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What They Won’t tell You About The Senate’s Unemployment Extension Bill

It sounds like something good that only the mean spirited would oppose, right? A bill to extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who have been out of work for a very long time.That is, until you find out this little factoid.No less than…

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Job creators use environmental extremists’ playbook to sue government

For years environmentalists have usurped individual private property rights and thwarted economic development. Now, thanks to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, it appears that the job creators may have finally learned something from the extreme tactics of groups, like the Wild Earth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which have been using the courts to their advantage by filing lawsuits against the federal government. On Monday, March 17, on behalf of the state of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), Pruitt filed a lawsuit against the federal government, specifically the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The lawsuit alleges the “FWS engaged in ‘sue and settle’ tactics when the agency agreed to settle a lawsuit with a national environmental group over the [Endangered Species Act] listing status of several animal species, including the Lesser Prairie Chicken.” The Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) is especially important, as the FWS is required—based on the conditions set forth in the settlement of a 2010 lawsuit—to make a determination, explicitly, on the LPC by March 31, 2014. A “threatened” listing would restrict the land use in the bird’s 40-million-acre, five-state habitat: Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, […]

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Can Government Help Workers by Making Them More Expensive?

I wish there was a magic wand that somebody could wave and all of us would have more money. Or maybe Santa Claus could play that role, or some version of the Tooth Fairy. And if that magic person only had limited powers, I would want more money specifically for those with modest incomes. Unfortunately, […]

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The Best Way for Politicians to “Create” Jobs Is to…Get Out of the Way

The United States is supposed to be enjoying a recovery. Indeed, we’re now supposedly in the fifth year of an expanding economy. Many Americans must wonder why it doesn’t feel that way. In part, that’s because growth has been very anemic. Indeed, this is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. But it’s also because […]

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What does Mexico’s president know that President Obama doesn’t?

It is not often that Americans look south of the border for solutions, but Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto seems to have figured out a few things in his first year of power that has, in six years, eluded Obama. Late last month, Peña Nieto spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  There, he highlighted his first-year achievements: “a legislative consensus with the two major opposition parties on the transformations and structural reforms that the country needed,” reports Mexico City’s The News. He pointed out that this has been achieved “in a climate of plurality and diversity.” A few months ago, with great enthusiasm, I wrote about Peña Nieto’s proposed energy reforms—something his predecessor had been unable to achieve. (President Felipe Calderon’s critics believed his proposals violated the constitution.) The reforms passed on December 12, 2013, amend Articles 25, 27 and 28 of Mexico’s constitution to allow profit- and production-sharing contracts, and licenses. The reforms also put an end to government monopolies in the operation of oil-and-gas fields, while maintaining the Mexican government’s ownership of the country’s resources. “The current government’s ability to build coalitions puts Mexico on the verge of its biggest economic victory since the North American Free Trade Agreement,” […]

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Crying about Obamacare, but also Laughing at Obamacare

I asked back in September whether all the bad news about Obamacare meant it was time to feel sorry for President Obama and other statists. Some people apparently didn’t realize I was being sarcastic, so I got some negative feedback. I’ve since learned to be more careful with my language, and subsequent columns about Obamacare […]

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