Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From the Independent Institute

The Lighthouse - Volume 14, Issue 35 - August 28, 2012In this week's issue:

1) From Medicare to Mediscare
2) Zoning Against Charity
3) FBI: The Federal Bureau of Instigation?
4) New Blog Posts

1) From Medicare to Mediscare

Recent discussions about Medicare and the Ryan nomination have kept healthcare economist John C. Goodman busy. In an op-ed for USA Today, the Independent Institute Research Fellow argued that differences between Paul Ryan's Medicare plan and the Obama administration’s plan are smaller than many people believe. Although Ryan favors an expansion of private Medicare plans, his budget implicitly endorses the same payment cuts that are incorporated in the health law, Goodman and co-author Thomas R. Saving write. There are notable differences, however. Ryan's approach has the advantage of making the cuts less painful by allowing market-based reforms instead of suppressing provider fees. READ MORE

Mediscare, by John C. Goodman (Townhall, 8/25/12)

Medicare Wars, by John C. Goodman (RightSideNews, 8/21/12)

Medicare Drama More Hype than Reality, by John C. Goodman and Thomas R. Saving (USA Today, 8/16/12)

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

Video: John C. Goodman on C-SPAN2 Book TV (8/12/12)

2) Zoning Against Charity

Last month, 13-year-old hot-dog vendor Nathan Duszynski saw his sidewalk enterprise shut down by a city zoning officials ten minutes after he set up shop. The Holland, Michigan, resident hoped to use his profits to help provide for his disabled parents. More recently, Angela Prattis of Chester, Pennsylvania, was required to stop giving away free lunches to the dozens of children who came to her yard each day; municipal officials said she was violating a town zoning ordinance, even though she had been complying with the town’s reporting requirements and allowing a state worker to visit every other week. These cases are notable because they show how government regulation can stifle both commerce and social entrepreneurship, as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Benjamin Powell explains in his latest op-ed. READ MORE

Zoning Stifles Civil Society, by Benjamin Powell (The Huffington Post, 8/23/12)

Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis, edited by Randall G. Holcombe and Benjamin Powell

3) FBI: The Federal Bureau of Instigation?

A news report published last week in the San Francisco Chronicle charges that the first man to provide firearms to the Black Panthers radical group, the late Richard Aoki, was an FBI informant. The revelation, although it reportedly shocked many who knew Aoki, should come as no real surprise: the agency has a long history of aiding, encouraging, and provoking dissident groups, activists, and misfits. Sometimes these capers have been concocted not to prevent crimes already planned, but rather to instigate crimes whose commission would help discredit a cause at odds with official policy. Sometimes they were hatched so that agency officials could bask in the media spotlight and score political points after they have foiled a criminal plot. Sometimes the strategy has backfired like domestic versions of Fast and Furious.  Although Congressional hearings in the mid-1970s about FBI abuses led to a reduction in the agency's counterintelligence program, similar schemes made a comeback after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Anthony Gregory. READ MORE

The FBI Lurking Behind Every Corner, by Anthony Gregory (The Huffington Post, 8/27/12)

To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice, by Bruce L. Benson


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