In April, Nashville voters overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to raise taxes to fund a light rail system. Cato senior fellow Randal O’Toole was an influential critic of the plan, writing in the Wall Street Journal that the proposal was “questionable at best and reckless at worst,” given that transit ridership, including light rail, is falling in nearly every urban area in the country. Cato Sponsor and retired Tractor Supply Co. CEO Joe Scarlett was also a prominent critic of the proposal, telling the Nashville Business Journal that “it doesn’t make financial sense.” In the end, voters came out in large numbers to crush the referendum by a nearly 2‐to‐1 margin.
MASHBURN TO ADVISE SEC
Lydia Mashburn, the managing director of Cato’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, has been appointed to the Investor Advisory Committee at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The committee advises the SEC on its regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures, and other matters.
ASHFORD WINS "BEST PAPER"
Cato research fellow Emma Ashford’s article “Hegemonic Blackmail: Entrapment in Civil War Intervention,” which she published in the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, won the journal’s annual Best Paper Prize in April. Ashford’s paper focused on the aftermath of the Arab Spring to demonstrate how smaller states can use alliance ties to entangle their more powerful allies in intervention, as the United States was drawn into strategically dubious interventions in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.