golden age.” Indeed, they may well mark 2010 as the year the United States became the home of the “mostly free.”

That’s the finding of the latest “Index of Economic Freedom,” an annual compendium published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. earned an overall score of 78 out of a possible 100 points in the Index. That was good enough for eighth place, globally. But that score was down 2.7 points from last year’s. It’s the biggest drop recorded among the world’s 20 largest economies. The decline was comparable to Venezuela’s (down 2.8) and Yemen’s (down 2.5), two poster children for bad economic behavior. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail