How Legalizing Marijuana Is Securing the Border: The Border Wall, Drug Smuggling, and Lessons for Immigration Policy

President Trump has repeatedly cited drug smuggling as a reason to build a wall along the Southern border. But a new study from Cato scholar David Bier shows that, if stopping drug smuggling is the goal, a border wall is about the worst possible investment. “If Congress wants to address drug smuggling,” says Bier, “it should legalize marijuana nationwide and invest in better ports of entry, not build a wall.” Furthermore, argues Bier, the same lessons that drug smuggling have provided should apply to illegal immigration, cutting demand for illegal immigration by making more legal options available to immigrants.

How Markets Empower Women: Innovation and Market Participation Transform Women’s Lives for the Better

Over the last 200 years, economic progress has helped to bring about both dramatically better standards of living and the extension of individual dignity to women in the developed world. Today the same story of market-driven empowerment is repeating itself in developing countries. In a new paper, Cato scholar Chelsea Follett illustrates how innovation and market participation enable women to achieve greater material prosperity and promote positive cultural change away from sexism.

Global Freedom Falls Slightly According to New Human Freedom Index

The United States ranks 17th in the fourth annual Human Freedom Index (HFI), the most comprehensive measure of freedom ever created for a large number of countries around the globe. Overall, the report finds global freedom has fallen slightly since 2008. “The Rule of Law continues to be a weak point for the United States, which has relatively low ratings when it comes to such areas as the protection of property rights, the enforcement of contracts, and criminal justice,” said says co-author Ian Vásquez. “The Rule of Law plays a fundamental role in upholding liberty, so anyone who cares about freedom in the United States should be concerned with its evolution.”

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Recent Commentary

Events

January 15

The Return of Great Power Competition

Featuring David Edelstein, Vice Dean of Faculty in Georgetown College and Associate Professor in the Department of Government, the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University; Stacie E. Goddard, Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College; Paul K. MacDonald, Associate Professor, Wellesley College; and Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Boston University; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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

Of Special Note

Freedom: Art as the Messenger

Freedom: Art as the Messenger

The Cato Institute welcomes artists working in any medium to address the concept of Freedom: Art as the Messenger. We are living in an era where people are finding their combative voice but having little conversation or dialogue. The goal of this inaugural exhibition is to provide a medium for that conversation.

This exhibition invites all investigative points of view in all media; 2-D, 3-D, audio, and video. A full spectrum of interpretation is invited — whether personal, emotional, general, realistic or imagined, communal, or individual — addressing Freedom in all its manifestations through art.

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

Home Study Resources

The Cato Institute offers a wealth of online educational audio and video resources, from self-paced guides on the ideas of liberty and the principles of economics, to exclusive, archived lectures by thinkers such as Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek. Browse through some highlights of our collections, for personal study or for use in the classroom.

The Jones Act: Charting a New Course after a Century of Failure

For nearly 100 years the Jones Act has restricted the transportation of cargo between two points in the U.S. to ships that are U.S.-built, crewed, owned, and flagged. Meant to bolster the U.S. maritime industry, the Act has instead led to a steady deterioration in the number of ships, sailors, shipyards, and has imposed large economic burdens. This full-day conference examined the Act in greater detail and evaluated options for reform.