Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department.

My Articles

March 18, 2019, 2:56 PM EDT
Nothing is as powerful as a bad idea whose time has come. 72 percent of economists say that a $15 minimum wage is a bad idea. But Maryland’s House and Senate has passed an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2025 and 2028 respectively, on a largely party-line vote. The legislature is mostly comprised of progressive Democrats, who have adopted the $15 minimum wage as a political litmus test. So the increase passed by a veto-proof two-to-one margin. Maryland law only requires a three-fifths vote to override a governor’s veto. It remains to be seen whether Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, will veto it and try to get legislators to change their mind.
March 12, 2019, 2:32 PM EDT
Americans aren’t willing to spend even small amounts of their own money fighting climate change. But many are willing to have other people foot the bill. That is shown by their support for the incredibly expensive and impractical “Green New Deal.” To pay for that flaky proposal, its sponsors have proposed tax increases on utilities, borrowing vast amounts of additional money, and having the government print trillions of dollars of new money to finance it. Printing money on that scale would ultimately result in hyperinflation.
March 11, 2019, 12:53 PM EDT
Oregon’s legislature has passed the first statewide rent control law in the country, which Governor Kate Brown (D) signed into law. It will cap rent increases to inflation plus 7 percent for all units that are 15 years or older.
March 4, 2019, 4:26 PM EST
Big minimum wage hikes wipe out a lot of jobs. Illinois recently enacted a $15 minimum wage, a large increase in the minimum wage that will be phased in over several years. And businesses are already announcing plans to close up, move out of the state, or curb their expansion in the state.
February 26, 2019, 9:55 AM EST
How much will the Green New Deal backed by leading Democratic candidates for President cost? Up to $90 trillion, says a Washington think-tank. As Reason Magazine notes, the estimated cost of the Green New Deal is at “least $50 trillion and possibly in excess of $90 trillion, according to a report released today by the American Action Forum (AAF). The AAF, a center-right think tank that focuses on economic issues, projected costs for six aspects of the Green New Deal,” such as its “reworking the electricity grid,” “revamping the nation’s transportation network,” and “affordable housing.”
February 20, 2019, 12:16 PM EST
It has never been a safer world in which to be a child. According to the UN, in 1950, most of the world had a child death rate (by age 5) of over 20 percent, while only a few countries, such as the United States, Cuba, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand, had child death rates of below 5 percent. By 2015, most the world had a child death rate of below 5 percent, and every country on Earth had a child death rate below 20 percent (even war-torn Yemen, whose child death rate fell from 50 percent in 1950 to 4.8 percent in 2015, the first year of its current civil war).
February 4, 2019, 2:16 PM EST
What good is a transportation project that actually increases traffic congestion (and thus pollution), even as it drives up transportation costs? But increasingly, transportation spending is being used on projects such as light-rail systems that carry very few riders, take up space needed for buses and cars, and consume enormous capital and operating costs.
January 24, 2019, 11:23 AM EST
Companies that moved from California to Virginia to escape taxes and red tape are in for a surprise. Virginia now is moving towards mimicking California’s economic mistakes, such as costly labor and employment regulations that wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs.
January 3, 2019, 4:20 PM EST
I like subways, and spent most of my adult life taking them to work. Unfortunately, most people prefer to drive.  It can take an hour and a half to take buses and trains to work for a commute that would take only half an hour by car. Mass transit is largely a failure, and continues to decline despite growing subsidies to many mass transit systems. Light rail systems are white elephants. The money spent on light rail would be better spent on bus lines. The underground corridors used for some subways might better be devoted to self-driving cars.
November 1, 2018, 2:53 PM EDT
The Washington Post reports that American workers are now seeing the fastest wage growth in a decade, outpacing inflation. It must have pained The Post to report that, because it is a staunchly liberal newspaper that has not endorsed a Republican for president since 1952.
October 31, 2018, 3:19 PM EDT
CNN anchor Don Lemon thinks he knows the cause of terrorism: white people. He told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo — the brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) — that “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”
October 26, 2018, 4:23 PM EDT
The U.S. economy grew by a healthy 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. As Ed Morrissey notes, “For the first time in more than three years, the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 3% in GDP in two successive quarters. The third quarter expansion measured 3.5% following Q2’s 4.2%.” As the Associated Press observes, “The result was slightly higher than many economists had been projecting. It was certain to be cited by President Donald Trump as evidence his economic policies are working.” As CNBC notes, inflation also remains low:
October 4, 2018, 4:23 PM EDT
Starting late in the Obama administration, Americans’ life spans began dropping (coincidentally or not, this happened after Obamacare went fully into effect in 2014; the opioid crisis has been cited as a possible cause of the drop in life spans).
October 1, 2018, 3:05 PM EDT
Most pediatricians are not nutritionists. Some know little about the actual nutrition of common foods, and give bad advice as a result. For example, some view orange juice, which has more than a full day’s supply of vitamin C in every glass, as just a sugary beverage whose consumption by kids should be sharply restricted. Some wrongly view prepackaged apple slices, which have essentially no vitamin C unless it is artificially added, as highly nutritious. Thus, they celebrated McDonald’s replacement of french fries, which do contain some vitamin C, with apple slices that contain essentially no natural vitamin C (they do contain artificially-added vitamin C).
September 18, 2018, 4:27 PM EDT
A large minimum wage increase in Venezuela has dealt a “fatal blow to 40 percent of Venezuelan stores,” reports the Miami Herald. That has closed many stores, and left employees jobless. Venezuela’s government ignored the most basic law of economics in raising the minimum wage — the law of supply and demand. But laws don’t go away just because you ignore them.
September 4, 2018, 3:36 PM EDT
California’s legislature has passed a law requiring gender quotas for corporate boards in that state.
August 31, 2018, 2:56 PM EDT
Reading views that are consistent with your own mildly reinforces them. But what really reinforces your views is being exposed to diametrically-opposing views on social media, or slanted articles with an opposing viewpoint. Such exposure is so annoying that it actually hardens your views. You may not be able to see how cartoonish your own views are, anymore than a fish notices water. But you can easily see how cartoonish someone else’s extreme-opposite views are. That’s the logical inference of a recently published study by Christopher A. Bail and others called “Exposure to Opposing Views on Social Media Can Increase Political Polarization.” The study might be an additional reason not to regulate broadcasting or social media to mandate exposure to competing views, and not to reinstate speech restrictions such as the “Fairness Doctrine.” Such regulations may achieve nothing other than violating the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
August 2, 2018, 10:27 AM EDT
Judges aren’t supposed to issue futile and pointless injunctions. Especially not when they lack jurisdiction to issue them in the first place, and might be violating the Constitution in the process. That is just grandstanding.
July 30, 2018, 4:12 PM EDT
Radical court rulings threaten to strip people of the right to govern themselves. The people’s elected representatives in state legislatures often pass laws that prevent cities from adopting burdensome rules, such as ordinances whose costs fall not just on city residents, but on people who live outside their borders. States’ right to preempt burdensome local rules was undermined by a recent federal appeals court ruling. It allowed Alabama to be sued for its law overriding the Birmingham City Council’s attempt to increase the minimum wage. That minimum wage increase would have led to both job losses and increased consumer prices for non-residents who work in the city.
July 24, 2018, 10:41 AM EDT
Progressive journalists have a message for you: Free expression is for them, not for you  — and not for conservative bloggers and academics.