Red Tape - Commentary
Minimum Wage Hurts The Workers Print E-mail
By Patrick Ishmael   
Monday, March 17, 2014

A minimum wage hike is a bad idea because it hurts the very people we should be helping.

Crime And (Doggie) Punishment: A Tale (Or Tail) Of Lost Freedom Print E-mail
By Andrew B. Wilson   
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

St. Louis's leash laws and the lawlessness they engender—a personal account.

Is Texas Gov. Rick Perry Guilty of “Stealing” Missouri Jobs? Print E-mail
By Andrew B. Wilson   
Thursday, November 07, 2013

Many Missourians reacted with understandable indignation when the Texas governor turned a visit to Missouri into a trolling-for-jobs campaign. But businesses will always seek out the jurisdictions that offer the lowest overall cost of production, including taxation.

On Transit, Kansas City Looks Backward Print E-mail
By Patrick Tuohey   
Monday, November 04, 2013

While other places prepare the way for the next advances in transportation, Kansas City wants to go back to the 1800s.

False Pride: Missouri’s Governor Shouldn’t Be Boasting About “Low” Unemployment Print E-mail
By Andrew B. Wilson   
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Over the past three years, tens of thousands of Missourians have quietly exited the job market. This has had the paradoxical effect of lowering the state’s unemployment rate.

It Is Hip To Be Square Print E-mail
By Patrick Tuohey   
Thursday, June 27, 2013

If Kansas City, Mo., wants to attract hip and cool business, it needs to cut bureaucracy and reduce taxes.

Kansas City's Eternal Emergency Print E-mail
By Patrick Tuohey   
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kansas City leaders may aspire to be Portland or Denver, but their legislative actions make us more akin to third world dictatorships. Declaring emergencies to circumvent important legislative requirements is unacceptable. That it does so often and has for years is no salve.

Widen Pool of Dock Electrical Inspectors Print E-mail
By David Stokes   
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It is hard to imagine a more terrible death than electrocution and drowning. Last summer, three people died that way in the Lake of the Ozarks area because of faulty electrical systems on docks. As a result of these tragedies, there have been calls to institute and expand dock electrical inspection programs in Missouri.

Reform City Manager Rules In Missouri Print E-mail
By David Stokes   
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Mike Royko’s classic book Boss, about Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (the first one), has a great thread in it about the political use of Chicago building codes. Chicago had one of the nation’s strictest building codes, but everyone knew it was rarely enforced. However, if you did something really terrible, like rent an apartment to a black person in a white neighborhood or put a Republican political sign in your window, you quickly found out just how strict the building code was. There are similar examples of selective political enforcement for many other laws, which brings us, once again, to Ellisville, Mo.

Shame on Saint Louis County Council for Union Cronyism Print E-mail
By David Stokes   
Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Saint Louis County Council recently passed legislation designed to limit bidders on county projects to union-only contractors. The state needs to act to correct this abuse of power.

Court Plan Reforms Are Good For Missouri Print E-mail
By Patrick Ishmael   
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot would give Missourians more control over the process of choosing justices for the Missouri Supreme Court.

Don’t Bank on It: When it Comes to Vacant Property, Learn from Saint Louis’ Failures Print E-mail
By Bruce Stahl and Audrey Spalding   
Monday, April 02, 2012

The Philadelphia City Council’s proposed land banking ordinance incorporates the most harmful practices of the oldest land bank in the United States, the Saint Louis land bank.

Land Banking: An Old Idea With A Poor Track Record Print E-mail
By Audrey Spalding   
Monday, March 26, 2012

Despite the successes that Michigan has witnessed with its own land banking system, the process has proved to be a failure in Missouri for more than four decades.

Saint Louis Agency May Be Hindering Development by Hoarding Vacant Land Print E-mail
By Brenda Talent   
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The largest landholder in Saint Louis may do more to thwart development than to encourage it. The Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) is tasked with putting abandoned, tax-delinquent properties back into productive use, but rejects many purchase offers. The LRA should stop trying to pick winners and losers in the market for vacant land.

The Minimum Wage Hurts Those It Is Designed to Help Print E-mail
By John Payne   
Monday, March 21, 2011

The economic evidence clearly reveals that minimum wage laws decrease employment among unskilled workers and prevent them from acquiring the skills they need to climb the socioeconomic ladder. Wages do not rise because of government mandates, they rise as workers acquire more skills and create more goods and services at lower costs.

Citizen Initiative Process a Crucial Check on Political Power Print E-mail
By Audrey Spalding   
Friday, February 11, 2011

Missouri Sen. Jolie Justus is taking aim at the initiative process, which allows citizens to band together to put laws and constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot. The initiative petition process is an important check on political power, and restricting it further will serve only to erode Missourians’ ability to limit legislative excess.

Missouri's Licensing Boards: Killing Jobs Every Day Print E-mail
By Dave Roland   
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

In spite of research showing that occupational licensing makes services more expensive without improving their quality, Missouri’s licensing boards have dedicated hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to prevent talented, diligent workers from offering their services to other citizens, by establishing new legal barriers to entering a profession.

Proposed HVAC Licensing Expansion Benefits Practitioners at Public's Expense Print E-mail
By David Stokes   
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Measures to impose severe licensing restrictions on HVAC work in Saint Louis–area homes would limit competition and drive up prices, benefiting current HVAC workers at the expense of future competitors and the public. The new regulations would do nothing to improve safety. Rather, they are a transparent attempt at what economists call “rent seeking.”

Restrictions on Payday Lending Result in Worse Financial Outcomes Print E-mail
By John Payne   
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Payday loans are far from a perfect source of credit, and the desire to protect people from the high interest rates that typically accompany such loans is well-intentioned. However, studies show that banning or imposing caps on high interest rates leads former payday loan borrowers to rely on even more damaging options, like utility shutdowns and overdrafts.

Police Should Limit SWAT Raids to Violent Situations Print E-mail
By John Payne   
Thursday, May 20, 2010

SWAT raids have received deserved attention in the news lately, but similar raids take place many times every day, often with tragic results and little public scrutiny. Missouri should require police to keep public video recordings of SWAT raids, and limit the use of SWAT teams to situations where they are more likely to defuse danger than create it.

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