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  • Backgrounder posted October 31, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulation: Killing Opportunity

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: “America does not stand still—and neither will I,” he said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Backgrounder posted October 31, 2014 by Nicolas Loris Free Markets Supply Affordable Energy and a Clean Environment

    Energy production has been one bright spot in the economy over the past few years, driving job creation and creating opportunities for Americans across the country. Increased energy supplies have saved consumers money directly on their energy bills and indirectly through lower prices for goods and services. The energy boom has also revitalized parts of the country where…

  • Issue Brief posted October 31, 2014 by David Inserra Terror Plot 62: Lone-Wolf Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. and Canada Call for Renewed Vigilance

    Recent attacks in Canada and New York City by homegrown, lone-wolf terrorists remind us again that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” None of these attacks are thought to be directly connected to al-Qaeda or Islamic State (ISIS) operatives. Rather, all three were homegrown, lone-wolf terrorist attacks—perpetrated by individuals who acted on their own, rather…

  • Issue Brief posted October 31, 2014 by David Inserra Five Questions the Secret Service Review Panel Must Answer

    A ‌series of alarming security breaches have caused ‌many to question the Secret Service’s ability to protect the President.[1] In the wake of these events, an independent four-member review panel—two senior officials each from the Bush and Obama Administrations—will investigate the Secret Service’s recent security breaches and advise the Department of Homeland Security…

  • Backgrounder posted October 30, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Nina Owcharenko, Alyene Senger A Fresh Start for Health Care Reform

    Despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that the national health care debate is over, and that he will not “re-litigate” the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the practical concerns, aggravated by implementation glitches and policy failures, guarantee that the debate over the PPACA is far from over.[1] In the next phase of the health care…

  • Backgrounder posted October 30, 2014 by David S. Addington Ebola: Dallas and New York City Experiences Drive Governments to Change Practices

    The federal government and several state governments have changed a number of practices since a Liberian citizen infected with Ebola virus disease in West Africa traveled to Dallas, Texas, where two nurses who provided medical services to him contracted the disease, and a U.S. citizen infected with Ebola in West Africa traveled to New York City. The Centers for Disease…

  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Olivia Enos U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan Fail to Deliver

    The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released a scathing report criticizing U.S. counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.[1] Referencing an unprecedented spike in opium production in 2013, the report warned that the nearly $7.6 billion the U.S. government spent on counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan is failing to…

  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Not Rejoin the United Nations Industrial Development Organization

    The United States withdrew from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1996 after concluding that the organization lacked a clear purpose and was generally ineffective. With support from the Clinton Administration, Congress refused to pay arrears that the organization claims are owed by the United States. Since this decision, UNIDO has…

  • Backgrounder posted October 29, 2014 by Jonathan Lesser, Ph.D. America’s Electricity Grid: Outdated or Underrated?

    Reliable electricity service is essential to the nation’s health, welfare, and security. In 2000, the National Academy of Engineering named the modern transmission system as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.[1] Powering America’s homes, factories, and gadgets, reliable electricity is a staple for modern comfort and the production of valuable goods and…

  • Legal Memorandum posted October 29, 2014 by Alden Abbott Time to Reform FTC Advertising Regulation

    A‌dvertising is a boon to the American economy.[1] By informing ‌large numbers of consumers about the attributes of goods and services, it helps to create broad markets for those products, generating economies of scale that lower cost and prices. Information embedded in advertising allows consumers to make better choices in the marketplace, benefiting ultimate purchasers…

  • Issue Brief posted October 27, 2014 by Riley Walters Cyber Attacks on U.S. Companies in 2014

    The spate of recent data breaches at big-name companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, and Target raises questions about the effectiveness of the private sector’s information security. According to FBI Director James Comey, “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked…and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.”[1]…

  • Issue Brief posted October 27, 2014 by David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig Continuing Federal Cyber Breaches Warn Against Cybersecurity Regulation

    Recent high-profile private-sector hacks have once again put a spotlight on the issue of cybersecurity.[1] This is a serious problem that requires legislation to improve the United States’ cybersecurity posture, but the U.S. should not reflexively adopt government regulation of cyberspace as a solution. There are concerns that such a response would not be cost-effective…

  • Backgrounder posted October 27, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Federal Reserve Performance: What Is the Fed’s Track Record on Inflation?

    Central banks … will do wisely to lay aside their inexpert ventures in half-baked monetary theory, meretricious statistical measures of trade and hasty grinding of the axes of speculative interests with their suggestion that by so doing they are achieving some sort of vague “stabilization” that will, in the long run, be for the greater good. —H. Parker Willis, first…

  • Backgrounder posted October 24, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Federal Reserve Performance: Have Business Cycles Really Been Tamed?

    Central banks … will do wisely to lay aside their inexpert ventures in half-baked monetary theory, meretricious statistical measures of trade and hasty grinding of the axes of speculative interests with their suggestion that by so doing they are achieving some sort of vague “stabilization” that will, in the long run, be for the greater good. —H. Parker Willis, first…

  • Makers of American Political Thought Series posted October 23, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The Conservative Mind of Russell Kirk

    In the early 1950s, intellectuals on both the Right and the Left who were at odds about almost everything, agreed on one thing: Conservatism as a defined philosophy and movement scarcely existed in America. Respected intellectuals on the Left such as Lionel Trilling argued that modern “liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in the…