Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) http://posttrib.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/posttrib.gif Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A post-post office world ]]> Lead story image

Even parts of government that look like a business never get run with the efficiency of a business. Just look at the post office. They buy commercials and tout their services the way private businesses do. They offer a service that customers want. But a real business can’t get away with losing billions every year. (I guess in the era of bailouts, I should say shouldn’t get away with it.) The post office lost $16 billion last year, despite having all sorts of advantages that most private businesses don’t have. They have a near monopoly on first-class mail delivery. You … ]]> Wed, 22 May 2013 06:26:17 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19564859-452/a-post-post-office-world.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19564859-452/a-post-post-office-world.html <![CDATA[ Government plays favorites ]]> Lead story image

People say government must “help the little guy, promote equality, level the playing field.” People often go into government to do that. But even when people mean well, it’s natural for them to help out their cronies. David Stockman, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, was criticized for saying the government’s budget numbers didn’t add up. But he was right. Now, in his book “The Great Deformation,” he says both major political parties failed ordinary Americans when the housing bubble burst, and they rushed to bail out cronies at big banks. Government continues to threaten … ]]> Wed, 15 May 2013 06:21:20 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19397497-452/government-plays-favorites.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19397497-452/government-plays-favorites.html <![CDATA[ Green: The color of tyranny ]]> Lead story image

Environmental activists and politicians would like you to think that we must love their regulations — or hate trees and animals. I love trees and animals. But you can love nature and still hate the tyranny that environmental regulations bring. The Environmental Protection Agency just announced it will boost gas prices (“only” a penny, although industry says 6 to 9 cents) to make another minuscule improvement to air quality. In New York City, my mayor wants to ban Styrofoam cups, saying, “I think it’s something we can do without.” Congress already dictates the design of our cars, toilets and light … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:28:29 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19272999-452/green-the-color-of-tyranny.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/19272999-452/green-the-color-of-tyranny.html <![CDATA[ Frack to the future ]]> Lead story image

Celebrities are now upset about fracking, the injection of chemicals into the ground to crack rocks to release oil and gas. With everyone saying they want alternatives to foreign oil, I’d think celebrities would love fracking. I’d be wrong. Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono and their group, Artists Against Fracking, don’t feel the love. Yoko sang, “Don’t frack me!” on TV. Stopping fracking is the latest cause of the silly people. They succeeded in getting scientifically ignorant politicians to ban fracking in New York, Maryland and Vermont. Hollywood gave an Oscar to “Gasland,” a documentary that suggests fracking will shove gas … ]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 06:21:43 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18826967-452/frack-to-the-future.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18826967-452/frack-to-the-future.html <![CDATA[ Sequester: Not even a cut ]]> Lead story image

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived the “sequester” cuts! That may surprise you, since President Obama likened the sequester to taking a “meat cleaver” to government, causing FBI agents to be furloughed, prosecutors to let criminals escape and medical research to grind to a halt! The media hyped it, too. The NBC Nightly News said, “The sequester could cripple air travel, force firefighter layoffs — even kick preschoolers out of child care!” The truth is that the terrifying sequester cuts weren’t even cuts. They were merely a small reduction in government’s planned increase in spending. A very small reduction. After … ]]> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 06:35:05 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18694469-452/sequester-not-even-a-cut.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18694469-452/sequester-not-even-a-cut.html <![CDATA[ Libertarians make for awkward bedfellows ]]> Lead story image

Last month, Conservative pundit Ann Coulter told me and a thousand young libertarians that we libertarians are puss- — well, she used slang for a female body part. We were in Washington, D.C., at the Students for Liberty conference, taping my TV show, and she didn’t like my questions about her opposition to gay marriage and drug legalization. “We’re living in a country that is 70 percent socialist,” she says. “The government takes 60 percent of your money. They take care of your health care, your pensions ... who you can hire ... and you (libertarians) want to suck up … ]]> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 06:18:59 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18513383-452/libertarians-make-for-awkward-bedfellows.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18513383-452/libertarians-make-for-awkward-bedfellows.html <![CDATA[ To government, every last penny is sacred ]]> Lead story image

President Obama has new priorities. That means new spending. In his State of the Union, he said, “The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem.” But then he went on to list how, under his guidance, government will solve a thousand problems, including some (like climate change and a loss of manufacturing jobs) that are probably not even problems. The president bragged about creating “our first manufacturing innovation institute” in Ohio and says that he will create 15 more. Politicians claim actions like this are needed to solve the “decline of manufacturing” in America. John McCain, Mike Huckabee … ]]> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 06:19:24 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18357124-452/to-government-every-last-penny-is-sacred.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/18357124-452/to-government-every-last-penny-is-sacred.html <![CDATA[ Shopping around for a better life ]]> Lead story image

Thanks, California! Thanks for your monstrous spending and absurd regulatory overreach! America needs you. We need Connecticut and Illinois, too! We need you the way we needed the Soviet Union, as models of failure, to warn us what happens if we believe those who say, “Government can.” Moving to California was once the dream for many Americans. Its population grew at almost triple the national average — until 1990. Then big government, in the form of endless regulation and taxes, killed much of the dream. In the last decade, 2 million people left California. Many of them moved to Alaska, … ]]> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 06:25:22 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17733988-452/shopping-around-for-a-better-life.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17733988-452/shopping-around-for-a-better-life.html <![CDATA[ First, the bad news ]]> Lead story image

We in the media rarely lie to you. But that leaves plenty of room to take things wildly out of context. That’s where most big scare stories come from, like recent headlines about GM foods. GM means “genetically modified,” which means scientists add genes, altering the plant’s DNA, in this case to make the crop resistant to pests. Last week, Poland joined seven other European countries in banning cultivation of GM foods. The politicians acted because headlines screamed about how GM foods caused huge tumors in rats. The pictures of the rats are scary. Some have tumors the size of … ]]> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 06:25:11 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17616713-452/first-the-bad-news.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17616713-452/first-the-bad-news.html <![CDATA[ A man’s home is his subsidy ]]> Lead story image

The Obama administration now proposes to spend millions more on handouts, despite ample evidence of their perverse effects. Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says, “The single most important thing HUD does is provide rental assistance to America’s most vulnerable families — and the Obama administration is proposing bold steps to meet their needs.” They always propose “bold steps.” In this case, HUD wants to spend millions more to renew Section 8 housing vouchers that help poor people pay rent. The Section 8 program ballooned during the ‘90s to “solve” a previous government failure: crime-ridden … ]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 12:10:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17478994-452/a-mans-home-is-his-subsidy.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17478994-452/a-mans-home-is-his-subsidy.html <![CDATA[ No rules? No problem ]]> Lead story image

In the short time since President Obama was re-elected, government has issued hundreds of new regulations. The bureaucrats never stop. There are now more than 170,000 pages of federal regulations. President Obama wants still more rules. Cheering on increased financial regulation, he said, “We’ve got to keep moving forward.” To the president, and probably most Americans, “forward” means passing more laws. It is scary to think about a world without regulation. Intuition leads us to think that without government we’d be victims of fraud, as I explain in my latest book, “No, They Can’t!” But our intuition is wrong. Consider … ]]> Thu, 07 Feb 2013 06:18:23 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17347172-452/no-rules-no-problem.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17347172-452/no-rules-no-problem.html <![CDATA[ Charity has roots in wealth creation ]]> Lead story image

Charity — helping people who have trouble helping themselves — is a good thing two times over. It’s good for the beneficiary and good for the donor, too. Stephen Post’s fine book, “The Hidden Gifts of Helping,” reveals that 76 percent of Americans say that helping others is what makes them most happy. Giving money makes us feel good, and helping face-to-face is even better. People say it makes them feel physically healthier. They sleep better. Private charity is unquestioningly better than government efforts to help people. Government squanders money. Charities sometime squander money, too, but they usually don’t. Proof … ]]> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 06:25:26 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17234786-452/charity-has-roots-in-wealth-creation.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17234786-452/charity-has-roots-in-wealth-creation.html <![CDATA[ It’s the spending, stupid! ]]> Lead story image

Listening to progressive media pundits, I’d think the most evil man in the universe is Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. His crime? He heads a movement that asks political candidates to pledge not to raise taxes. I think Grover accomplished a lot. But I wish he’d convinced politicians to pledge not to increase spending. President Obama says raising taxes to cut the deficit is a “balanced” approach. Balanced ... But what’s “balanced” about raising taxes after vast increases in spending? Trillions for war, Medicare, “stimulus” and solar panels. Tax receipts rose — after tax-rate cuts — from … ]]> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 06:16:49 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17114370-452/its-the-spending-stupid.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/17114370-452/its-the-spending-stupid.html <![CDATA[ Government meddling stifles a free economy ]]> Lead story image

Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable. Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved. Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their … ]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 06:16:38 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16952182-452/government-meddling-stifles-a-free-economy.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16952182-452/government-meddling-stifles-a-free-economy.html <![CDATA[ With food scares, not every story is credible ]]> Lead story image

With America’s “fiscal cliff” approaching, pundits wring their hands over the supposed catastrophe that government spending cuts will bring. A scare newsletter called Food Poisoning Bulletin warns that if government reduces food inspections, “food will be less safe ... (because) marginal companies ... (will) cut corners.” We’re going to die! Most people believe that without government meat inspection, food would be filthy. We read “The Jungle,” Upton Sinclair’s depiction of the meatpacking business, and assume that the FDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service are all that stand between us and E. coli. Meatpacking conditions were disgusting. Government intervened. … ]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 06:12:14 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16806783-452/with-food-scares-not-every-story-is-credible.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16806783-452/with-food-scares-not-every-story-is-credible.html <![CDATA[ Legalize insider trading ]]> Lead story image

Insider trading leads the news again, casting a cloud over Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors $14 billion hedge fund. The SEC charged Mathew Martoma, who used to manage a SAC Capital division, with using inside information about tests on an Alzheimer’s drug to trade stock of the company working on it. The media love this stuff. I imagine reporters sitting around saying: “The SEC finally will punish greedy Wall Street! These tycoons rig the game — cheating is how they acquire $14 billion — and now noble government prosecutors will bring justice.” But this is nonsense. Government prosecutors are as … ]]> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 02:02:22 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16676268-452/legalize-insider-trading.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16676268-452/legalize-insider-trading.html <![CDATA[ About that fiscal cliff ]]> Lead story image

Yikes, we’re headed toward a fiscal cliff! It will crush the economy! Or so the media and politicians tell us. The “cliff” is a series of tax increases and budget cuts that automatically go into effect Jan. 1 unless Congress acts. Will Congress act? It will! I see the future: The politicians will meet and fret and hold press conferences and predict disaster. Then they’ll reach a deal. It will just postpone the reckoning, but they’ll congratulate themselves, and the media will move on. America, however, continues to go broke. “They’re not going to admit that we’re bankrupt, and they … ]]> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 06:16:37 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16515892-452/about-that-fiscal-cliff.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16515892-452/about-that-fiscal-cliff.html <![CDATA[ Did freedom win? ]]> Lead story image

Democrats won big on Election Day. So government will continue to grow. Individual freedom will yield. At least some people with records of supporting liberty were elected: Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona and U.S. Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan and Thomas Massie in Kentucky. Also, Washington and Colorado voted to allow any adult to use marijuana. (But users beware. Your newfound freedom may be short-lived thanks to that extraordinary human being in the White House — you know, the one who smoked pot when he was in school. Despite promising that he wouldn’t, he has cracked down … ]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 01:15:52 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16384770-452/did-freedom-win.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/stossel/16384770-452/did-freedom-win.html