In case you missed it...


A new peer-reviewed study by a Temple University professor shows that charter schools not only help their own students, but they also tend to help nearby public schools improve student performance as well. The study, which looked specifically at New York City, showed that public schools located within a half mile of new charter schools saw increased scores in both math and reading. Just as with the rest of the economy, when consumers (parents and students) are given options, the broader market (in this case, education) improves across the board. (Read more)


Occupational licensing

The state of Pennsylvania has shut down a small business for helping individuals navigate the Airbnb process. Sally Ladd was told by the state that if she wished to continue helping people find or post short-term rental properties on Airbnb, she would first have to complete more than 300 hours of training, establish a physical office location and apprentice under a real estate broker for three years, in order to obtain a real estate license.  As Joshua Windham, a lawyer for the Institute for Justice, explained, the license requirement seems awfully excessive “just to help someone rent a vacation property on Airbnb.” (Read more)



At first, the electric car manufacturer Faraday Future planned to build a full-scale production facility just north of Las Vegas, in exchange for roughly $300 million in taxpayer-funded incentives. Then, as Faraday’s backers ran out of cash, it looked like the company was going to scale back its plans. Then, earlier this year, Faraday announced that it would be abandoning plans to build in North Las Vegas altogether — but hope remained that the company would at least keep part of its business in southern Nevada. Well, this week the company dashed those hopes as well when it announced plans to move out of the state entirely, relocating to an unused building near Fresno, California. (Read more)


Fiscal and taxes

Philadelphia’s high tax on soda has had some unintended consequences. For example, it is now cheaper to purchase a beer in the city of brotherly love than a fountain drink. Also, government coffers aren’t seeing the revenue they were promised. Actual revenues have fallen far short of projections, as consumers discover ways to avoid the tax altogether. As a result, what the city thought would be a massive new revenue source has turned out to be little more than a job-killing tax on the city’s low-income residents. (Read more)


The political class

Until the 1960s, the line between the executive and legislative branch in Nevada remained well defined. But then, the Legislative Counsel Bureau, in obeisance to politicians eager to amass governmental clout by wearing hats in both branches, issued a non-binding opinion that essentially opened the flood gates. Since then, few attempts have been made to enforce the plain language of the constitution — but each time the violations are challenged, government creates a new justification for ignoring the rules. When District Court Judge James Russell ruled against NPRI’s most recent lawsuit last month, it proved to be just another example of the political class moving the goal posts to protect its own members. As Thomas Mitchell pointed out in his column this week, “It is hard to win when the rules keep changing in the middle of the game.” (Read more)


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