The Truth About Thomas Piketty That Liberals Don’t Want to Hear

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In Heritage Work

Economist Thomas Piketty made headlines earlier this year–and gave comfort to liberals–with a provocative new book predicting permanently-rising inequality and recommending massive wealth transfers.

The problem is, Heritage Foundation economists Curtis Dubay and Salim Furth write in a new report, Piketty’s claims rest on dubious premises. In fact, “almost nothing in Capital in the Twenty-First Century can be usefully applied to policymaking.”

You can use this chart to rebut liberals who use Piketty to defend their claims:

What do you think are the best arguments you use when debating liberals?

Ferguson, MO and Our Overmilitarized Police Force

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In Heritage Work

Preserving law and order is an essential role of government. The ongoing demonstrations and subsequent police crackdowns in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked a debate about whether military-style police tactics are the right approach.

Although introduced into police departments to deal with exceptional circumstances,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Evan Bernick reports, “the use of military hardware and tactics soon expanded.”

He continues: “While enforcing laws and stopping violent criminals are essential, routine use of military hardware and tactics in nonviolent situations has inflicted substantial unnecessary damage on persons and property.”

We need to take steps to scale back the use of military hardware and tactics in contexts where they are plainly inappropriate while ensuring that law enforcement can still respond with overwhelming force when necessary.”

Do you think police should routinely use military hardware and tactics?

President Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Is ‘Unjust and Costly’ and Won’t Solve the Problem

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Derrick Morgan and David Inserra report on President Obama’s latest unilateral amnesty gambit:

President Barack Obama is considering using prosecutorial discretion to effectively legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Doing so would be unjust and costly and would encourage more illegal immigration. Congress should discourage the Administration from considering this divisive and unproductive step, which would only make it more difficult to implement suitable, feasible, and just immigration reforms and more robust and effective border security.

Read their whole analysis of why this is the wrong approach to immigration and border security.

Last year, Heritage experts compiled their recommendations for a step-by-step reform that fixes our broken immigration system without granting amnesty.

What do you think Congress should do if President Obama goes through with this legalization?

This Statement Helped Heritage Interns Win Their Debate With Cato

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In Other Work of Note

Every summer, Heritage Foundation interns debate political philosophy with interns from the libertarian Cato Institute.

This debate is an opportunity for Heritage interns to refine their understanding of America’s first principles and how they apply to today’s most important issues.

Heritage interns were judged the winner of this year’s debate, in part because of the opening statement by intern Louis Cola.

Read his full remarks, below, and tell us what you think in the comments. Continue Reading »

Heritage Work Leads to Two Wins on Energy Policy

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In Heritage Impact

Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris

The House of Representatives rejected a big-government energy bill this week and approved an important reform to the Department of Energy’s national laboratories. Both conservative victories were inspired by Heritage Foundation research.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) had proposed legislation to “create a number of taxpayer-supported government programs to extract and recycle domestic rare earth minerals,” Heritage expert Nicolas Loris explains. A better solution than subsidies, Loris argues, would be to limit government restrictions on production and trade.

Thanks in part to Loris’ work to draw public attention to this proposal, and a key-vote against the bill by Heritage Action for America, Swalwell’s bill failed in the House.

Meanwhile, House lawmakers approved a bill from Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) that would pilot important reforms to the DOE’s national laboratories. Heritage experts have long been urging Congress to make these sorts of reforms (link in PDF) to enable the private sector to take advantage of basic research at these labs.

This is another example of how Heritage uses policy research and communications, as well as our partnership with the grassroots activists at Heritage Action, to win conservative victories.

How Heritage Is Leading the Way on Ukraine, Israel, and Illegal Immigration

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In Heritage Work

President Obama’s misguided leadership on the world stage is taking a very real toll. And the Heritage Foundation is educating lawmakers and the American people on the facts.

Just yesterday, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by a missile over Eastern Ukraine. The White House suspects that Russian rebels–supplied by Vladimir Putin’s government despite the administration’s “reset”–shot down the plane. To help guide the debate over next steps, Heritage experts posted an analysis of the events and what may have caused them on The Daily Signal. Heritage’s Peter Brookes discussed the outrageous incident on CNBC, and other experts are scheduled to appear this weekend on other national TV outlets.

In Israel, Hamas militants have launched another series of indiscriminate missile attacks on Israeli civilians. Israel has responded with targeted attacks on Hamas militants. Heritage’s Steve Bucci explains the moral difference between Hamas and Israel. Michaela Dodge answers your questions about the Iron Dome program that defends Israel from Hamas rockets. And James Phillips warns that “the eruption of the third Gaza war since 2008 is yet another manifestation of the growing threat posed by Islamist militants within an increasingly unstable Middle East. “

Closer to home, our borders are being assaulted by illegal immigrants. The most recent wave of young people from Latin America appears directly inspired by President Obama’s unilateral promise of amnesty to minors. Immigration is one of The Heritage Foundation’s priority issues, and experts have been working to expose the flaws in the administration’s plans and to propose a conservative alternative that secures the border and upholds the rule of law.

Heritage Vice President James Carafano points out that only Heritage is able to provide this kind of in-depth analysis on so many issues at once. “No other think tank is handling all these issues at the depth we are on the Hill and the media all at the same time,” he said.

Do you think these policy events can be linked to the Obama administration’s policies?

Kudlow Credits Heritage on Ex-Im Bank Fight

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In Heritage Impact

Economist and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow credited The Heritage Foundation with leading the fight to end the Export-Import Bank:

Heritage’s Diane Katz explains how the Ex-Im Bank threatens American jobs. The bank, she explains, hurts “domestic companies that are left to compete against foreign firms bankrolled by the U.S. government.”

The ‘Groundless’ Claims Made to Support the Ex-Im Bank

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In Heritage Work

Many of the claims made to support the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes big businesses and foreign governments, are “groundless,” Heritage Foundation economist Salim Furth explains in the Wall Street Journal:

A sense of fairness and knowledge of economics teach me to oppose subsidies by default. In this case, the recipients of the subsidy are hoping to persuade Congress to make an exception from fairness and logic on empirical grounds. But the empirical claims they make–that Ex-Im supports small business and that Ex-Im’s subsidies create jobs–are groundless.

Heritage’s Diane Katz points out that while trade benefits the economy, the Ex-Im Bank’s subsidies are costing jobs.

Do you think Congress should reauthorize the Export-Import Bank?

Here’s the Latest Washington Threat to Your Freedom of Speech

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Elizabeth Slattery has some discouraging news about how Washington wants to limit your free speech rights:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised the Senate will take up a proposed constitutional amendment this year that would radically alter the First Amendment.

The Senate resolution would allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on election campaigns and independent political speech. Reid and others insist restricting the amount of money that may be raised and spent on political speech is not the same as limiting speech. That’s like saying that limiting the amount of newsprint a newspaper can buy does not limit its speech.

Having lost the battle at the Supreme Court, Reid and his cohorts are now pushing this constitutional amendment to reverse decisions—including Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC—that protect the rights of Americans to speak their minds about elected officials and candidates and to engage in the political process.

The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Heritage Guide to the Constitution explains what that wording means and why it’s important to protect it.

Read more about why Harry Reid’s plan is a terrible idea.

Why America Should Lift the Ban on Crude Oil Exports

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In Heritage Work

American oil production has increased dramatically in recent years, yet the federal government maintains a ban on the export of crude oil. Arguing that this policy is economically harmful, Heritage’s Nicolas Loris urges Congress to lift the export ban.

Expanding market opportunities will not just benefit oil companies. By opening the door to establish more efficient global oil markets, all Americans will reap the benefits of lower prices and a stronger economy. Free trade is one of the principal drivers of improving standards of living both in the United States and abroad, and removing unnecessary restrictions on oil exports will help power that growth.

Do you think we should expand the market for American oil?

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