The week’s top headlines with links to related Cato research.
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August 10, 2017

RAISE Act Is An Opportunity for Real Reform

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One fortunate aspect of President Trump’s bill to reduce legal immigration

by 50 percent is that it has started the conversation on how to reform the nation’s legal immigration system

— even if it started it on the wrong foot.

Members of Congress now have an opportunity to respond

with legislation that would increase legal immigration and fix the numerous and varied problems within the current legal immigration system.

The Wrong Approach to the Opioid Crisis

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Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under age 50

. Driving this trend, which shows no sign of abatement, is a surge in opioid-related overdoses. The latest numbers for 2015 report a record 33,000 deaths, the majority of which are now from heroin

. These types of deaths have occurred with such frequency that states — including Maryland, Florida, and Arizona — have declared medical states of emergency

.However, most opioid-related deaths do not occur via medically prescribed opioids

. Instead, as doctors curtail their opioid prescriptions for pain patients, many in desperation seek relief in the illegal market

. These alternate sources may be adulterated, of higher dosage than the user realized, or consumed with other drugs that generate adverse reactions.Nonetheless, fears about opioid addiction drive restrictions on opioid prescribing, which, in turn, increase opioid poisonings.

Was Google’s Response to the “Google Memo” Simply a Private Company Exerting Its Rights?

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Because Google and Silicon Valley are cutting-edge workplaces, there’s a tendency to assume that the premise of the Google memo furor – “Your erroneous opinions are making my work environment hostile” — is somehow new as well.

But it isn’t the least bit new. The application of hostile work environment law to workplace speech — including basically political or ideological discussions, not just vulgar jokes or unwanted personal talk — goes back decades.

Government pressure on employers to ban speech consists less of direct you-must-ban mandates and more of litigation incentives whose contours are not explicitly announced.

Those who write laws can blame private actors’ decisions. The private actors in turn can feel as if their hands were tied given the legal reality they might face.