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Archive for July 21st, 2011

The free market buries government in cartel case

I couldn’t resist the overwrought pun in the headline after reading this (note that the Institute for Justice also couldn’t help punning this victory):

A federal court today ruled (read the court’s decision) that Louisiana’s government-imposed monopoly on casket sales in the state is unconstitutional, closing the lid on the economic protection scheme and resurrecting an opportunity for local monks to provide for themselves by creating and selling their handmade caskets. The monks of Saint Joseph Abbey of Saint Benedict, La., and the Institute for Justice, which represents the order in court, had filed suit to fight Louisiana’s government-imposed casket cartel.

Under Louisiana law, it was a crime for anyone but a government-licensed funeral director to sell “funeral merchandise,” which includes caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks would have had to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home and convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming.

The John Locke Foundation’s Donna Martinez referenced the monks’ plight in a column in November:

The monks’ fate is now in the hands of the Institute for Justice. In August, IJ joined with the Abbey and filed a federal constitutional lawsuit against the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, seeking an affirmation of the monks’ right to make a living here on earth while helping others get closer to heaven.

It turns out the Institute for Justice’s hands were good ones to be in. Congratulations.

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So Exactly What is “Poor”?

JLF’s John Hood has a good column today about the definition of “poor” in the U.S. It is a great summary of the flaws in the ongoing debate over what/how to address poverty.

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In 2011 She’s Treated Like This?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know my pet peeve is women who see gender discrimination at every turn and who seem to revel in victimhood. I can’t stand that mindset. It’s weak and unbecoming. It also ignores piles of data showing the incredible and growing achievements of women who reach out to snag the many incredible opportunities available in a free society.  Every now and then, however, comes a stunning example of sexism, such as the recent media treatment of presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann. There are actually people who want Americans to believe that someone who suffers from migraine headaches is unfit to be president. If those who don’t like Bachmann don’t want to see her become president, then debate her on her policy views and/or don’t vote for her.

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