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Cato Weekly Dispatch
April 28, 2016

Structural Statism: One Year After Freddie Gray

When Freddie Gray was born in 1989, Baltimore hosted 787,000 residents and 445,000 jobs. By the time his fatal injuries in police custody provoked riots last April, the city’s population had fallen by one fifth, to 623,000, and its job base had shrunk by one quarter, to 334,000.

It’s the application of destructive public policies that explain why neighborhoods like Gray’s Sandtown-Winchester are deprived. If one had to put a label on this malignant force, it might be structural statism: an addiction to market-unfriendly governmental approaches to every problem.

Congress Must Get Serious about Tariff Reform

Although trade barriers have been reduced considerably since the end of the World War II, U.S. policy continues to reflect an intolerable amount of protectionism, including tariffs assessed on approximately one-third of all U.S. imports.

In a new bulletin, Cato scholar Daniel J. Ikenson argues that eliminating—or at least reducing—those burdens should be a congressional priority because duties raise the cost of production, reduce investment and hiring, dissuade foreign companies from establishing operations in the United States, and encourage existing producers to relocate to countries where the burdens are less onerous.

Saving America’s Mortgage Finance System

America’s mortgage finance system was once called “the envy of the world,” at least by Americans. Wisely, few other countries choose to emulate our system. The current limbo of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink our mortgage finance system.

There is much we can learn from both our own history and that of other countries. We should return largely to an “originate-and-hold” model for mortgage finance. But as with any malady, the road to a cure begins with admitting you have a problem.

Cato Institute Multimedia Highlights

"Pot, Federalism, and Political Speech." Featuring Rep. John Yarmuth.
"How Regulators Hope to Use Blockchain." J. Christopher Giancarlo.

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