You are browsing the archive for 2013 July 22.

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Sen. Rand Paul Speaks at Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention

July 22, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today spoke before a crowd of 10,000 veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 144th National Convention in Louisville, Ky. The video and transcript of the speech can be found below:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL’S REMARKS

Transcript:
It is humbling to be here with you today.
I’m honored to speak before soldiers who put everything on the line for our country.
We welcome you to Kentucky. In Kentucky, we are proud to host our brave young men at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox and we are proud to host the Veterans of Foreign Wars today.
Senators, like soldiers, take an oath to defend the Constitution against our enemies. I consider it the primary and foremost duty of the Federal Government to defend America, to defend our Bill of Rights and to defend our God-given liberties.
For inspiration and guidance, I often look towards America’s great military leaders. Some of the best observations on war and diplomacy come from the president who was also one of our most decorated generals, Dwight Eisenhower.
Author David Nichols writes that Ike ‘believed, with good reason, that once the violence begins, everything changes and you can throw your plans in the trash.’
It’s too bad more in Washington don’t heed Ike’s advice today.
There is no greater priority for the Federal Government than the defense of the Constitution and the nation.
Yet, sometimes I think our defense is weakened by our over eagerness to be involved in every civil war on the planet.
In Egypt, the administration insists on sending F-16s and Abrams tanks to the new military junta.
Before that, we sent arms and billions in aid to Morsi’s radical Islamic government.
Before that, we sent F-16s, tanks and $60 billion over three decades to Hosni Mubarak, a dictator who we called our ally.
Common sense tells us that we probably shouldn’t be sending aid to military dictators or the Muslim Brotherhood. Common sense tells us that that we probably shouldn’t be delivering advanced weaponry into unstable situations, where the outcome is completely unpredictable.
Common sense tells us that we shouldn’t be sending foreign aid to nations that burn our flag.
I have tried to stop the continuous flow of your money to countries that hate us and Israel. I have warned that someday these arms may be used to attack us or Israel.
In 2012, I introduced an amendment in the …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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The Minimum Wage Is Cruelest to Those Who Can't Find a Job

July 22, 2013 in Economics

By James A. Dorn

James A. Dorn

U.S. youth unemployment now stands at 16 percent for 16–24 year olds, 23 percent for teens, and a shocking 40 percent for black teens. More than 10 million young people are either unemployed or underemployed. Would increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 over the next three years, and then indexing it for inflation, improve the job outlook and brighten the future for younger workers?

Proponents of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 argue that increasing the federal minimum would put more money into the hands of low-skilled workers, stimulate consumption, and create jobs. They contend that if the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, the nominal minimum wage would now be nearly $11 per hour. Thus, it is only fair for Congress to raise the minimum, helping both workers and the overall economy.

In marking the fourth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage, on July 24, 2009, a number of business owners and executives associated with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage are showing their support for another increase. In a media advisory released on July 19, several members expressed the belief that “a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.”

The minimum wage violates freedom of contract and hence private property rights; it is neither moral nor effective.”

Jon Cooper, who owns Spectronics Corporation, makes the following case for the minimum wage increase: “As owner of a manufacturing company with 150 employees, I know increasing the minimum wage is good for business. More than 70 percent of our nation’s economy is driven by consumer spending and increasing the minimum wage will allow low-wage workers to buy food, clothing and other essentials, putting money right back into local businesses.” This same argument was repeated by other business owners and executives.

As Holly Skar, director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, stated: “Remember that workers are also consumers, and the minimum wage sets the floor under worker paychecks…. We can’t build a strong economy with wages worth less than they were half a century ago.”

Many of those interviewed said they already paid their workers more than the federal minimum wage; thus, they were expressing their sentiments that other firms should join the cause and support a higher minimum. Good intentions, however, are not a firm foundation for good policy.

Firms that are already paying more than …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Boutique Care for the Royal Baby, Substandard Medicine for Everyone Else

July 22, 2013 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

As the United Kingdom — and a sizable swath of the rest of the world — celebrates the birth of the new Prince of Cambridge, it is impossible not to notice that the former Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, received rather better health care than the average Briton.

The duchess had her baby in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, a private facility so posh that it has its own wine list. The duchess’ suite costs roughly £6,265 ($9,600) per night, and comes with individual birthing rooms and a birthing pool. Each room has satellite TV, radio, internet access, daily newspapers and a safe. But while the royal family will be able to sip champagne to celebrate the birth, most of her countrywomen will be giving birth in a system that provides substandard care.

Kate Middleton doesn’t have to worry about the problems of national health care. We do.”

After a scandal in which several NHS hospitals reportedly covered up maternity deaths, an internal NHS report this year pointed to as many as 13,000 needless deaths in 14 NHS hospital trusts since 2005. Those deaths were not all maternity-related, but they provide clear evidence of the ongoing problems besetting Britain’s government-run health care system.

The NHS also continues to be beset by long waiting lists for many types of treatment. In fact, according to a report last year by the Patients Association, a British watchdog group, waiting times have increased by six percent since 2010, and more patients are having to forgo some elective procedures altogether. Another report concluded that the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for hospital admission after being referred by their GP increased by nine percent from 2011 to 2012, to more than 155,000 Britons. More than 3,500 Britons were reported to be waiting for more than a year, a five percent increase. Worse, this qualifies as an improvement, given even larger increases in wait times in 2010.

“[P]atients are waiting longer in certain trusts to receive the treatment that they require and that fewer patients are getting the operations they need,” warns Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

And Britain continues to rank near the bottom for many health outcomes such as cancer survival rates, below other European countries, and far below the United States. And, a few months ago the British medical journal The Lancet found that almost 2,000 British children a year die from ‘avoidable’ causes because family doctors lack training in pediatric …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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All This Week: Watch Mises University

July 22, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Click here for the live video feeds. And click here to enroll in Virtual Mises University, to receive a Certificate of Participation, and more!

And watch Tom Woods’s inspiring talk from last night here.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Now Is Not the Time to Step up the Economic War against Iran

July 22, 2013 in Economics

By Steve H. Hanke, Dr. Garbis Iradian

Steve H. Hanke and Dr. Garbis Iradian

Hassan Rohani will take office next week as president of Iran. Many assert that the international sanctions regime has so damaged the Iranian economy that, rather than captain a sinking ship, Rohani will change Iran’s course. Not so fast.

There is no doubt sanctions have altered the modus operandi of finance and commerce in Iran. The most obvious impact has been on the rial, which has lost more than half of its value against the dollar since July 2010. This has brought about severe inflation, which, by our estimate, briefly reached hyperinflation levels of 62.8 per cent per month in October 2012. Although the authorities report a current annual inflation rate of only 35.9 per cent, official Iranian statistics should be taken with a pinch of salt. We estimate the current annual inflation rate to be 68.3 per cent, based on calculations using changes in the black-market dollar exchange rate.

Even though Iran’s economy is contracting and under enormous pressure because of sanctions, it is much more elastic than most people surmise. Tehran holds enough foreign reserves to cover its imports for 10 months — one of the healthiest import cover levels of any emerging economy. The fiscal deficit is relatively small and public debt is less than 10 per cent of gross domestic product.

But perhaps the most compelling aspect of the Iran sanctions story is the fact that, despite sanctions on foreign trade, the external current account is still in significant surplus.

The inconvenient truth about economic sanctions is that they do not shut down global trade with the target nation. Although Iran’s oil exports have dropped steeply since the most recent round of sanctions took effect, this has been partially offset by a 20 per cent increase in non-oil exports, such as cement, iron ore, petrochemicals, pistachios and Persian rugs.

Indeed, other countries have filled the void left by western sanctions, particularly China, India, Malaysia and South Korea. In addition, Russia, Turkey, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates have helped facilitate this economic Achilles heel of the sanctions regime.

Iran’s economy can only be dealt a death blow through direct action in the oil markets. The regime has been kept afloat by oil revenues for years. At current production levels, Tehran’s fiscal accounts would balance at a Brent crude oil price of about $145 per barrel. With Brent prices currently hovering around $105 per barrel, the Islamic republic …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Regulating High Frequency Trading

July 22, 2013 in Economics

High Frequency Trading (HFT) is a form of algorithmic trading where firms use high-speed market data and analytics to look for short term supply and demand trading opportunities that often are the product of predictable behavioral or mechanical characteristics of financial markets. Some opponents have argued that these practices create risk and require aggressive regulation. In a new paper, professor of business Holly A. Bell argues that HFT is already being effectively regulated by the market and its participants.

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES