By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
As this terrible election season hurtles to an end, we face the prospect of interminable days, weeks or months fighting over, squabbling and litigating who won. The good news? Well, while the politicos and their lawyers go at it, there is still work being done. Free Market advocates and organizations solider on, doing the critical policy work that often goes unnoticed but makes a real difference. We notice.Here’s this week’s news …
OK, Common Sense in Criminal Justice Reform. OK as in Oklahoma. And while it does not make common sense to commit a crime, any crime, it does take common sense to reform our out of whack criminal justice system. Oklahoma is working on it, specifically with State Question 805 on the ballot. SQ 805 will eliminate harsh sentencing penalties for people who have more than one conviction for a nonviolent offense. Grove Norquist and Jonathan Small give the details, add some interesting examples and call for passage here.
Into the Night that Covers Me, Black as the Pit from Pole to Pole…Comes Human Achievement Day! With apologies to William Ernest Henley, here’s some news to brighten your day. Week. Year. Wednesday, October 21, is Human Achievement Day, a day to celebrate the incredible things man(and woman)kind have discovered, created, invented, made…you get the idea. Take a look here and let’s celebrate us.
What’s the Score on International Drug Pricing? You’re Losing. FreedomWorks doesn’t just think the Department of Health and Human Services plan to tie U.S. prescription drug prices to 16 other nations is a bad idea…they know it. And can prove it. They’ve launched an International Drug Pricing Scorecard. The short answer? Prescription price controls are a prescription for failure. But the details matter. See the chart, and a lot more here.
It’s a Giant Pile of…Thoughtful Writing and Analysis. Ready to deep dive into intelligent thinking and discourse? I understand, neither am I. Well, if you change your mind and want some fascinating reading get to know Discourse from the Mercatus Center. intelligent writing on everything from Culture and Society to Economics to Politics. Truth is, you’ll find it riveting. And where did those last four hours go, anyway?
Okay, She’s Going to Be Confirmed, So Get to Know Her. Amy Coney Barrett has gotten a lot of attention lately. She should, she’s still a young woman and is going to be having a major impact on American law and society for decades. So, you should probably put aside politics and get to know her. The Heritage Foundation has helped, putting together everything you need to know about ACB but were afraid to ask all in one place. Supremely interesting.
National Family Week. An Idea Whose Time is Still With Us. It’s been around over 45 years, but it still deserves our attention, and participation. National Family Week, celebrated the week that includes Thanksgiving (this year November 22-28) brings our focus to something we too often ignore or take for granted…the foundational aspects of family as the cornerstone of our society. Sure things have changed, but not the importance of family. And the more we strengthen the family, the more we strengthen our society. Visit here and learn more about how you can participate and honor the family.
The War You Should Know About. Another war? Bet your Artsakh. The Republic of Artsakh. That’s the territory (also known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) that Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting over, and the fighting is intense. Why should you care? Armenians, and Artsakh is 99% Armenian, say it is an Islamist expansion and aggression into Christian territory. But Azerbaijan, aided by Turkey, receives U.S. foreign aid. Should the U.S. be involved? Will this escalate? Gavin Wax has the story. And Bethan McKernan gives evocative details in The Guardian.
Fix the Drug Supply Chain, Fix Puerto Rico. This really is killing two birds with one stone. The Chinese Flu has exposed problems with America’s pharmaceutical supply chain. And Puerto Rico, in dire economic straits after hurricane devastation, was once a principal manufacturer of U.S. pharmaceuticals. In fact, the island has been in economic decline since President Bill Clinton signed law abolishing section 936, the bill that provided tax incentives for pharmaceutical companies manufacturing in Puerto Rico. Mario Lopez, President of The Hispanic Leadership Fund, makes the argument that by returning tax advantaged pharmaceutical manufacturing to Puerto Rico we can bolster that territory’s economy while protecting America’s drug supply. Good idea, meet good idea.
Free Markets Destroy? Yes, Bad Things! WPC Fights Socialism. It might seem counter intuitive at first, but the Washington Policy Center is reaching out to young people in the Evergreen State with an attention getting Free Markets Destroy billboard campaign. The campaign will show how the power of the marketplace (free markets) destroys society’s worst problems and continually improves our lives. Initial campaign focus is on Free Markets Destroy climate change, high rents, boredom, hunger and disease. Oh, and socialism, too, we hope. Good news.
Throwing Columbus Out With the Bath Water? As the national divide grows, is has become “problematic” to celebrate Columbus Day. Social Justice warriors see old Chris as the forerunner of centuries of oppression. Don’t try to sell that in Little Italy, however. There are still many Americans who are proud of their forefathers and the principals upon which this nation was founded. Peter Roff wades into this dispute with a new perspective on how we should celebrate Christopher Columbus, his day, and the extraordinary contributions made to this country by immigrants. Holiday reading.
Okay, Politicians Lie. But this Lie is Going to Hit Your Pocketbook. President Trump is unusual in that, good or bad, he’s kept many of his campaign promises. Definitely not the norm. But as accustomed as we may be to empty promises from politicians, sometimes we might be smart to pay closer attention. Take Joe Biden. The Democrat candidate for President has promised no new taxes on anybody making less than $400,000. But he’s also promised to repeal the Trump Tax Cuts “on day one!” And he’s promised a lot of spending and the money has to come from somewhere. Meaning you. Peter Roff, with some video help from Grover Norquist, takes a look at who, and how the Trump Tax Cuts helped and what the Biden plan really means. Think of it as truth in politics.
Andresen Blom is a Washington based policy and political analyst and author who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico.