Jon Cassidy

Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org.

Licensing Is a Racket

 

Racketeering is a multifarious concept, but when the word was coined in 1927 by the Employers Association of Chicago, it referred specifically to tradesmen who had banded together to artificially drive up the cost of their services. The employers group wanted the authorities to crack down on crooked laundry and building trades, among others, but […]

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Full-Service Gas, Like Full-Service Gov, Is Costly and Wasteful

 

We’ve all had a few laughs at the Oregonians who are freaking out about the possibility of having to pump their own gas. This comment from a local news story is probably my favorite: “My mom can drive just fine. But she has arthritis that would make it impossible for her to pump her own […]

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On One Senator Calling Another a Slut

 

Is Sen. Elizabeth Warren running against President Trump as the Democrats’ version of Trump? The only other explanation for a tweet of hers Tuesday, the one where she called Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York a “slut,” is that it was some horrible mistake. But then she went and talked to a bunch of reporters […]

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When the System Is the Scam

 

The best rackets are legitimate. A century ago, the people accepted flagrant public corruption. Dim cynicism the popular spirit, it’s likely they’d still be so disposed today. But the politicians and their swarms of supplicants have acquired subtlety and subterfuge. Why press their luck? We still have the graft and boodle that Lincoln Steffens chronicled […]

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Everybody Is Wrong About Net Neutrality

 

There’s one question you should be asking in the misnamed net neutrality debate: How will any of this affect me? The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to revoke a 2015 Obama-era rule that attempts to regulate internet service providers as public utilities under a 1934 law that was meant to regulate Ma Bell. There are […]

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Crazy Play in Iron Bowl Shows Problem With Legalistic Thinking

 

A single bizarre play Saturday during the Auburn-Alabama game that could have upended the college football championship picture is also a perfect illustration of one of our most enduring problems in legal philosophy. A bad snap, a fumble, and an unfair replay decision actually show why a conservative legal philosophy that emphasizes restrained, highly literal […]

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Hillary’s Turkeys: Thank You For Not Voting

 

“They cannot represent themselves. They must be represented.” — Marx A year ago, it was Donald Trump refusing to say he would accept the results of an election, it was Hillary Clinton calling that “horrifying,” and it was the Associated Press pronouncing the opinion of mainstream journalism on the matter. “There is no evidence of […]

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Cordray Is the Sort of Nanny Ohio Loves

 

An official who’s been in charge of a Democrat-created federal office for blame, scapegoating, and extortion announced Wednesday that he’d be stepping down at the end of the month from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. This was followed almost immediately by the news that the official, Richard Cordray, was expected to run for governor of […]

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Call It a Stupidity Tax on College

 

Let’s tax college. It’s a basic rule of economics that if you want less of something, you ought to tax it. We have entirely too much intellectual smog in our culture, and a small excise tax on university endowment income could be a start on clearing the air. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced […]

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Not With a Bang But a Dossier

 

Years ago, I was crossing the border from Paraguay into Argentina when I got hauled off a bus by federal agents. It had been a weird few days before that. I had stopped off at this church camp, which I thought had some connection to the faith of my youth, but it turned out to […]

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