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OpenMarket: Ivan Osorio

  • Sealand, from Pirate Radio to Seastading

    August 21, 2019
    Setting up a sovereign free territory has long been a dream of libertarian mavericks, from the ill-fated Republic of Minerva to the nascent Free Republic of Liberland. Yet arguably none has achieved the longevity of the Principality of Sealand. A major reason for that longevity—and accompanying notoriety—is the fact that Sealand, while perhaps whimsical in its origin, wasn’t merely a utopian experiment.
  • Underfunded Public Pensions Put Future Taxpayers on the Hook

    August 9, 2019
    One of the most well-known and enduring lessons of public choice economics is the dynamic of concentrated benefits and diffuse costs. Well-organized groups have both the incentive and ability to lobby government for benefits for themselves, paid for by taxpayers at large, who lack organization and whose individual payouts toward said benefits aren’t large enough to prompt them to expend much effort opposing this arrangement.
  • How Julian Simon Defeats Thanos

    April 26, 2019
    “The universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist.” With those simple words, the Marvel supervillain Thanos justifies slaughtering multitudes, supposedly for the greater good of saving whatever life may remain in the universe, in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Thanos returns to movie theaters today, as Captain America, Iron Man, and their fellow superheroes try to thwart his murderous plans.
  • California Supreme Court Upholds Pension Reform, Punts on 'California Rule'

    March 7, 2019
    On Monday, March 4, the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upheld a major provision in the state’s 2012 pension reform legislation, but punted on the broader question of whether pension benefits are protected as contracts under the state constitution—and therefore cannot be altered.
  • Pension Obligation Bonds No Panacea for State Budget Liabilities

    February 27, 2019
    Illinois has a new governor and Chicago will soon have a new mayor—and the same old underfunded public pensions. Inheriting a predecessor’s debts is never fun, but the need to address them is unavoidable. The question is how, and there is both a right way and a wrong way.
  • Warren Buffett Warns about Unfunded Public Pension Liabilities—Again

    February 27, 2019
    Would you invest in a state with large unfunded pension liabilities? Warren Buffett likely wouldn’t. In a long interview with CNBC this week, the famed billionaire investor was asked by viewer, “How do you see the unfunded pension liabilities across the United States affecting our economy over the next 10 years?”
  • Real-World Effects of Pension Debt

    February 21, 2019
    Debates over public pension finance often have an abstract quality, taking place outside most people’s immediate concerns. Yet, the real-world effects can be quite tangible. That’s because underfunded pension plans can take up taxpayer dollars that could have gone to public services.
  • A Toast to the Sears Catalog

    October 18, 2018

    In retail, as in every industry, eras come and go. Few recent events mark the passing of an era like the announced bankruptcy of Sears. That the company that ruled brick-and-mortar and mail order would be felled by online retail and nimbler competitors isn’t surprising. What is unusual is for Sears’ reign to have lasted as long as it did.


  • Wishful Thinking Is No Way to Address Public Pension Shortfalls

    May 22, 2018

    More state revenue but less money for public services?



    That’s the situation in which states with large unfunded pension obligations can find themselves if they don’t take significant steps to address those shortfalls. And that situation, bad as it is, could quickly get worse.


  • Could Janus Ruling Open the Door to Pension Reform?

    February 27, 2018

    This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in case Janus v. AFSCME, which could significantly impact unions representing government employees. A ruling in favor of plaintiff Mark Janus, an Illinois social service worker, would free public employees across the country from being required to pay for union representation as a condition of employment.


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