Instagram Features to Limit Political Content Cause an Uproar, but Giving Users Greater Control on Social Media Presents an Exciting Opportunity
Alt-M
by David Inserra
18h ago
David Inserra Last month, Instagram users took notice of two features that change how much political content users see on Instagram. However, the rollout wasn’t exactly smooth, with users of various political stripes accusing Meta of trying to suppress content. But rather than attack this change, users and policymakers should recognize it as a significant move to give users greater control over their news feeds and opportunity for a more user‐​first social media experience. First, let’s understand what changed on Instagram. Within the user controls for Instagram, users are now able ..read more
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Five Fiscal Truths
Alt-M
by Ryan Bourne
22h ago
Ryan Bourne In a new policy analysis out today, I make the case for a substantial spending‐​cut‐​led federal deficit reduction effort. Tomorrow I will outline three economic reasons why deficit reduction is desirable. But today, I just want to take stock of the federal government’s budget realities by outlining five fiscal truths. 1. The United States Today Has a Historically High Budget Deficit The recorded federal deficit from 2023, at $1.7 trillion (or 6.3 percent of gross domestic product, or GDP), was 23 percent higher than in 2022, but even that was pushed ..read more
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WWII’s Impact: The Birth of Europe’s Extensive Welfare System
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by Romina Boccia, Ivane Nachkebia
22h ago
Romina Boccia and Ivane Nachkebia [T]he European nations’ larger welfare states are the product of the transformative effect of the Second World War […] Total war suspended constraints on the expansions of entitlements beyond a needy minority: it hobbled private financing of health insurance and retirement, excused the broad‐​based tax increases necessary to fill the gap with public funds, and weakened the political capacity of those losing out to resist.—Chris Pope, “War and European Welfare Exceptionalism” The United States is often considered an anomaly when it comes to social welfar ..read more
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More Steel Tariffs: Performance Art Masquerading as Trade Policy
Alt-M
by Clark Packard, Scott Lincicome, Alfredo Carrillo Obregon
2d ago
Clark Packard, Scott Lincicome, and Alfredo Carrillo Obregon Earlier today, the White House called on the US Trade Representative to “consider” tripling the existing Section 301 tariffs on Chinese steel. The administration says the tariffs are necessary because China unfairly subsidizes its high‐​emissions steel producers, which undercuts cleaner American steel producers and workers. Yet closer examination reveals the move to be far more about politics than unfair practices (despite the administration’s assertions to the contrary). It is true that China subsidizes its domestic steel industry ..read more
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House FISA Bill's "Stasi" Amendment Co-Author Lashes Out
Alt-M
by Patrick G. Eddington
2d ago
Patrick G. Eddington House and Senate members can be notoriously thin‐​skinned when questioned about their policy and legislative choices. That was evident on April 14, when Sean Vitka, policy director for the left‐​leaning advocacy group Demand Progress, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to ask House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) ranking member Jim Himes (D‑CA) a question. Vitka asked whether Himes understood that an amendment he co‐​authored and which was included in the just‐​House passed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization bill grante ..read more
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New Defending Globalization Content: Tariffs, Climate Change, and the Moral Case for Globalization
Alt-M
by Scott Lincicome
3d ago
Scott Lincicome Today we’ve published three essays for Cato’s Defending Globalization project: Separating Tariff Facts from Tariff Fictions, by Erica York, explains that tariffs are costly taxes, and economists consider them to be poor tools for boosting the economy, reducing the trade deficit, or achieving strategic objectives. Climate Change and Globalization, by Charles Kenny, makes the case that globalization is an ally, not an enemy, in the fight against climate change. The Moral Case for Globalization, by Tom G. Palmer, shows that rigorous thinking and empirical research refute, one by o ..read more
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Will Big Sky Country Redefine Climate Policy?
Alt-M
by Travis Fisher
4d ago
Travis Fisher Montana has become an unlikely frontier in the climate movement. Last August, Montana District Court Judge Kathy Seeley ruled in favor of climate activists in Held v. Montana, one of dozens of lawsuits filed across the country by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of youth plaintiffs. The District Court’s opinion is significant because it granted the plaintiffs legal standing—for the first time—on the grounds that they were directly injured by climate change. It also endorsed the concept of using the Social Cost of CO2 (SCC) in environmental reviews. If the Montana Supreme Court agr ..read more
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Another Negative of Occupational Licenses
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by Jeffrey Miron, Jacob Winter
4d ago
Jeffrey Miron and Jacob Winter Occupational licensing — for doctors, lawyers, plumbers, barbers, and innumerable other trades — claims to improve service quality. Much evidence contradicts this claim. And even if licenses sometimes improve quality, they reduce the supply of services and therefore raise prices. Recent research (Cato Research Brief no. 378) identifies another negative of licensing: reducing earnings in other occupations. The analysis “finds that a 10 percentage point increase in the share of licensed workers … is associated with earnings that are 1.6–2.3 percent lower for ..read more
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On Japan, Washington’s Economic Policies Belie Rhetoric
Alt-M
by Clark Packard, Alfredo Carrillo Obregon
1w ago
Clark Packard and Alfredo Carrillo Obregon Earlier this week, President Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Kishida for an official visit and state dinner. As tensions in the Pacific mount, particularly with respect to China, Tokyo is an increasingly important ally for the United States. Indeed, the president and administration staffers emphasized the importance of upgrading the US‐​Japan alliance into a “global partnership” and both leaders announced measures for increased cooperation in defense, technological innovation, economic security, and diplomacy, among other areas. Yet history ha ..read more
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ICE Is Releasing Fewer Criminals Than Under Trump
Alt-M
by David J. Bier
1w ago
David J. Bier The House of Representatives impeached Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and now some senators are pressing to hold a trial. As I’ve explained, the charges against Mayorkas are meritless. I have also listed all the ways that this administration has tried to increase immigration enforcement since January 2021. But one further complaint is that ICE has released convicted criminals or people with pending criminal charges, yet the broader context is that this has become less likely under Mayorkas. Figure 1 shows the number of individu ..read more
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