New Regulation Tackles GMO Food Labels, Home-Sharing, and France

In late July, President Obama quietly signed a new law mandating product labels for foods containing ingredients produced with modern genetic engineering techniques—that is, “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs). In the new issue of Regulation, Jonathan Adler explains why mandatory GMO content labels are unscientific, unnecessary, and likely unconstitutional. Also in this issue, Christina Sandefur looks at government officials cracking down on the fundamental right to earn income from one’s property and Pierre Lemieux explores why France’s economy hasn’t crashed – yet.

Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations

Supporters and opponents of ballot initiatives that legalize marijuana for recreational use make numerous claims about state-level marijuana legalization. Systematic evaluation of these claims, however, has been largely absent – until now. A new paper from Angela Dills, Sietse Goffard, and Jeffrey Miron assesses recent marijuana legalizations and related policies in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. The authors conclude that state marijuana legalizations have had minimal effect on marijuana use and related outcomes. The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents.

Global Economic Freedom Up Slightly

As economists from Adam Smith and Milton Friedman to Paul Samuelson and Larry Summers have stressed, freedom of exchange and market coordination provide the fuel for economic progress. In the 2016 Economic Freedom of the World report, global economic freedom increased slightly. Hong Kong retained the highest rating for economic freedom, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to 8th in 2005 to 16th in this year’s report.

Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis

The federal government has an important role to play in screening foreigners who enter the United States, and to exclude those who pose a threat to the national security, safety, or health of Americans. A new paper from Cato scholar Alex Nowrasteh presents the first terrorism risk analysis of the visa categories that foreign-born terrorists used to enter the United States. According to Nowrasteh, the United States government should continue to devote resources to screening immigrants and foreigners for terrorism or other threats, but large policy changes like an immigration or tourist moratorium would impose far greater costs than benefits.

Recent Commentary

When Will The Fed Move Again?

Seems obvious to me, and very simple. Yes, perhaps guts forward guidance and that would be a good thing. The mantra should be “data dependence, not date dependence.”

Events

September 27

The Domestic Drone Revolution: Risks and Rewards in Perspective

Panelists include Tim Adelman, attorney, LeclairRyan; Kristi Lane Scott, Deputy Director, Office of Privacy & Civil Liberties, United States Department of Justice; Patrick Eddington, policy analyst, homeland security and civil liberties, Cato Institute; Matthew Feeney, policy analyst at the Cato Institute; Travis R. Hall, telecommunications policy analyst, National Telecommunications and Information Administration; Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College; Don Roby, training program manager, Airborne Law Enforcement Association; Stephanie Spear, commercial regulatory policy representative, National Association of Realtors; Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project; and Justin Towles, vice president, regulatory and legislative affairs, American Association of Airport Executives.

10:00AM to 12:15PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

September 28

Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power

Featuring the author Josh Blackman, Associate Professor, Houston College of Law; Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; with comments by Robert Barnes, Supreme Court Correspondent, Washington Post; and Philip Klein, Managing Editor, Washington Examiner, and author, Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

12:00PM to 1:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Of Special Note

What Is Justice?

Political Philosophy: An Introductio

Political Philosophy: An Introduction is the latest in a series of self-paced, online guides from Libertariansism.org – a project of the Cato Institute. The goal of political philosophy is to determine the standards by which we judge different institutions good or bad, just or unjust. Political Philosophy is a primer on major theories of justice, arguments philosophers have made for and against them, and to how to be more thoughtful and rigorous in our own thinking. Guides – videos and accompanying text – are detailed at Libertarianism.org/Guides – and are also available through online retailers nationwide.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Now Available

The Libertarian Mind Audiobook

The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of libertarianism, and is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement. This acclaimed book is now available as a fully unabridged audiobook, ready for immediate downloading, on Audible.com.

34th Annual Monetary Conference

The lack of any monetary rule to guide policy decisions has created great uncertainty and increased financial volatility. Zero or negative interest rates and quantitative easing have created severe distortions in asset markets by increasing risk taking and politicizing credit allocation while failing to bring about robust economic growth. At Cato’s annual monetary conference, leading experts will address the risks inherent in the unconventional monetary policies of the world’s leading central banks and the steps that need to be taken to restore long-run economic growth.