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The Red Line

Britain should adopt a points system for all immigrants

was widely observed that Brexit was driven by anti-immigrant sentiment. A new Ipsos poll
confirms that about half of Brits have a negative view of immigration, while
only 35 percent view it positively. Much concern has focused upon European
Union citizens currently residing in the U.K (they’ll certainly be
grandfathered, as will U.K. citizens living in the EU), but the real question
is what kind of long-term immigration policy the U.K. should adopt.

Does Brexit give us our best chance to kill too-big-to-fail?

The biggest U.S. banks are the strongest in the world, which is why we should break them up right now. They just passed the Federal Reserve’s annual “stress tests,” and they navigated smoothly the moderate stresses of post-Brexit financial markets turmoil, which has shaken many big European banks.

The alternative to break-up is Dodd Frank, the 2010 bank law that, instead, employs intensive regulation to ensure the safety of our “too-big-to-fail” banks. Recently, both the Federal Reserve and the House GOP announced proposals with the idea of ensuring bank safety without such smothering government oversight.

Both the Fed and House GOP proposed increased equity capital standards. However, they head in exactly opposite directions.

Backwards Brexit doomsayers

Brexit has brought forth a legion of Chicken Littles. They have predicted doom for the United Kingdom, stripped of its free access to the European Union’s common market, diminished in its own realm by Scottish independence and, then, the departure of Northern Ireland.

The sky is not going to fall.

A Cautionary Tale for Politicians Pushing Universal Preschool

Yet another study has found that preschool yields no significant educational benefits. After spending £2 billion annually for almost a decade to fund an expansion of preschool to cover all three-year-olds, the United Kingdom had no lasting improvements in educational achievement to show for it, researchers have found.

Millions of lost American jobs show the high cost of unfettered free trade

Donald Trump’s assault on free trade has elicited almost universal pushback in defense of the global trading system. The president summed up his critique of trade in his inaugural address, describing its impact as “American carnage” in the form of “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape,” after “one by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.”

Last year, Trump’s critique was validated in a study by MIT Professor David Autor and colleagues entitled “The China Shock,” which focused upon the extensive damage wrought by that one nation upon the American manufacturing sector.

The free-trade establishment conceded only that “some lose out,” referring to unemployed U.S. factory workers.

Restart deportation as a way of deterring illegal immigrants

In last week’s GOP debate, illegal immigration sparked heated exchanges about “amnesty,” the polarizing issue at the center of any reform proposal.

But as Marco Rubio pointed out, the failure of Washington politicians to solve the immigration problem over the past 30 years — primarily their failure to staunch the flow of illegal entry — Americans are so suspicious they will not accept any reform until the problem of illegal entry is solved conclusively.

Will Connecticut’s high-tax, union-friendly policies turn out GE’s lights?

You may remember a 2014 Gallup poll that had Connecticut as the new Dodge City, the place that half the residents wanted to get out of. Well, many are leaving, eroding the tax base. And the next may be Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric.

Headquartered in Connecticut since 1974, GE is evaluating whether to stay or leave after being hit with a big tax increase. A decision is expected next month.

Companies and people are leaving the state because taxes have been jacked up steeply in recent years under the one-party rule of Democrats. Further hikes are inevitable, given looming budget deficits, driven primarily by escalating annual contributions to the state’s overgenerous and seriously underfunded public-sector employee pension fund and unfunded health care obligations.

Ted Cruz’s damaging shutdown delusion

Sen. Ted Cruz and the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House always want to fight, even when defeat is certain, as it is now when Senate Democrats can kill any legislation with a filibuster and President Obama can veto anything that might survive a filibuster.

The unwinnable-fights attitude can cause real damage, such as the current GOP leadership crisis and the current threat to the nation’s finances. Hopefully, the leadership chaos has passed with everyone rallying around Paul Ryan. Cruz and company’s threats to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling led the U.S. Treasury to cancel its next debt auction, which couldn’t settle before we hit the current ceiling on November 3. With luck, Tuesday’s tentative budget deal will remove this threat.

Fighting with the prospect of winning is ideal. Fighting to make a new point is fine. But repeatedly fighting the same unwinnable shutdown battles?

C-SPAN forum ‘outfoxes’ official GOP debate

Can it get any crazier? Fourteen candidates on one debate stage? Leading newspapers in three small early primary states are partnering with C-SPAN to sponsor the “Voters First Forum,” a prime time TV event inviting all announced GOP presidential candidates Monday.

Nuts, right? Maybe not. What’s at stake is a fundamental principle of democracy. Should voters have the first say on the candidates or should pollsters and Madison Avenue hired guns working for the candidates with the most money?

Plotting an American-style fracking revolution in Britain

The U.S. is surging into global leadership in petroleum production, surpassing Saudi Arabia. At the same time, America’s greenhouse-gas emissions are declining and U.S. energy costs are the envy of the industrialized world. These astonishing developments have been made possible by the U.S.-pioneered techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic-fracturing, better known as “fracking.”

James Ratcliffe, the British billionaire and CEO of the European petrochemical giant Ineos, has taken notice. He wants to launch fracking in the United Kingdom with his company in the lead. Last month Mr. Ratcliffe announced a bold offer to his countrymen: Ineos will pay 4% royalties to landowners plus 2% royalties to municipalities on fracking revenue, far more than currently offered by developers. Mr. Ratcliffe means to spark an American-style fracking revolution.