You are browsing the archive for 2013 April 22.

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Reynolds and Cochran on the Slow Recovery

April 22, 2013 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Earlier this month I chatted with with fellow economist Morgan Reynolds on his Reynolds Reveal . Issues ranged from slow recovery to debt and deficits and empirical work with a good theoretical foundation by Gwarnty, Lawson, and Holcombe  showing how government spending in excess 15% of GDP retards economic growth (see here). Vedder and Gallaway also address Government size and economic growth.

Reynolds summary of the hour :

Episode #009 – Reynolds Reveal – Reynolds discussed the industrial accident at Nuclear One near his home in Arkansas; the March employment/unemployment report released the previous Friday; and another Paul Krugman column in the NYT opposing ‘liquidation’ via recession and pushing more and more federal spending and money printing to gin up economic growth. Talk about repeated failure! Guest economist John Cochran of Metropolitan State University in Denver Colorado patiently discussed the many problems of the massive interventions which harm economic expansion. In particular, recent economic statistical studies show government spending consistently impairs economic growth when government’s share of GDP exceeds 18 percent. During the Clinton era federal spending was about 18 percent of GDP but currently is in the range of 23-24 percent. Cochran pointed out that the key problem is not so much deficit spending as total spending far in excess of optimal, although he believes optimal is even lower, probably in the range of ‘tithing,’ or about 10 percent of GDP.

A fun afternoon thanks to modern technology. Morgan was on Alabama gulf coast in a moter home enjoying spring weather and I was in the comfort of my own home in the Denver area talking and sipping a nice IPA while a blizzaed raged outside.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Constitution Ensures a Fair Trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but Miranda Has a Public-Safety Exception

April 22, 2013 in Economics

By Roger Pilon

Roger Pilon

The debate over how to interrogate and prosecute the surviving Boston bomber has raised once again the conflict between security and civil liberties that has bedeviled our efforts to fight terrorism from their inception. There are rules for fighting wars that lean heavily toward security, understandably, and rules for fighting crime that try to balance the public’s need for security and the procedural rights of the accused – mindful always that the process that is due may vary by context. But terrorism is insidious not least because it is neither war, in the ordinary sense, nor ordinary crime, certainly. In this war against terrorism we’ve been working out the rules as we go, and it hasn’t been easy.

In the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal this morning we find contrasting editorials about how to handle the case before us. The immediate question is whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be read his Miranda warning, advising him that he has a right to remain silent, before the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group begins interrogating him. That warning is not expressly required by the Constitution. It was crafted by the Supreme Court in 1966 in the context of interrogations by state officials that were presumptively unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment’s protection against compelled self-incrimination.

The debate over how to interrogate and prosecute the surviving Boston bomber has raised once again the conflict between security and civil liberties.”

There is, however, a public safety exception to Miranda, allowing suspects to be questioned about imminent threats. Both the Times and the Journal seem comfortable with that exception – although the Times adds that “in 2010, unfortunately, the administration improperly told agentsthat they could expand that exception for terror suspects even when threats were not imminent.” That brings us to the fundamental question: Just what is the purpose of interrogation in a case like this? For the Times, it seems, it’s for purposes of prosecution and, fairly narrowly, to “allow investigators to question suspects about imminent threats, like bombs or specific terror conspiracies.” (emphasis added)

That contrasts sharply with the Journal’s view. The Miranda issue is a distraction, the Journal says. The evidence gathered prior to giving Dzhokhar his warning will not be admissible in court, but that doesn’t matter because there’s already plenty of evidence to prosecute him. The purpose of extended interrogation, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Sen. Paul Issues Letter to Majority Leader Reid Regarding Consideration of Immigration Bill

April 22, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today issued a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to incorporate various national security concerns into the comprehensive immigration reform debate in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Sen. Paul believes that comprehensive immigration reform requires a strong national security and until we can fully understand the systematic failures that enabled two individuals to immigrate to the United States from an area known for being hotbed of Islamic extremism, we should not proceed.

TEXT OF LETTER:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid,
As our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those affected by the tragedy in Boston, I urge you to incorporate the following national security concerns into the comprehensive immigration reform debate. Before Congress moves forward, some important national security questions must be addressed.
I believe that any real comprehensive immigration reform must implement strong national security protections. The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system. If we don’t use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs.
We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system. Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?
There should be hearings in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that study the national security aspects of this situation, making sure that our current immigration system gives individuals from high-risk areas of the world heightened scrutiny.
In the wake of 9/11, there was a comprehensive reform of our intelligence gathering system, yet our improved intelligence gathering system did not adequately detect these extremists. We need to understand possible intelligence failures and craft solutions.
Media reports indicate that the deceased bombing suspect was interviewed by the FBI two years ago at the request of a foreign government. We need to know the details of this interview. We need to know if this interview might have given investigators any reason to conclude that this individual might be dangerous or at …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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The Constitutional Flaws of the Indian Child Welfare Act

April 22, 2013 in Economics

By Walter Olson

Walter Olson

“Is it one drop of blood that triggers all these extraordinary rights?” asked Chief Justice John Roberts. His question, though as of yet little noticed by the press, might hold the key to the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, otherwise known as the Baby Veronica dispute, which reached oral argument before the Supreme Court last Tuesday.

For most of the child-welfare experts and Indian-law professors who filed amicus briefs in the case, there is nothing to criticize and much to praise about the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), the law before the Court. The brief signed on to by the Child Welfare League of America, for example, claims that ICWA reflects a “gold standard for child welfare practice.” Whether or not it does that — and many in the adoption community doubt that it does — it does something else as well, and that is to draw a sharp line, as in this case, between family members who enjoy more rights and others who must make do with fewer. And the line between the two is based primarily on accidents of race and lineage.

Lurking just below the surface of both Holyfield and Adoptive Couple are some deeper constitutional questions that the Court may not be able to dodge forever.”

The case argued on Tuesday developed when an unmarried Oklahoma woman of Hispanic descent found herself pregnant by her then-boyfriend, who had some Cherokee lineage but did not reside on a reservation. Initially, the man consented to give up any rights to the child, but then changed his mind on learning that the mother intended to put the newborn up for adoption. Under the prevailing law of Oklahoma and of South Carolina, where the adoptive couple lived, his change of mind came too late to disrupt the adoption given that he had not supported either the mother or child before that point. His affiliation with the Cherokee tribe, however — so the South Carolina Supreme Court eventually decided — brought the matter under ICWA, and invalidated his waiver of rights, whether knowing or not, in the absence of more elaborate proceedings as prescribed by the act. (In a grim series of errors, the mother’s side had actually checked with the Cherokees to see whether the case came under ICWA and was told the father was not registered as a tribal member, an …read more

Source: OP-EDS