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Debt Ceiling Doom, Happy Meals, and Protests

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Debt Ceiling Doom, Happy Meals, and Protests

Today in the News

Debt Ceiling Doom

The debt ceiling deadline is fast approaching, and Washington is scrambling to come up with a deal.

Research Associate Matthew Melchiorre explains that the nation may not be in dire straits if we don't come up with a deal by the deadline.

"Prioritizing debt payments as they mature and selling assets are merely temporary measures that the Treasury can take to stave off default. Ultimately, our government must curb spending, or else the country will be in an even worse situation in a not-so-distant future. Raising the debt ceiling is akin to an alcoholic having one last drink – sooner or later, the government needs to admit that it has a problem. No amount of doomsaying can change that reality."

 

Happy Meals

In response to pressure from health advocates, McDonald's has begun substituting apple slices for french fries in Happy Meals.

Senior Counsel Hans Bader comments.

"McDonald’s food gets demonized, but it’s not unusually unhealthy for restaurant fare. The foie gras served in fancy restaurants is much fattier than hamburgers. Quiche Lorraine is also fattier than a hamburger. I lost 10 pounds while working at McDonald’s."

 

Protests

A recent flash mob in Walmart was treated civilly by store employees; meanwhile, a recent silent dancing protest at the Jefferson Memorial was broken up by arrests.

Research Associate Grant Babcock points to these two instances as a prime illustration of government's coercive power.

"We would think it suspicious if the government owned a TV station and invited protesters to speak their minds so long as they kept to certain rules; we ought to regard protests on government-owned land with similar suspicion. We value private and independent journalism outlets; we ought to value private and independent places of assembly in the same way. The central myth here is that government does not have a bias. Government has a pro-government bias, just like Walmart has a pro-Walmart bias. The difference is that Walmart’s revenue is dependent on serving its customers and the government’s is dependent on extortion. This makes expecting the government to be the guardian of society’s public discourse dangerously naive."