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Image Credit: Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

By Erin Wilcox

As states across the country issued lockdown orders in the face of COVID-19, one type of business was almost uniformly deemed essential: liquor stores. For those attempting to work, homeschool kids, and stay home 24/7 without killing anyone, the continued operation of liquor stores and the distilleries that supply them was deeply appreciated.

But in addition to keeping whiskey and gin flowing during this time of crisis, many distilleries have also begun manufacturing another lifesaving substance: hand sanitizer.

Since the chief ingredient in both liquor and hand sanitizer is ethanol, it turns out that distilleries can fairly easily switch from producing liquor to producing hand sanitizer. What’s less easy is navigating the maze of laws that regulate the production of hand sanitizer, and until recently, kept many willing distilleries and local pharmacies from making this desperately needed product. …


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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

By Kerry McDonald

This tumultuous back-to-school season has parents and teachers alike scrambling to make sense of the madness: from ever-changing district directives to COVID-19 response protocols. Some school systems have announced that the academic year will start with remote-learning-only. Others are pursuing partial reopening options with both online and in-person instruction. Still others are planning to fully reopen for in-person learning.

Amid this chaos, parents and teachers are increasingly opting out of the conventional classroom entirely to find or create schooling alternatives this fall.

Parents have been vocal about their back-to-school concerns, with growing numbers of them choosing to homeschool this fall rather than contending with remote learning options or confronting viral exposure and dystopian social distancing measures in schools. …


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Image credit: YouTube screenshot from Washington Post

By Kerry McDonald

While the pandemic itself is generating much uncertainty, the battle over back-to-school is causing downright whiplash.

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that schools work to reopen for in-person learning this fall. The physician group stated that it “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school” and that “children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection.”

In a June interview with The New York Times, Dr. Sean O’Leary, one of the pediatricians who helped to write the AAP guidelines, explained: “Reopening schools is so important for the kids, but really for the entire community. So much of our world relies on kids being in school and parents being able to work… As a country, we should be doing everything we can right now, for lots of reasons, to make sure we can safely reopen schools in the fall.” …


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Image credit: Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash

By Patrick O’Connor and Alice Calder

An ongoing lawsuit filed by the American labor union, The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, or “Washtech,” is threatening to increase unemployment and damage the ability of the US to attract highly-skilled foreign talent. The target of the lawsuit is Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows international students to remain in the US for a limited period of time post-graduation.

As the authors of this piece are both international students from the UK, Patrick a graduate student at George Mason University, and Alice currently finishing her OPT year working at a university-based research center, the subject hits close to home. …


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Image credit: Mert Guller on Unsplash

By Lawrence W. Reed

new book set for release today may change the way we view the conservation of nature’s splendors. Titled Green Market Revolution: How Market Environmentalism Can Protect Nature and Save the World, its publishers are the Austrian Economics Center and the British Conservation Alliance, to which I serve as an advisor. Details below, but first a few points.

What nobody owns, nobody takes care of. Aristotle said something to that effect, and it’s almost self-evident and indisputable; exceptions to it are hard to find. …


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Image credit: Morning Brew on Unsplash

By Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan

Even before our nationwide COVID-19 panic attack, we were heading for yet another trillion dollar deficit. Before the dust settled, 30 million Americans had filed for unemployment, those fortunate enough to have jobs were figuring out how to work from home, and nearly everyone was left wondering whom to trust given the ever-shifting medical advice offered by doctors, bureaucrats, and fools. And all of this was before Officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, lighting the match that made it seem like 1968 all over again.

Of course, in 1968, the deficit was “only” around $25 billion, and the federal debt was a little under $350 billion. It seems almost quaint given the fiscal cliff on which we now find ourselves. …


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Photo credit: “brad,” CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/this-american-guy/4125952665/

By Tim Chermak

1.For about $10, you gain access to an entire kitchen of gourmet chefs, who work with only the finest cuts of protein and veggies. To produce a similar burrito without Chipotle would require raising your own cows, avocados, poultry, pigs, tending to a vegetable garden, and managing a rice crop. This would be inefficient and time consuming.

Related: Read “Why Don’t All Sandwiches Cost $1,500?

2. These aforementioned culinary artists don’t insult your autonomy with a plat du jour; they create each and every burrito as a custom piece of art…. just for you. By carefully managing their supply chain, they have created the best of both worlds: custom orders made with fresh ingredients. This is the miracle of capitalism: it improves both the quantity and quality of our products. When you dine at Chipotle, you have more choices than kings had a century ago! …


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By Jen Maffessanti

With shelter-in-place orders still in effect and announcements that they’ll likely continue for quite some time in certain locations, a large number of businesses are facing the increasing likelihood that they’ll have to shutter for good like so many others already have. And while small businesses are certainly more susceptible to significant disruptions in the market than large businesses are, it isn’t only small businesses that are taking big hits due to COVID-19 policies.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that movie theaters are facing some really tough times right now. Thanks to COVID-19 and the policy responses to it, production studios keep pushing back release dates and exhibitors still don’t have a clear picture of what they will or will not be allowed to do and when. …


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Elon Musk, Tesla Factory, Fremont (CA, USA) in 2011 (Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

By Dan Sanchez

Yesterday evening, Alameda County health officials backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.

Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting on Monday:

Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.

As Ars Technica reports, Alameda County Health Department officials reported coming to terms with Tesla:

In a series of tweets, they said they had reviewed Tesla’s reopening plans and “held productive discussions today with Tesla’s representatives about their safety and prevention plans.


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Image credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region on Flickr | CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

By Jon Miltimore

Few people in history have seen more jobs up close than Mike Rowe, the longtime host of the Discovery Channel’s hit TV show Dirty Jobs.

Now the blue-collar icon has a message for those who say “non-essential” employees have no business working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent TV appearance with Dana Perino on “The Daily Briefing,” Rowe made it clear he’s not a fan of the terms “essential” and “non-essential” worker. The problem with such a view, Rowe said, is that such terms have little actual meaning and the economy makes no such distinction.

“There’s something tricky with the language going on here, because with regard to an economy, I don’t think there is any such thing as a nonessential worker,” Rowe said. “This is basically a quilt…and if you start pulling on jobs and tugging on careers over here and over there, the whole thing will bunch up in a weird…

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Founded in 1946, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) supports the economic, legal, and ethical principles of a free society.

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