Archive for the ‘reason magazi…’ Category

This is the sort of idiocy that has given us the new aristocracy of capitol hill “royalty”.

The powers of this self-expanded royalty have their powers limited by the constitution, the result is we no longer teach the constitution to school children. No such things as civics and history only the amaphorous “Social Studies”. The Post Office is specifically authorized by the constitution but has been privatized because of “public sector” unionism, something that even the consummate socialist (he used to call mass-murderer Stalin “Uncle Joe”) FDR thought was an extremely bad idea, however however he didn’t forsee them becoming such an important funding mechanism for his party.

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eason Magazine Editor in Chief, Matt Welch appeared on Varney & Co. to discuss Warren Buffett’s offer to match each dollar of reduction in the deficit put forward by the Republicans with a dollar of his own money, as well as Welch’s tweet mocking Varney’s choice of favorite Beatle song. Air date: January 13 2012.

Last month’s nannies include drug warriors who are hyping fears about “digital” drugs (i.e. not actual physical substances) and fat warriors who are using a talking plate (introducing Mandometer!) to pester chubby folks into eat properly.

But last month’s top dishonors go to the Wolverine State pol whose so-called “Hot for Teacher” bill could end up criminalizing sex between consenting adults of legal age.

Presenting Reason.tv’s Nanny of the Month for November 2011: Michigan State Sentator Roger Kahn!

*Update: U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, the entire law “must be declared void.” Judge Vinson cites this Reason.tv video on page 47 of his decision.

The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to “regulate commerce . . . among the several States,” and for more than 100 years federal lawmakers invoked it for a very narrow purpose—to prevent states from imposing trade barriers on each other. But today members of Congress act as if it gives them the authority to do just about anything—including forcing you to eat your vegetables.

During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan seemed to accept that the Commerce Clause could, in theory, give Congress the power to dictate what Americans eat. And what about ObamaCare’s “individual mandate,” which forces Americans to purchase health insurance? ObamaCare opponents are lining up to challenge its constitutionality, but supporters say it’s justified—you guessed it—under the Commerce Clause.

How did a clause intended as a restriction on states wind up giving Congress a green light to regulate noncommercial, local, and purely private behavior? How will ObamaCare stand up against the legal challenges brought by the states? Legal titans John Eastman (Chapman University Law Professor) and Erwin Chemerinsky (Founding Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law) slug it out to to determine whether or not Congress has been abusing the commerce clause.

Few industries are more reviled than payday lending, which primarily services the working poor by offering short-term loans at high interest rates. Payday customers borrow an average of $350 for a period of two weeks, or until their next paycheck comes in. The money is handed over on the spot, once the payday store can verify that the customer has a job, earns enough to afford the loan, and hasn’t recently defaulted with another vendor. Payday loans are in high demand: There are 22,000 payday storefronts in the United States and in 2009 they loaned a combined $35 billion.And yet the industry is fighting for its survival. Montana just voted to make it illegal for the payday-loan industry to operate profitably, so lenders are loading their wagons and wheeling out of “The Land of the Shining Mountains.” They’ve already moved on from Oregon, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, because of similar regulations. The annualized interest on payday loans runs about 400 percent, but the reality is that payday firms see returns closer to 10 percent, or about the same as other less-demonized financial service providers.Now there’s a danger the federal government will quash the rest of the U.S. payday industry. The Frank-Dodd Financial Reform bill, passed in July, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which posseses the power to regulate paydays at the national level for the first time. The vaguely written law doesn’t allow the CFPB to cap interest rates, but regulators have the latitude to enact other rules that would obliterate profits, such as limiting the number of payday loans a customer can take out over a set period of time.Payday critics, such as the Center for Financial Responsible Lending (which declined our interview request) argue that payday stores “trap” their customers and practice what “amounts to legal loan sharking.”Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie looks at payday loans—why people depend on them, why they’re expensive, and the assumption at the core of every attack on the industry: that the working-poor are too stupid to manage their own money.The story features payday antagonist Gary Rivlin, the author of the recent book Broke USA; George Mason law professor Todd Zywicki, who has studied paydays; and Greg Fay and Saran Goubeaux of Hometown Cash Finance, a small chain of payday stores in Ohio.Two studies are citied in this story: the Federal Reserve’s 2007 look at the effect of booting paydays out of George and Virginia, and the 2007 Vanderbilt-Oxford University study that reveals that, contrary to the claims of industry critics, paydays aren’t exceptionally profitable.For more info, read Katherine Mangu-Ward’s October 2009 feature story on payday lending in Reason Magazine, and her Wall Street Journal review of Rivlin’s Broke USA.

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