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Economic Freedom

New Administration Report Takes USPS ‘Business Model’ to Task

In Treasury Secretary Mnunchin’s report released today, the U.S. Postal Service’s future as a sustainable organization was appropriately and undeniably called into question. The Trump Administration has worked diligently this year to fashion positive USPS management changes and this report follows the President’s move to commission a Task Force review in April.

“The Task Force’s findings detail inexplicable financial malpractice on the part of the U.S. Postal Service,” said George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom. “Clearly there are many new directives that the USPS must advance to create meaningful change for the sake of American taxpayers, consumers, and postal workers. For years, the Postal Service has asked to be treated like a private business, however, every action it takes has resulted in greater losses and worse service overall.”

“For an agency of the Federal Government, full accounting transparency of the costs and revenues of each individual product is essential. Members of Congress and USPS regulators and its board of governors must have the ability scrutinize services, like parcels and others, where the agency is unable to cover the costs of delivery.”

As a limited government advocate focused on constitutional principles, Frontiers of Freedom believes that the preservation of affordable and timely mail delivery is essential. Furthermore in 2019, the Postal Service must be subject to reforms to ensure its solvency and decrease the risk of a potentially massive taxpayer bailout.


Renewed Talks with China Can Accelerate Positive International Shipping Reforms

Later this week, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to convene for discussions on a variety of contentious economic matters. While previous talks on tariffs, intellectual property theft, and cyber security have been disappointing, Saturday’s meeting in Buenos Aires presents a clear opportunity for breakthroughs.

Although much of trade negotiations are fraught with roadblocks and challenges, the issues of international shipping through the Universal Postal Union are far more straightforward. As the Trump Administration has pointed out, American enterprises and small businesses have suffered from an obvious one-side imbalance due to the UPU pricing treaty. The majorly reduced rates from the U.S. Postal Service have allowed businesses from China to drastically undercut U.S. companies on shipping costs.

In October, Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith praised President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the UPU, adding, “Chinese businesses should pay the reasonable price of their shipping. It is not right that the American taxpayer and postal rate payers have been forced to subsidize them.”

The current below-cost international rates have added to the Postal Service’s beleaguered financial position, producing losses of $410 million since 2015. Thankfully, the administration is now poised to adopt pricing changes that are financial sustainable while also creating a level playing field for domestic shippers.


Saudi Arabia & UAE: Regional Adventures & US Interests

Frontiers of Freedom cordially invites you to attend

Saudi Arabia & UAE:  Regional Adventures and US Interests

The Khashoggi Killing, Wars in Yemen & Libya, Money Laundering & Terrorism, Human Rights Violations …

The conference will be held on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the Capitol Hilton (1001 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC – on the corner of K St. & 16th St.) from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM. Lunch will be served to attendees who have RSVP’d at [email protected] and received confirmation of their RSVP.

Frontiers of Freedom is hosting a conference entitled, “Saudi Arabia & UAE:  Regional Adventures & US Interests” that will discuss the state of affairs in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both Saudi and the UAE are commonly referred to as US allies, but an honest and candid review of their actions reveals that while they may be nominal allies, they have a troubling history of regional adventures that harm both regional stability and US interests. It is well past time that American policy makers and media understand the nature of these complicated relationships.

George Landrith, the President & CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, said: “Given recent events, this conference is both timely and necessary. American political leaders as well as opinion leaders need to understand the complexities and nuisances of the US’s relationship with Saudi and the UAE. For far too long, the United States has failed to factually and candidly hold the UAE and Saudi Arabia accountable for their activities. It is not enough to simply wave off the harm they do to American interests and regional stability by assuring ourselves that they are our allies. Reality demands we understand the facts and deal with them honestly. This conference is an important step in this direction.”


Protecting Property Rights – Allowing the Theft of Other’s Property is BAD Policy!

Frontiers of Freedom released the following statement on property rights and condemning the ITC for approving of theft:

Protecting property rights has long been a core mission of Frontiers of Freedom.  Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property. America became the world’s most innovative and economically powerful nation because our Founders grasped the importance of property rights and created a system that incentivized creativity, innovation and the productive use of such property.

Unfortunately, too many – in various industries and in government – dismiss the importance of IP rights.  Too many users of patented technology (like big tech companies) think they should be able to use that technology in their products without paying at all or paying as little as possible.  Along with that courts and legislators have taken steps to weaken those protections – causing the US to start losing its place as the world’s innovator.

A decision just last month is particularly egregious.  The U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm filed a case against Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for infringing some of their patents.  An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the ITC found that Apple was guilty of infringing these patents, but in an strange conclusion decided not to impose an exclusion order – the one remedy available to the ITC.  As Apple imports its phones (manufactured overseas) into the US, the ITC – a US agency – has the authority to impose an exclusion order to prevent them from importing devices that include infringed technology.  The possible order would not apply to all Apple phones, btw, in case anyone worries iPhones would suddenly be banned.  It would only apply to certain infringing devices.  Of course, Apple could stop violating Qualcomm’s patents and there would be no issue.

It is outrageous that a judge can conclude that a company has violated the patent rights of another company but then impose no punishment or remedy whatsoever.  The decision sets a very dangerous precedent and only encourages more IP theft by letting would be patent thieves think they can get away without punishment.

Our patent and IP laws work when individuals and companies believe they will pay a price when they violate those laws.  If ignored, it encourages patent theft and damages the cycle of innovation that has set America apart!  The ITC is one of the key agencies that is charged with enforcing those rights and must let anyone know – including powerful companies like Apple – that the law will be enforced pure and simple.

The ruling by the ALJ is only the first step and we are hopeful that the full ITC sees the importance of enforcing patent law and ensuring that patent infringement is punished accordingly.


George Landrith speaks out against expanding electric car subsidies

Heller's bill is a horrible idea. Fredric Bastiat called it "legalized plunder." In contrast, Barrasso's "Fairness for Every Driver Act" is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to drain the swamp and end payouts for companies with high priced lobbyists. Barrasso deserves our praise!

By George LandrithFrontiers of Freedom

Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith made the following statement on Senator Heller’s expansion of massive subsidies for electric vehicles and Senator Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act  which would end those subsidies:

Senator Heller’s Expansion of Massive Subsidies

Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a bill to lift the cap on the number of electric vehicles eligible for a large $7,500 tax credit given to those who buy electric cars.

The big winners here are Elon Musk, Tesla and GM. Elon Musk is the fellow who recently was smacked down by the feds for violating the law and fined millions of dollars. I am not all sure why Elon deserves this big bonanza!

The big losers are average, everyday Americans who work hard and play by the rules and don’t have high priced lobbyists scamming the system for them. So if you’re working hard to make ends meet, or saving for your children’s future or simply wish you had a little more money at the end of the month, you should be outraged that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle think you should be forced to help rich guys buy fancy, expensive electric sports cars.  

Heller’s bill also proposes to eventually phase out the tax credit, but let’s be honest, that will be postponed and postponed so that it never actually happens. All that will remain is the greatly expanded tax credit that benefits a couple big corporations and burdens millions of taxpayers. 

Heller is in a tight reelection bid and perhaps this is why. Putting the interests of big corporations ahead of the taxpayer isn’t a good longterm electoral strategy. As a purported conservative, he ought to know better. But sadly, with a Tesla plant in Nevada, he’s given in to the lobbying pressure. 

The electric vehicle tax credit is a bad deal for a very simple reason. When someone buys a $70,000 to $140,000 Tesla, there is no good reason to ask lower income workers to help pay for it. If you want a fancy electric car, please feel free to buy one! But please don’t ask the rest of us to help you pay for it!

I’ve never asked anyone to help me buy a car. If I can’t afford the car I really want, I buy one I can afford. So I am not sure why it makes any sense to force millions of Americans to help relatively rich people buy expensive electric sports cars like Tesla makes. Even if the car were less expensive, why should the rest of America be forced to help them buy it using a corrupt federal tax code to effectively rob the rest of us? 

I am not against electric cars. I am not against expensive electric cars. I believe if you want one and can afford one, you have every right to buy one. But what you don’t have the right to do is to get your congressman or senator to reach into my pocket and take my money to help you buy it. Yet that is exactly what Congress is promoting when it imposes the electric car tax credit on us. Shame on Congress! 

Congress is engaging in what famed economist Frederic Bastiat called “legal plunder.” Simply stated, it is illegal to beat someone up and steal their money so that you can afford to buy a new car. Bastiat pointed out that rather than risk jail time, people lobby their representative to steal for you and help you buy the new car. He famously said, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”This sort of abuse is exactly the sort of things that our Constitution was supposed to prevent. But sadly, too many on Capitol Hill, are all to happy to engage in this form of plunder if it will get them good press coverage or win them votes. But it is theft and it wrong. 

In fairness, Senator Heller’s opponent Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) will be a far worse practitioner of legal plunder than he is. If you look at her stands on the issues, it is clear that she is a big fan of what Bastiat called “legal plunder” and is committed to plundering the taxpayer every day of the week and twice on weekends.

Americans everywhere should rise up and oppose any effort to expand the electric vehicle tax credit. There is no good reason to expand it or even allow it to continue. It should be terminated immediately. The next best option would be to phase it out very quickly. But substantially expanding it while pretending to phase it out, as the Heller bill does, is doubly bad — because on top of being bad policy it is profoundly disingenuous.

Senator John Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act

This is why I am excited about the work that Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) is doing with his proposed Fairness for Every Driver Act. He has proposed ending subsidies for electric vehicles. This is a big win for working-class Americans. And it shows that Senator Barrasso is a principled, public servant who committed to our constitutional heritage of limited government. It From 2011 to 2017 alone, hard working taxpayers have been forced to pay almost $5 Billion to big corporations who make electric cars. Senator Barrasso is trying to end this corrupt practice. Kudos to him! 

After the election, it is expected that there will be a lame duck session. We call upon Members of Congress to support the Fairness for Every Driver Act. And we call upon Members of Congress to oppose Heller’s back door attempt to pad the pockets of Tesla and GM. 

We will be watching how Congress votes and we will make sure that good votes are rewarded and that bad votes are publicized.


Here’s What I Learned About the Jones Act While in Puerto Rico

by Gabriella Hoffman • Maven

Here’s more from my reporting trip to Puerto Rico.

I recently joined a group of center-right bloggers and journalists on a reporting trip to Puerto Rico examine the status of the Jones Act and how the law is aiding relief efforts there following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

President Trump was reluctant to waive the Jones Act following Hurricane Maria, but later did for ten days. Outlets like Reason Magazine said the waiver didn’t go far enough. The topic has been in the news, so I wanted the opportunity to see it for myself despite media reports projecting doom and gloom.

During the course of the reporting trip, we heard from a series of speakers from the shipping industry to get their take on the law and the status of their industry. Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom Applauds President Trump’s Action to support American Businesses in International Shipping Markets

President Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the 144-year-old postal treaty through the Universal Postal Union that has preserved international shipping imbalances to greatly favor companies from foreign nations and undercut American businesses who deliver to consumers in the U.S.

Frontiers of Freedom lauded President Trump’s ongoing attention to this issue and the new strategy to get fair rates for American shippers. Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith said:

“President Trump deserves huge recognition for the effort to achieve substantive changes to an ill-considered international postal pricing system. For far too long Americans have been forced to compete with sellers from abroad who have access to majorly reduced rates from the U.S. Postal Service. This new plan will be critical to help fix the USPS’ approach to facilitate the exchange of goods among individuals within the country, and stem the flow of counterfeit goods and other illicit substances that have permeated the mail system and endangered our communities.

“Under the treaty that Trump plans to withdraw from, Chinese firms could ship things like computer cables to consumers in the United States for about one dollar for shipping. That same package to be mailed from an American small business on Main Street to a home just 30 minutes away, would cost $8 to $15. That makes no sense. There is no way it only costs a dollar to send a box from China to a consumer anywhere in America. And yet, it helps China businesses undermine and undercut American businesses. Chinese businesses should pay the reasonable price of their shipping. It is not right that the American taxpayer and postal rate payers have been forced to subsidize them. Donald Trump got this 100% right!”

As a result of terminal dues rates set by the UPU, domestic businesses often face much higher rates for sending items within the country than what shippers from countries like China pay to deliver to destinations in the United States. Furthermore, current terminal dues rates have produced in a loss of $410 million for the Postal Service since 2015.

The U.S. State Department will now inform the UPU of U.S. intention to withdraw and adopt self-declared rates for terminal dues as soon as practical, and no later than January 1, 2020.


Fixing the Nation’s Vulnerable Postal Service Depends on the Completion of the STOP Act

By George Landrith

This week, the House and Senate are aiming to finalize the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act within a set of opioid bills to be signed by President Trump. The STOP Act is a significant success for lawmakers and the administration to strengthen the nation’s public safety and combat the opioid crisis that continues afflict the nation’s communities.

Regarding the imminent STOP Act framework, Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith stated, “The U.S. Postal Service has continuously failed to properly identify international shipping threats while neglecting to reform its deficient system. Adopting thorough data collection and monitoring practices of inbound packages in ways that are consistent with industry standards is an essential step for the Postal Service to protect our communities from hazardous materials and substances. Lawmakers and the President must adopt these solutions to put Americans’ public safety first.”

Previously, in June, Landrith hailed the key leadership efforts of the House Ways and Means Committee to assemble a fully viable plan, which convincingly passed the House.

For international shipping through private carriers, U.S. Customs and Board Patrol regularly depends on data and information that allows security agencies to trace the senders, receivers, and contents of packages. Only with the passage of the STOP Act will the U.S. Postal Service will be required to match these important security measures. Collecting and analyzing advance electronic data is a practice that the USPS must adhere to.

Given the depths of the opioid epidemic across the country, it is crucial to finalize the commonsense solutions of the STOP Act. We cannot act to soon enough to help mitigate the flow of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, into the U.S. and ultimately establish the trust we need within our postal system.


Viktor Orban at the Crosshairs of the European Union

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

Since he stepped into the turbulent waters of Hungarian politics by delivering a highly emotional funeral oratory at the reburial of Imre Nagy the murdered hero of the 1956 anti-Soviet Revolution on June 16, 1989, Viktor Orban has traversed the entire spectrum of his country’s political life. Completely unnoticed in the 1990s, he as the head of a marginal political party by the acronyms FIDESZ (The Alliance of Young Democrats) underwent a troubling political epiphany. After losing two consecutive elections in 1990 and 1994, he converted his miniscule party from a left-leaning liberal to a self-described conservative party. Becoming Prime Minister in 1998, Viktor Orban’s conservatism manifested itself in a peculiar form of ethnic arrogance and even superiority, which romanticized and thoroughly falsified Hungarian history. Moreover, it dangerously politicized morality that led to divisiveness and intolerance fueled by visceral hatred.

Continue reading


EPA’s Wheeler Must Stop Bad Cleanup Plan for Missouri Superfund Site

By Travis KorsonNewsMax

Liberal activists are once again contradicting themselves on environmental policy but for once, it has nothing to do with climate change.

Instead it involves the cleanup of a Superfund site known as the West Lake Landfill. An old quarry outside of St. Louis that for several decades acted as a landfill, it was contaminated with radioactive material in the 1970s when a contractor illegally dumped left over Manhattan project waste. Subsequently named a Superfund site in 1990, federal bureaucrats have been struggling ever since to come up with a plan to clean it up. Continue reading


Terrorism and Environmental Crime

By Peter Huessy

Although foreign aid is considered by many Americans to be largely a waste of money and primarily a benefit to American NGO’s and recipient government officials, not so U.S. conservation assistance used to fight both environmental crime and promote environmental conservation.

When I worked at the newly formed United Nations Environment Program 45 years ago, and subsequently as an assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, key issues were to preserve fisheries, forests and grasslands, while also working to sustain the expanded production of fish, lumber and animal products.

Little did people think that decades later the biggest environmental crooks would be terrorists and international criminal cartels running a quarter of a trillion-dollar illicit enterprise in scope just behind drugs, weapons and human trafficking. As a recent UNEP report concludes, exploiting natural resources has become big business. Continue reading


3,453 Days And Counting: The Bull That Wouldn’t Die

By Investor’s Business Daily

Bull Market: Amid all the political noise in Washington, a milestone was passed Wednesday, one you may not have noticed. The bull market for stocks has now become the longest since World War II. Can it continue? That depends on federal policies.

We’re grateful to CNBC for actually counting the days: 3,453, starting on March 9, 2009. That’s a long time — 9.46 years to be exact.

Yes, it’s been a bull for the record books. Even so, we would note that the bull hasn’t been without tests to its longevity. And some might even deny it’s been a bull market all this time.

One common definition of a bear market is a decline of a major stock index by 20% or more from its previous all-time high, or 52-week high. Well, way back in 2011, the market was actually off more than 20% from its previous high, but on an intraday basis. So, technically, some think the bull ended. But it snapped back by the end of the day’s trading, so others say no.

But however you look at it, the fact is that the market has been on a long-term tear. The bull run began Continue reading


Elizabeth Warren’s Corporate Catastrophe

By Samuel Hammond • National Review

The ability of businesses to grow rapidly is a one of the most defining and precious features of the American economy. Amazon went from a fledgling online bookstore to an “everything store” and the second-largest employer in the United States in just two decades. Uber emerged from nowhere less than ten years ago to become a dominant transportation option in cities around the world. And earlier this month, Apple became the first U.S. public corporation to reach a $1 trillion valuation — a far cry from its sorry state in 1996, when it looked doomed to fail.

It’s not just the information sector. The United States is home to 64 percent of the world’s billion-dollar privately held companies and a plurality of the world’s billion-dollar startups. Known in the industry as “unicorns,” they cover industries ranging from aerospace to biotechnology, and they are the reason America remains the engine of innovation for the entire world.

Unless Elizabeth Warren gets her way. In a bill unveiled this week, the Massachusetts senator has put forward a proposal that threatens to force America’s unicorns into a corral and domesticate the American economy indefinitely.

Dubbed the “Accountable Capitalism Act,” Warren foresees Continue reading


Deregulation Nation: President Trump Cuts Regulations At Record Rate

By Terry Jones • Investor’s Business Daily

Cutting Rules: Baseball season is winding down and, as it does, so is another grueling annual event: The U.S. government’s fiscal year. But this year, with just two months to go, something remarkable is happening: Regulations are being slashed at a record rate.

A new report by the American Action Forum (AAF) says that not only is President Trump meeting his deregulation goals, he’s exceeding them — in some cases, by a large amount.

“Collectively, executive agencies subject to regulatory budget remain on pace to double the administration’s overall saving goal,” wrote the AAF’s Dan Bosch. “On an individual basis, 12 of 22 agencies have already met or surpassed their savings target.”

“The Department of Labor enjoys the largest total savings of covered agencies with $417.2 million,” Bosch wrote. “The Department of Health and Human Services comes in second in savings … at Continue reading


Socialism: Who Knew That ‘Free’ Could Cost So Much?

By Investor’s Business Daily

Socialism: Since the Democratic Party took a turn for the worse toward so-called democratic socialism, the party’s leading lights have laid the promises on pretty thick. Free Medicare for all! Guaranteed income! Guaranteed jobs! Subsidized housing! Free college! Universal pre-school! Wow, and all for free.

Well, not exactly. In a devastating piece that appeared on the left-of-center web site Vox (to its credit), Manhattan Institute fellow Brian Riedl went through the simple math of what free actually costs. It’s a lot.

It’s not just the free aspect, but the fact that the democratic socialists have made so many promises that must be paid for that will make it so tough to swallow for most voters.

Riedl looked at the 10-year costs of all the various promises made by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other self-described democratic socialists. He was as generous as could be in his estimates, often accepting the democratic socialists’ cost estimate even when it was patently and absurdly too low. It’s quite a laundry-list of promises with enormous costs: “Free college” ($807 billion); Social Security expansion ($188 billion); single-payer health care ($32 trillion); guaranteed jobs at $15 per hour plus benefits ($6.8 trillion); infrastructure ($1 trillion); student loan debt forgiveness ($1.4 trillion).

As it is, current federal estimates expect Continue reading