United States Ranks 23rd on New Human Freedom Index

The United States ranks 23rd in the latest edition of an index that presents the state of human freedom in the world. The Human Freedom Index (HFI) is the most comprehensive measure of freedom ever created for a large number of countries around the globe. “The U.S. performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world,” said co-author Ian Vásquez. “In addition to the expansion of the regulatory state and drop in economic freedom, the war on terror, the war on drugs and the erosion of property rights due to greater use of eminent domain all likely have contributed to the U.S. decline.”

  • Human Freedom Index, by Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porčnik. Co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany.

Privatizing U.S. Airports

America has a remarkable history of aviation innovation, but we need major policy reforms to ensure that our infrastructure remains at the leading edge in today’s global economy. In a new bulletin, Robert Poole and Chris Edwards argue that airports should be self-funded by revenues from passengers, airlines, concessions, and other sources. Federal subsidies should be phased out, say Poole and Edwards, and state and local governments should privatize their airports to improve efficiency, competitiveness, and passenger benefits.

Apprenticeships: Useful Alternative, Tough to Implement

A college education is not everyone’s cup of tea. The United States needs other ways to instill job skills in the younger generation. The German apprenticeship system is sometimes viewed as an appealing alternative. But replicating the German model in the United States would require huge — and, for some, hugely unpopular — changes to the structure of the economy, and may not be such a good idea. In a new paper, Gail Heriot discusses various ways to encourage apprenticeships and successfully build an American-style apprenticeship model.

The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: Myth and Reality

The Glass-Steagall Act was enacted in 1933 in response to banking crises in the 1920s and early 1930s. It imposed the separation of commercial and investment banking. In 1999, Glass-Steagall was partially repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. When the United States suffered a severe financial crisis less than a decade later, some leapt to the conclusion that this repeal was at least partly to blame. Indeed, both the Republicans and the Democrats included the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall in their 2016 election platforms. In a new study, international financial regulatory expert Oonagh McDonald argues that the notion that repealing Glass-Steagall caused the financial crisis, and that bringing it back would prevent future crises, is not supported by the facts.

Recent Commentary

Events

December 7

The State of American Criminal Justice

Featuring Kevin Ring, Vice President, Families against Mandatory Minimums, Marc Mauer, Executive Director, Sentencing Project, Keeda Haynes, Public Defender, Nashville Defenders, Tracey Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law, Yale University, Elizabeth Joh, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis, Walter Katz, Independent Police Auditor, City of San Jose, Maj. Max Geron, Dallas Police Department, Harvey Silverglate, Counsel Attorney, Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, Hon. Shira Scheindlin, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York (ret.); Of Counsel, Stroock, Stroock, & Lavan LLP, Ken White, Attorney, Brown, White & Osborn, LLP, Moderated by Adam Bates, Policy Analyst, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute, Matthew Feeney, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, Jonathan Blanks, Research Associate, Cato Institute, Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

10:00AM to 5:00PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Of Special Note

The Welfare of Nations

The Welfare of Nations

What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And—is it too late to stop welfare states from permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world? Traveling around the globe, James Bartholomew examines welfare models, searching for the best education, health care, and support services in 11 vastly different countries; illuminating the advantages and disadvantages of other nations’ welfare states; and delving into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty, and inequality. This is a hard-hitting and provocative contribution to understanding how welfare states are changing the very nature of modern civilization.

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.

The State of American Criminal Justice

After another year of protests and unrest across the country, criminal justice reform remains a contentious issue. But, which reforms are the most urgent and what can we realistically expect to accomplish? To help answer these questions, the Cato Institute is presenting a conference that brings together experts from courtrooms, universities, prisons and police departments to examine policies and incentives, and to provide insights, strategies, and viable solutions to some of the most pressing criminal justice questions facing policymakers today at all levels of government.