You are browsing the archive for 2014 June 20.

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New York Becomes the 23rd State to Pass a Medical Marijuana Bill

June 20, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Hope is on the Way for Thousands of Seriously Ill New Yorkers, Despite Flawed Bill

Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Praise Lawmakers and Vow to Fight for Improvements

Albany: Today, the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly passed a medical marijuana bill, making New York the twenty-third state to create legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. After days of tense negotiations, the bill was passed in the final hours of the legislative session on Friday. Governor Cuomo has said he will sign the bill into law.

June 20, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Mises Weekends: Jeff Deist Talks with Anarcho Road Warrior Eric Peters

June 20, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Eric Peters discusses with Jeff Deist the automobile as a symbol of libertarian autonomy, why statists love public transportation, how moronic government regulations make all cars look the same, and why you should buy an old V8 or an old motorcycle while you still can.

Also available:

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Limited Government Is a Vain Hope

June 20, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

6785 (1)

Mises Daily Friday by David Gordon.

The notion of limited government is incapable of being realized in practice. If there is a monopoly government, any limitations on the government must be ones the government has imposed on itself. To expect this sort of limitation to be effective is futile.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Paul Appears on Fox's Hannity- June 19, 2014

June 20, 2014 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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End Ottawa´s Equalization Program

June 20, 2014 in Economics

By David Howden

Hot off her Ontario electoral win, Kathleen Wynne is taking aim at Ottawa. The federal government´s equalization program distributes money between the provinces to help those with less fiscal capabilities deliver the same services. In an interview with the CBC, Wynne noted the unfortunate fact that:

There’s an unfairness in the way money comes back to the province of Ontario. There’s $1.28 billion that really should be coming back into our province for programs and services.

It´s a little ironic that she understands the “unfairness” of a system that distributes money between the provinces at the hands of a higher level of power, but that she doesn´t see the same problem within her own government.

After all, her electoral win relied on grabbing the Toronto vote. One way she secured this group was by pledging a large amount of infrastructure spending which would be paid for out of the province´s pockets (with some help from Ottawa, of course).

This is the same opprobrium she sees with the federal system. After all, it will be the taxpayers in counties far away from Toronto that will be paying for the infrastructure she promised. Maybe it´s time for Wynne to step back and realize the pain Ottawa causes Ontario is the same that she will soon be causing the plethora of communities within her own province.

(Originally posted at Mises Canada.)

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Public Sector Strikes Need Competition

June 20, 2014 in Economics

By David Howden

It’s not often police officers and firefighters light fires in the streets (in front of City Hall no less). That’s exactly what happened in Montreal recently, as public union members protested the Quebec government’s intent to reform their municipal pension plans.

The province’s Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau estimated that these public pensions are currently running a deficit of almost $4 billion.

Part of the shortfall is caused by mismanagement and part by an inability of the government to come to grips with the reality of pension demographics. Retirees are living longer and investment returns are not what they used to be given the current low-interest rate environment. But many municipal workers start working later in life (like police officers and firefighters who go through lengthy training regimes) and retire earlier than private sector workers. The result is few years spent contributing to an already generous pension plan.

To put pressure on the provincial government to not make reforms, 80 firefighters quit on the spot, closing two Montreal fire stations. (This was, one can presume, especially troublesome as this group also had a hand in lighting the street on fire in front of City Hall.)

When private sector pensions are managed incorrectly, the pensioner pays. When returns are less than expected, as they are now, contributors make up the difference. Defined benefit plans, such as Quebec’s public sector enjoys, are almost unheard off any longer. The advantage of knowing in advance what your pension will pay is from a bygone era. Market forces dictate returns, and private pension holders on defined contribution plans get what the market returns on their retirement. There is no reliance on the taxpayer to make up the shortfalls.

Reform of these municipal pensions is not only necessary, it’s fair. One reason reform won’t come is evident in the recent protest.

There is only one group of fire fighters in Montreal. When they go on strike, there is no replacement. The same holds for police, school teachers, and many other public monopolies. When these 80 fire fighters went on strike the citizens of Montreal had no options. It became not a matter of pension reform, but of life and death if someone had a fire!

In contrast, when your local hardware store has pension problems and goes on strike, consumers still have options. Nuts and bolts can be bought from a competitor.

Competition is missing from discussions about pension reform. With no …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE